Cabin fever is perhaps the biggest enemy to family harmony each winter. The mere thought of being stuck inside for endless winter days can send some people into the doldrums. But winter doesn’t have to be a time of feeling gloom or the restlessness of cabin fever; with a little planning and some determination, you can take charge of enjoying your winter instead of dreading it.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to kick out those winter blues and stay cheerful throughout the winter is to stay active. According to the National Institute for Health, regular activity is just as effective at combating winter blues, a companion to cabin fever, as taking medications. Getting to the gym, buying home exercise equipment or taking a walk—even in the cold—is one of the first steps to beating cabin fever.
Find a Winter Hobby
The old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” holds true for cabin fever, too. When you accept the inevitability of winter each year and find ways to enjoy it, cabin fever has no chance. Some fun outdoor winter hobbies include cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling and even creating snow or ice art. Each of these is a way to stay active, too—a double bonus!
Invest in Natural Lights
One part of cabin fever is the gloomy feeling we get from reduced light. Installing natural lighting in your home can help you replace that lost sunlight and is believed to make chemical changes in your brain that improve your mood. If you must be stuck indoors, make the most of it and do what you can to improve your home’s lighting.
Tackle Those Honey-Do Lists
For most of the world, spring, summer and fall are filled with things to do and many indoor home improvement projects get put off until later. Make “later” be this winter, when you have more time. Small home improvement projects, such as filling drywall holes, upgrading lighting or updating furnishings can be accomplished no matter what the weather is like outside.
Most importantly, remember that winter is nature’s way of giving us a chance to slow down. Try to enjoy the free time you have and experience the natural cycles of life to restore, decompress and just live in the moment. Winter can be as enjoyable as the rest of the year if you make an effort to slow down and appreciate it.