Cabin Fever is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for a prolonged time”.
Who doesn’t get like this in the winter? No, your house might not be that small and i’m sure you’re not living in isolation if you’re on the internet reading this but you feel restless nonetheless. Maybe we should just call it the winter blues. When it’s cold we feel forced to stay indoors. It’s suffocating. The sun sets so early that it’s dark before we even get out of work. I don’t know how anyone has motivation in the winter, if it’s dark out I assume it’s midnight and should be in bed (ha!).
So, how do you get out of that rut and beat cabin fever?
I’m so glad you asked
// Linger over activities outside of your home
Even if it’s just your weekly trip to the grocery store. Get out and take your time. Slowly wander the aisles of your grocery store, i’m sure there are a ton of items you’ve never seen or tried before. Maybe you’ll find some great cooking inspiration! Meander through your local home improvement store for inspiration one night. Even take a few laps around the mall when you’ve gone in just for one store. Cabin fever is the feeling of restlessness after being confined so, get out and stretch them legs!
// Get out of your town
Now I know not everyone can just up and get away but if you can, go for it! Change up your scenery for a day or even a weekend. Nothing is more refreshing or rejuvenating (for me) than getting out and exploring somewhere new. I’ll be heading to Philadelphia for the first time for a long weekend in February and i’m already looking forward to it.
// Clean house, clean mind
No need to wait around for spring to get cleaning, do it now while you’re not fighting the urge to go play outside! Tackle one room a day until your house sparkles. Plus, the lemony scent of the cleaners will totally help you to imagine it’s spring (or is it just me that associates lemon scent with lemonade and summer?). Cleaning my room always makes me feel refreshed and less stuck. It’s easier to feel relaxed when you’re not cluttered by tons of things. If you’re feeling up for it, go through and toss or donate items you aren’t using.
// Work out
Seems easy but, I know just how hard it is to peel yourself out of your cozy bed in the morning. I’ve been trying (mostly unsuccessfully tbh) to get out of bed earlier in the morning to get on the treadmill. I’m lucky enough to have one in my home but you don’t need a treadmill to get your blood pumping! In the evenings when I get home from work I like to do a quick workout/stretching session. It helps me to keep up my stream of energy from work and it keeps my butt off the couch. Getting even a small workout in will energize you for the rest of the evening. Getting out to an actual gym will probably help battle your cabin fever even more.
// Meet up with a friend
This one might be a bit obvious but I had to put it out there. Go to a local coffee shop, the library, out to dinner, anything! The change in scenery will be nice and it always feels so good to catch up with a friend. You could discuss any thing from the awesome accounts you’re following on Instagram, to your favorite book, and maybe even discuss hating the winter, misery loves company!
// Sign up for a class
Any class! It’ll get you out of your house regularly and you’ll learn a new skill or perfect one you already had. Cooking, working out, pottery, the options are endless! A lot of school districts have after school programs for adults with lots of different class options. and I highly suggest checking it out. Additionally, Groupon is a fantastic resource for finding workout classes and your library probably even has a list of class options offered locally.
// Write up a spring bucket list
Everything you wish you could do now but it’s too cold, write it down. Get a whole list of things you want to do this spring and make them happen! If you want to go hiking, plan it out with a friend now. Say you want to explore your city, there are tons of resources online to find a great walking tour to try. If you want to get more exercise, sign up for a race in your area and get training! Nothing motivates more than a future deadline.
Now, i’m not saying these will magically cure your cabin fever. It’s a tough feeling to shake, especially because winter seems to be never ending up here in the Northeast. I hope these ideas help you battle the itch to get out as much as they help me when i’m feeling suffocated by my own house. Let me know in the comments your best tips and let me know if you have any recommendations for my trip to Philly!