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Suffering From COVID Cabin Fever? Here’s What You Can Do.

September 9, 2020

Does COVID-19 have you feeling a little restless? Tired of being trapped in your home with little to no physical contact? If you’re ready to pull your hair out, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Coronavirus has spread across the globe, and with it months of social distancing and necessary lockdowns, resulting in a serious case of cabin fever.

Signs of Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is a common reaction to a period of isolation or being confined for an extended period of time. It’s no wonder that during a global pandemic, when individuals are being encouraged to stay in their homes and remain distant from others to ensure communities remain safe, that cabin fever would arise. A few symptoms you may be experiencing include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep-pattern disruption
  • Frequent napping
  • Food cravings
  • Impatience
  • Persistent sadness
  • Depression

Note that during a particularly high-anxiety period like the time we are all experiencing right now with the spread of COVID-19, it is not unusual to experience heightened levels of these symptoms. It would also be understandable for you to be experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety and stress.

How To Cope With Cabin Fever

1. Maintain a Schedule

Attempt to keep a regular daily schedule. Get up at similar times, eat regularly and maintain a regular sleep schedule. As tempting as it may be to indulge in a daily nap, it may alter your sleep schedule and prevent you from getting to bed at a reasonable time.

2. Eat Foods That Benefit Your Body

Comfort foods bring, well, comfort. During a time where enjoyment may be hard to come by, it may be tempting to chronically indulge in comfort foods; however, they often provide only short-term relief and pleasure. Unhealthy foods can make you feel sluggish, so instead fill most of your day with nutrient-rich foods. Your body, mind, and soul will feel better (and thus more able to handle the stresses of the pandemic).

3. Stay Active

We all know that exercise does wonders for your mind as well as your body. It can help reduce stress and help you combat depression and anxiety. Plus, it can help you maintain a healthier sleep cycle. Get out for brisk walks, partake in some yoga or take an online workout class.

4. Practice Radical Presence

One contributing factor to feelings of anxiety and depression is the idea that you are supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else (the grass is always greener syndrome). This anticipation takes you out of the present moment and is a way of escaping your current uncomfortable feelings. Instead of focusing on what you are missing out on, instead practice being fully present in this moment. Practice being with your fear, distress, and other uncomfortable emotions so that they slowly feel less scary and overwhelming.

5. Break the Boredom

Once you give up your FOMO, you can use this unprecedented time to learn something new. Take an online class. Instead of lunch in your home office, take it to the park for an outdoor break. Pick up guitar. Do something silly you have always wanted to do but never had time for. It doesn’t matter what you do! Just be curious and dive in!

6. Stay Connected

Find ways to stay connected to those that fill you up. In these times of social distance, it’s important to maintain social connections no matter how difficult they may be. Set up a FaceTime date with your sibling. Host a virtual happy hour. Find little ways to remind yourself you are connected. It will help you feel less isolated and make you feel more connected to the people in your life.