Atmosphere And Weather

Ways to Beat Cabin Fever when you are Snowed in



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"Cabin fever" is a colloquial term for the claustrophobia or panicky feeling some people get when they feel like they've been shut in for too long.  When you’re snowed in with no realistic way to go out and do the things you would normally do, it’s easy to feel trapped like that and go stir crazy.

The thing is, there’s plenty to do at home, and if you were there by choice rather than because you had no other option you likely would welcome the time to get those things done.

So relax.  Think of it as if you were relieved of all responsibilities to take care of anything out in the world.  Instead you have the luxury of extra time to yourself.  How can you make good use of that time?

1.  Bake.

Maybe you usually don’t have time to do a lot of cooking, or make anything very elaborate, because you’re on the go and you just grab what you can.  But now you can take your time and cook a nice meal, bake some bread or cookies or something good like that, or try out a brand new recipe.


2.  Clean.

House cleaning is one of those things you have to do sooner or later (or more accurately, something you have to do soon, then again and again and again forever).  With the extra time indoors you have today, get some cleaning done that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.


3.  Decide what to discard.

This could be a good time to go through your house and identify the furniture, clothing, etc. that’s no good any more, or that you don’t need, or for which you don’t have room.  Over the years we all seem to accumulate more and more “stuff,” because we can’t bear to part with anything.  But you can break that habit by setting aside a pile of items for a garage sale, or to give to charity, or just to throw away.


4.  Exercise.

Stay active and burn some calories.  If you don’t know quite what exercising you can do in your home, because it’s not that big a place, and you’re used to going to a gym or jogging or doing something outside, spend some time on the Internet looking up ideas for home workouts.  You might be surprised how much you can do without leaving the house.  Plus it’ll be good to know for the future, since it’ll give you more options of how to get your exercise in when maybe you don’t feel like going out.


5.  Keep warm.

Create a comfortable contrast with the forbidding elements outside.  Maybe that’s a hot bath, or a steaming cup of hot chocolate, or a toasty fire in the fireplace, but enjoy the fact that you can be nice and warm while the snow swirls past your window outside.


6.  Meditate or pray.

You’re stuck inside, so go further inside.  Slow down and get in touch with your spiritual side.


7.  Organize something.

Almost everybody has something, or a lot of things, they’d like to organize better if they could ever get around to it.  It might be that your books are all arranged haphazardly on your shelves, and you’d like to put them in some logical order.  Or you have a stamp collection you haven’t had the time to organize.  Or you really need to go through your closet and put everything where it belongs.  Or what about your old photos?  Almost everyone has photos stuck in envelopes and drawers somewhere that they’ve forever been meaning to write captions on the back and organize into albums.


8.  Read a book.

There are very few people who don’t say they’d read more if they only had the time.  Now you have the time.


9.  Work a puzzle.

Do you have a jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle or something like that that you would enjoy spending some time with?  That can be a fun little challenge while you’re waiting for things to clear up outside.


10.  Write a letter.

E-mails are better than nothing, but wouldn’t it be nice to write out a personal letter like in the old days, with a stamp and an envelope and the whole shebang?  Surely there are out of town family or friends that would love to hear from you, and would get a kick out of finding a letter from you in their mailbox.


11.  Keep contact with the outside world.

If in spite of your best efforts you start to feel the anxiety of cabin fever, it may help to connect with people in the world outside.  This could be as simple as keeping a television or radio on, so you can hear voices and get updates on the conditions and how soon you might be able to leave.  Or you could hop online.  Or spend time on the phone with friends and family, letting them know you're OK, so you can hear a familiar voice and not feel so alone.  (Of course this assumes the storm hasn't knocked out your electricity, phones, cable, internet, etc.)


In general, spend a little time relaxing, enjoying yourself, or being productive, and before you know it conditions will ease and you’ll be free to leave the house again.

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More about this author: Philo Gabriel

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