Cabin fever is not an official diagnosis. It is a term used when someone is experiencing an array of symptoms and emotions when stuck in a place with little or no contact with the outside world.
Cabin fever happens anytime when a person is isolated, like during a storm, winter blizzard, or global pandemic.
What do you do when you used to go to work every day and suddenly something happens that you can’t go out? What if you had a baby or a medical operation where bed rest is required?
If you were used to being around people, isolation can take a toll on you.
When it comes to your mental health, it’s always best to stay informed because you can never face a battle with your eyes closed. It’s always great to know what you’re dealing with.
In this article, we’re going to help you find out what cabin fever is, the symptoms, and some tips to help you cope and manage the symptoms.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and this is not an official diagnosis.
What is cabin fever?
It is a series of negative emotions and distress that are also felt on a physical level. Although it is not considered an official psychological disorder, the symptoms feel very real.
Extroverts might feel it right away. Those who see isolation as an opportunity to improve themselves and their surroundings, such as declutter and organize their house, might feel it later.
The symptoms would be difficult to deal with if you have no healthy coping techniques. Don’t worry as we are here to help you with that.
What are the symptoms of cabin fever?
You feel that there’s this deep desire to get away and break free. More than boredom, it’s like a craving. You feel a need to see the outside world, even for just 5 minutes.
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, PexelsIt is more likely to be cabin fever when you experience these symptoms:
- Oversleeping or difficulty waking
- Melancholy or depression
- Anxiety (even with the absence of triggers)
- Food cravings or loss of appetite
- Difficulty in focusing
- Loss of hope
- Insomnia or irregular sleep patterns
- Decreased motivation and lack of patience
You could either give in to these feelings or find ways to fight it. Dealing with it is totally up to you and your personality. Some people create outlets while some may find it more difficult.
Finding ways to divert your attention and occupy your time can help with the symptoms. Therapy is usually helpful, too.
Here are coping tips to manage cabin fever symptoms:
Stick to a routine.
Change your perspective by shifting your mindset. The only thing that changed in your situation is that you can’t go out. That doesn’t mean life has to stop moving forward.
This would be pretty difficult at first but when you are able to execute this, it would be worth it.
Do you wake up at 7 AM before the self-isolation? Try to wake up at 7 AM.
If this is too hard for you, make it a bit later like 9 AM. Stick to it and come up with a schedule.
Eat your meals at regular times. Your satiety and hunger will help keep your structure.
2. Go outside
If there’s a winter blizzard it won’t be safe, but stay staying near the window if it isn’t so bad, or on a balcony. Do some activities while seated outside. For example, you can crochet or paint.
You can take a stroll if the situation permits because seeing nature, especially sunlight, is great for your mental health. Sunlight also regulates your sleep pattern that’s why it’s the best thing to do when your body clock is out of whack. Vitamin D can also be useful.
3. Pump up those muscles
Do some indoor exercises at home. Physical exercise releases happy hormones (endorphins) and lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
Exercising may also boost your immune system and uplifts your mood.
If you’re not a very active person, yoga would be the best one to try.
Beginner’s yoga is not as intimidating as other workouts and, before you know it, you’re already sweating and burning calories.
If you like to do more intense workouts, you can do TRX, bodyweight training, resistance bands, and jumping rope.
This doesn’t have to take long because there are several workout apps you can use that can detail your daily workout plans. Simple exercises such as squats, planks, lunges, crunches, and more are included. The best thing about it is the fact that it only takes 10 minutes of your time.
I personally use Lose Weight in 30 Days which I downloaded for free on the Google play store. I’m actually not planning to lose weight, but their workouts are simple, easy to follow, and quick.
4. Practice self-love
This could mean setting up a me-time for one hour a day where you can do anything that pleases you. You can paint your nails, read a book, write in a journal, or meditate.
This one hour a day could make a huge difference.
5. Explore your inner self
Now that you are isolated, try something that you haven’t done this before. Have you ever wanted to try your hand in photography? Painting? Dancing? Cooking?
You’ll never know if you’re good at it unless you try and there’s never any harm in trying.
6. Do some mind exercises
It’s not just your body that needs to be active. Your mind does, too. Watching too much TV is not stimulating for your brain. Try to play memory games, and do crossword puzzles or image puzzles. Playing board games and guessing games with your family at home also stimulates your mind.
Humans are social creatures. Are you familiar with the famous saying “No man is an island”?
Staying indoors for long periods of time can be quite challenging and stressful.
Certain situations will arise and we will be forced to stay indoors.
We hope that these tips will keep you occupied and control the symptoms of cabin fever.