Articles / Overcoming Cabin Fever in Times of COVID-19 Quarantine
March 25, 2020
Maggie Munoz Shih
With practically the whole world under extended quarantine, we can’t help it, we will experience ‘cabin fever’.
Now, cabin fever is the term used for the reaction to being cooped up in the same space for an extended period of time. Psychologists say we may experience restlessness, lethargy, sadness or depression, trouble concentrating, impatience, food cravings, decreased motivation, social isolation, difficulty waking, frequent napping, hopelessness, change in weight, or an inability to cope with stress.
Fortunately, there are simply ways to cope with it.
Get some sunlight
If you have a garden, go outside. Sit and read a book, have some coffee or tea, or do some gardening. Take a walk or do some exercise.
Let the sunlight touch your skin. Do this though during those hours when it’s not too hot. Early morning or late afternoon is best. Sunlight is great at helping our bodies produce serotonin, which, simply put, is a mood-lifting hormone that can be triggered when sunlight touches the skin. If you don’t have a garden or an open space you can stay in, sit by a window.
Whether you can do it outdoors or indoors, MOVE! There are many sources out there for exercise routines: your old exercise videos, bodyweight workouts, on- line videos. If routine exercise isn’t your thing, do something that will break a sweat. Clean the house. Rearrange the furniture.
Exercise helps decrease your chances of developing heart disease. It also keeps your bones healthy and strong. ... Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease.
Maintain normal eating patterns
Don’t overdo the snack bingeing. Make sure you maintain a nutrition balanced diet, and drink plenty of water. This can increase energy levels and motivation.
Use your brain.
While TV is a distraction, it is mindless. Find ways to stimulate your mind. Work on a crossword puzzle, read or play board games.
Improve yourself. Learn something new. There are free courses you can take on line. Engage in or learn a hobby that will relax you, and give you a sense of accomplishment. Those books you bought but haven’t had the time to read? Now you do.
Call a family member. Call a friend.
The wonder of the digital age is that we are never really isolated. There are many apps these days that will get us in touch with our loved ones. Skype. Facetime, Zoom, Messenger and many more. Reach out!