Conquering Cabin Fever


Cabin fever isn’t just a cute euphemism for what it feels like to be cooped up indoors during yet another rerun of winter’s hit classic, the polar vortex.

According to VeryWellMind, it is also a bona fide health condition in its own right, with its own set of symptoms and coping skills.

While cabin fever is most likely to occur during the winter, and especially during lengthy nor’easters or snowstorms, it can actually occur at any time of year and for a multitude of reasons ranging from illness to overtime.

For these and other reasons, be sure to keep these age-inclusive tips for conquering cabin fever handy all year ’round!

Host your own dance party

If there is one guaranteed way to send the cabin fever blues packing, it is to get up and move!

But thanks to weather, work schedules, cold and flu season and other constants in today’s modern life, it isn’t always possible to head outside to get the juices flowing again.

In this case, it is time to queue up your favorite playlist and get to grooving in the comfort of your own home (or at work with earbuds and your office door shut).

Power on the sun lamp

If you are feeling cabin fever during the short days and long nights of winter, or because your school or work schedule is such that the only daylight you ever see is the occasional glimpse out a window, you may be experiencing symptoms of SAD – seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder is a related condition that shares many symptoms with cabin fever. While researchers are not completely clear why this works, for many victims of SAD, it can help to sit in front of a sunlamp for a period of time each day.

Light boxes are easy to find online – just make sure yours delivers at least 10,000 lux. If possible, try to sit in front of your lamp each morning. Start with 30 minutes and adjust as needed.

Give your neural connections a job to do

Think back to the last time you fell in love, got a new puppy or won the lotto (even if it was just 10 bucks). You probably forgot all about what season it was or how crappy you had been feeling…at least for a moment or two.

While it may not be possible to order up a cute kitten every time you get cabin fever, you can give your brain and all those bored neural connections inside it something fun to do.

If crafting is your thing, start a new project you haven’t found time to do yet. Maybe you like solving crossword puzzles or competing against the contestants in a reality game show. Whatever it is, if you keep your brain busy it may surprise you by finding cabin fever isn’t so bad after all!

Take an online yoga course

Thanks to YouTube and similar video platforms, it has never been easier to find fun classes to take wherever you are.

From yoga courses to dance classes, photography workshops to crafting tutorials, whatever you are into is probably already out there online just waiting for you to discover it.

Plant a window garden

For many people who love and crave nature, being stuck indoors for any period of time can feel like a real punishment.

And sometimes, weather patterns being what they are, the only thing for it is to bring nature inside with you!

Cultivating your own indoor garden, even if the only space you have for it is a window box or few, gets your fingers back in the dirt again, caring for tiny growing green things and looking forward to watching them sprout and flourish.

Retreat into nourishment

Cabin fever doesn’t have to mean cabin cravings. In fact, while the two frequently do coincide, one often makes the other feel even worse.

Rather than using your stuck state as an excuse to jump off the healthy living bandwagon and indulge your cravings, do your utmost to stick to a nourishing routine.

You might even want to take a retreat for yourself – setting up your own personal schedule and filling it full of yoga, meditation, deep breathing, meditation, contemplation, journaling, reading and consuming nourishing foods and beverages that make you feel healthy and at peace.


Sometimes cabin fever creeps up at just the right moment when we’ve been thinking about getting organized, if only we had the time to do it!

As they say, now is the time, or it could be, anyway. There may be that one closet or that one room or that one house that just needs a little (or a lot) of TLC to get it into ship-shape condition.

De-cluttering is not only great for the body, but it is also surprisingly good for the mind. While you are physically moving about separating possessions into keepers or goners, your mind is busy strategizing and making its own lists and categories of what to hang on to and what to let go of.

By the time you get done getting organized, you just might feel so inspired you start looking around for other areas that need your attention.


Finally, when the symptoms of cabin fever start to arise, this is always a sign of a disconnect somewhere. It might even be that the disconnect lies within you.

Feeling restless can be a great impetus to turn towards someone or something you’ve been resisting or avoiding. It may be a deeper sign of an unmet need within that is finally demanding your attention.

On any level, reconnecting is always the right pathway back to acceptance of what is and an embrace of the new, fresh opportunities it brings.

With these eight tips in hand, you can send cabin fever to where the sun doesn’t shine and enjoy each day no matter what arises.


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