13 Remedies for Cabin Fever

People accustomed to spending time outdoors can grow restless when winter weather sets in for the season. After the novelty of the first few snowstorms wears off, many find themselves tired of being cooped up and begin dreaming of warmer weather.

Cabin fever occurs any time a person is stuck indoors for too long. It can happen during an illness or if someone suffers an injury that limits outdoor mobility. Most often it refers to a feeling of restlessness that occurs with spending most time indoors when the weather outside is cold or snowy. In general, by the time spring arrives most people have experienced a bout of cabin fever.

In addition to general restlessness, cabin fever can cause sluggishness, weight gain and changes in sleep patterns due to inactivity. There are some remedies that can zap cabin fever, however.

1. Get moving. Being a couch potato can lead to weight gain and feelings of despression. Make strides to exercise or do something that gets the heart pumping for at least 30 minutes every day. This can include hosting a family dance off, firing up the gaming console for a round of virtual reality sports action, hopping on the treadmill or stationary bike, or any other activity that raises the heart rate.

2. Play in the snow. Snow shoveling can certainly be a task that some prefer to avoid, but playing in the snow can be a fun activity for any age. Dress warmly and head outdoors to build a snow fort or engage in a game of snowball tossing.

3. Take daily walks. As long as sidewalks or paths are passable, head outdoors and stroll the neighborhood. It’s amazing what sights can be missed when one is whizzing by in a car. Enjoy the snow-covered landscape before heading back for some hot chocolate.

4. Visit the craft store. Visit a nearby craft store to stock up on items that foster creativity indoors for hours on end. Acrylic paints and plaster molds are an entertaining hobby. Avid knitters can spend time whipping up a new hat or scarf and glove set. Kids may find that scrapbooking or simply creating collages from magazine photos with scissors and paste is entertaining.

5. Do some spring cleaning. Spring is right around the corner, so use time spent indoors to get a head start on organizational projects. Clean out a closet or room that might have grown clutter over the winter.

6. Give your home a makeover. Now’s the time to tackle an interior home repair. Painting a room a new color or even installing ceramic or stick-down tiles can give a room a new look and keep a person busy for an entire weekend.

7. Back-up computer files. Instead of simply browsing the Internet or updating a social network site status, use time on the computer to back-up important files and photos to an external hard drive or CD.

8. Gather receipts and tax documentation. Tax season is almost here and that means having all of the necessary forms and receipts handy for filing, whether a person handles that on their own or gets help from a tax professional.

9. Have a family game night. Host a night each week when the entire family gathers to play a game. It makes a welcome alternative to watching TV.

10. Learn to cook. Use time indoors to prepare meals in advance or experiment with new recipes.

11. Visit a museum. Now’s the time to explore places in the area (or schedule a road trip) that are just perfect when the weather isn’t.

12. Host a party. Just for the fun of it, invite friends and family over for a party to beat cabin fever.

13. Head to the movies. Watching a movie on the big screen can be a change from watching TV at home.

When you put your mind to it, it’s possible to think of dozens of ways to cure cabin fever.

Updated 02-04-2011

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  1. — Mark Somner    Feb 4, 09:00 PM    #
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