How do you manage cabin fever and/or winter blues?
It has been a very long, cold winter throughout much of the US. Often in places that are not used to such extremes. It can lead to anxiety, feeling claustrophobic etc. What are the best ways to deal with feelings of cabin fever and winter blues for those who are not used to this kind of weather?
Honestly, distractions, unlike a fear of heights, you can't really conquer cabin fever, the longer your stuck in small places, the worse it gets, so taking up something to fill your time is effective. What to do depends on who you are, you could try reading books, writing books, taking up sewing, learning to program, almost anything thats not outdoor related. When I have been trapped in small spaces for long amounts of time in the past, I have refined my woodwork skills, its really just a matter of what you enjoy.
Try a few things, see what works, you find something you like and you will pass the season in no time. Good luck.
Funny when I lived up North I had winter cabin fever; now down in the subtropics I get summer cabin fever because it's too hot to venture out June-Sept.
I guess I start by preparing for it, I like to make the house clean and organized and get whatever I need to make me comfortable ready.
In the winter it helps to get light and fresh air, maybe if the day is bright enough just sit by the window (that whole melatonin thing), open it a crack. And then when it gets bad it helps to exercise, to stretch and get moving. Then do things to take your mind off it.
Good luck hon! As your hibernation period wears off, mine is going to be starting!
Even though I don't like shopping, if I really need to get out of the house I'll drive to one of the local malls so I can walk around and have things other than the house to look at. This year, I've been doing some redecorating and I'm also drawing out landscaping plans. As William pointed out, they're all distractions that keep me from thinking too much about being stuck inside.
Good question ChristinS,
I live in Canada and I know what you are talking about. It gets cold here and stays cold for a long time with huge snow drifts, lots of slush, icy roads and tripping hazard icy sidewalks (going for a walk can be scary). The sidewalks are so icy and if you walk on the grass, the snow is up to your knees. The bitter wind bites your cheeks and nose. I wear ski pants and a big, puffy jacket and always a toque.
For me, I play Christmas music. I bought the Peanuts Christmas album (I got it using my airmiles points). It makes the cold winter weather seem sparkly and beautiful. Or play another type of music that is special in some way.
Also, watching something special. TV can be overwhelming because of all the commercials but if you have any favourite shows that are comforting (on DVD), you can watch one or play it while you do the dishes. I like 'Little House On The Prairie". Or something funny like "Corner Gas", a crazy Canadian comedy.
I also like buying fresh flowers; they are so pretty. They remind me of the spring to come and they brighten up a gloomy day.
I grew up and lived most of my life in Southern California so except for the years I lived in the mountains there was never "shut in" cold. If I were still in the US I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I lived in Colombia for 3 years in the city of Medellin which is called the "City of Eternal Spring" which is pretty accurate. It sits at 4000' in the Andes almost on the equator so the weather never changes and is close to a spring day.
Now I live in the Philippines and the closest we get to cabin fever is during the monsoons when it rains for weeks at a time. But it is just wet, not cold. If I get too antsy I just go out in the rain. But we usually get a couple of days break every week to do the shopping etc.
In summation I would say that my answer to cabin fever is to leave. Go someplace warm, preferably the tropics ;-)
Get some UV lamps for in your home during winter months. This is commonly known as LDD or light deficiency disorder, the body does not get enough sunlight so it gets less vitamin D, and this severely decreases melatonin levels causing feelings of sadness, and lethargy. This is probably a great part of the reason so many people put on a lot of weight over winter months...and here we are blaming the turkey lol.
I used to get very depressed and feel unmotivated, but since I started using the UV lamps (they sell them at most pet stores for reptiles) winter no longer bothers me, and I have no problem staying motivated for work, exercise etc.
Give it a try.
We have had over 5 snow/cold days so the kids are ready to have a routine. We are using the "earning your TV time" method. The kids have to do something active to earn TV time. This helps them not become so grouchy when they sit and watch screens all day (we have a Kindle fire so they can watch on it too, but TV is TV no matter the size of the screen).
Basically I agree with WiccanSage- a clean house helps, and cleaning the house helps too. Doing as much as you can physically helps deal with the winter blues. Cabin fever is seriously taking over our household, so any thoughts and suggestions would be great!
Since our bodies don't really know what is real and what is imagined (you know....think about sucking on a lemon and your will start to salivate), I recommend getting comfy and closing your eyes and let your imagination run wild....me on a lovely tropical beach, breeze through my hair, a cool fruity drink in my hand, the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, the sound of children laughing and playing in the water, the feel of the sweet warm sun on my tan shoulders, ahhhhhhh....
It is a serious problem for me. I find that I when I write fiction, it lifts me out of the depression. I become excited about the story and adding this or that, or editing and it keeps my mind busy and gives me something to look forward to.
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