Cabin fever is a set of symptoms that are triggered by being in isolation for a prolonged period. People experience a different combination of symptoms, with the most common of them being lethargy, a lack of motivation, disrupted sleep patterns, food cravings, depression or intense sadness, irritability, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.
If cabin fever hasn’t already set in for you these past few months, then you can count yourself lucky, especially given the current circumstances. However, it may happen any time soon as you will still likely have to hunker down in your home for safety for the foreseeable future. As long as there isn’t a concrete solution to this ongoing global health crisis, there won’t be any way to safely venture outside, so you’ll have to make do with staying at home.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to either avoid succumbing to the toll that being isolated can have on one’s emotional and physical health or alleviate the symptoms of this mental state. Here are some easy ways to help you enjoy staying at home and stave off cabin fever for as long as possible.
Designate special areas in your home
It’s important to dedicate special areas in your home for certain activities, such as working, eating, relaxing, and sleeping. Designing these areas can involve something as simple as moving your sofa over to a nearby window or it could mean undertaking a more rigorous home renovation project like transforming your basement into a special room by finishing it. This allows you to essentially trick your brain into thinking you’re not just cooped up in your home, but rather that you’re visiting different locations and performing tasks that are specific to that place.
Get some fresh air
Some fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your mental and physical health. While taking a walk or picnicking in a socially-distanced manner are great ways to get some sunshine and fresh air in, you don’t even need to step outside your front door to be able to do so. All you need to do is open the curtains and the windows in your home, then set up some chairs to sit on nearby. Just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight and fresh air encourages your brain to produce dopamine and serotonin, gives you a dose of vitamin D, circulates fresh oxygen around your living space, and reduces stress and anxiety.
Have a flexible mindset
Rather than focusing on the negative, direct your attention at all the things you can be thankful for, no matter how small. Think about how lucky you are to have food on your plate, clean drinking water, a roof over your head, and the ability to sleep on a soft bed. Even if you might lack certain comforts in life, there’s still plenty to be grateful for, like the breeze blowing through the trees, and the sun shining through your bedroom window. Once you start concentrating on all the good things in life, you’ll feel more content with staying put wherever you are.
Set some goals for yourself
Give yourself something to look forward to in the future by setting some goals. This will make your days more structured and less aimless. Not having anything to anticipate will make you feel isolated and trapped. So, create attainable daily, weekly, and monthly goals to keep yourself sane. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress, and reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Take care of something
Whether it’s a pet or a plant, taking care of something at home will give you a reason to stay indoors. The more things that need your care and attention at home, the easier it will be to stay in place. There are also plenty of therapeutic benefits to taking care of something besides yourself. Nurturing the health of a plant or a pet significantly reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts memory and concentration. It can also fill one with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Celebrate whatever you can
Make everything an event at your home. From small things like accomplishing your tasks for the day to more substantial events like a birthday or anniversary, take the time to revel in the moment in whatever way you can — whether that’s baking a cake, buying yourself something you’ve been wanting for a long time, throwing a virtual party, or putting on a face mask. If it makes you feel great, then you should do it.
Social distancing and isolation go against the social nature of human beings. Therefore, it’s completely normal to feel the onset of cabin fever due to staying at home for too long and lacking human interaction. In order to prevent it from happening or in the event that you do feel the symptoms of cabin fever arising, then turn to these helpful solutions to keep your mental and physical health in check.