Can’t remember what day it is anymore? Doesn’t matter if you’re having fun! There’s a reason “cabin fever” is the name of a popular horror movie: Being trapped inside with a virus stalking you outside sounds like a nightmare! But it doesn’t have to be. Although “cabin fever” is a real feeling—causing “irritability, restlessness, boredom, excessive sleepiness, and a feeling of dissatisfaction,” according to Dan Seitz from Psychology Today—it’s not a death sentence.
1. Finally Finish That Home Improvement Project
If you’re not maximizing your at-home time and productivity is waning, it’s easy to fall into the dark hole of cabin fever. So why not make the cabin better!?! If you tackle a home improvement project that’s been on your to-do list for ages, you’ll feel accomplished and like you’re making the best of a bad situation.
2. Unclutter Your House
If you’re already feeling cooped up and claustrophobic, decluttering your home and organizing your space may be the perfect activity to help you relax. An organized home makes you feel more put together and may even combat depression.
3. Rearrange A Room
Always wondered how your couch would look by that window? Think your dining room would feel bigger if you spun the table the other way? Now’s the time to experiment with rearranging since you have the time to analyze the outcome. “Repurposing what’s there is a feel-good option,” says Carrie Barron M.D. with Psychology Today.
4. Get Sweaty Inside
If you’re not feeling safe going outside or the weather isn’t cooperating, don’t give in to the grips of cabin fever. Get your sweat on with a 15 to 30-minute workout and your mood will quickly rebound. A recent study analyzed the mental effects of adding in one physical activity to your day. According to Karmel Choi, a clinical and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity.”
If you’re beginning to feel anxious, bored, or stressed, tapping into your creativity can turn your mood around. According to the UK Mental Health Foundation, participation in the arts and using your personal creativity can help you when dealing with psychological distress and feelings of loneliness. This includes being stuck inside due to a worldwide pandemic.
6. Try Gardening
The slight feelings of desperation that may be creeping in after a week or two of isolation could be blamed on the stress of not knowing what’s to come. Planting a garden either inside or outside is a fun activity that can take your mind off this stress.