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How to Curb Cabin Fever During Quarantine

If you’re one of the many people who have been feeling a little stir crazy as the quarantine goes on, you’re not alone. One day you may feel relaxed and are grateful for the change of pace or working from home, and maybe the next day you feel completely bored out of your mind. This blog is going to focus on the latter of those two extreme scenarios to help give you some tips on what you can do to keep the cabin fever at bay. It also may be useful to keep in mind some of the common psychological responses to quarantine.

When trying to stave off cabin fever, it is best to keep some semblance of a routine. This likely includes getting up and going to bed around the same time every day. However, if there are parts of your routine that you hate and are not required of you at the moment—it’s okay to let some things slide! There is a collective heavy energy in the world right now in the face of this pandemic, so if you don’t emerge from quarantine feeling like your best self or that you’ve been living your “best life,” that’s ok!  

Allow yourself to feel what is happening for you without judgment, while recognizing that it’s ok if you don’t pick up a new hobby during quarantine and become proficient at it. A global pandemic and widespread sadness/death may or may not motivate you to be artsy, for example. Either is ok! Below are some suggestions for things to do during quarantine that will hopefully help mitigate extreme boredom.

  • Practice gratitude
  • Move your body
  • Try something new
  • Be productive around the house
  • Try to relax

Gratitude

Admittedly, it may seem hard to practice gratitude if you’re feeling fear and uncertainty due to the current circumstances with the virus. Maybe you’ve even lost someone to the virus and gratitude doesn’t seem accessible at the moment. Even the smallest of things can generate gratitude if you give your attention to them. These could be your health, shelter, food in the freezer, people helping youetc. You can pick any number of positive things to give your attention to instead of the chaos that has befallen the world.

Movement

If you’re not in the mood to do a bunch of burpees today, that’s understandable. However, moving your body in any way can be immensely helpful and work to stabilize your mood. This can be as simple as going for a walk around the block, stretching, or doing an exercise DVD from home. There are free exercise routines available on YouTube as well. Yoga and breathing routines will help to quiet the mind and regulate the nervous system if you are feeling particularly jittery.

Something New

If you’re not a health professional or first responder, you may find yourself with extra time on your hands. This may be the time to try something new. You could start watching that documentary you’ve had in your Netflix queue and then write a review online or maybe try out a new recipe that you’ve been wanting to perfect. Make sure that it’s something that you’re interested in and that would feel good to you—something you feel like you can reasonably do without judging yourself.

Productivity

Feeling particularly antsy to make some type of “progress?” This might be the time to go through your closet/basement/garage and pick out stuff that you no longer need or that you might wish to donate. You can get a head start on yardwork or other type of house projects you’ve been putting off. Some people get immense enjoyment out of the progress that comes along with this type of activity, so this may be just the thing for you to ward off cabin fever.

Relaxation

It seems sort of counterintuitive, but when you have more free time it can be even harder to relax. Relaxing can look different for everyonesome people find cleaning relaxing. Spend some time reflecting so you’ll be aware of what works for you. Another tip is to try your best to focus on what is immediately in your power to do and what you can control. Try not to give too much attention to things that fall outside of that. There are indeed many scary problems in the world right nowstressing yourself out about them does not bring the quarantine any closer to being over. One of the best things you can do is be kind to yourself, practice social distancing to the best of your ability, and figure out how best you can take care of yourself and relax.

Relaxation suggestions:
  • Meditation (including guided meditations)
  • ASMR videos
  • Listening to music
  • Going for walks
  • Sitting in the sun
  • Reading outside
  • Hiking near water
  • Taking a hot bath/shower
  • Fixing yourself a favorite treat/meal

Other Activities You May Like To Try

  • Drawing
  • Having a virtual happy hour with friends
  • Painting
  • Following a Pinterest craft tutorial
  • Dancing
  • Attending webinars
  • Catching up on pleasure reading
  • Planning a future vacation
  • Setting goals/creating a vision board 

We’re Here for You

If you find yourself struggling with what to do during this time, a virtual session with an Angelus therapist can help with not only that, but also can jumpstart you on a road of self-reflection. Giving yourself some time and attention during such a unique (and scary) time in history is worthwhile and can lead you to dealing with hardship and uncertainty in more healthy ways. Make an appointment with Angelus today to get started.

available resources

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Blog Credit: Natalie Drozda, MA, LPC is a PH.D student in Counseling Education and Supervision at Duquesne University & therapist at Angelus Therapeutic Services

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