Coping With Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is a natural side effect of winter. Cold temperatures, dark nights and snowstorms conspire to keep people indoors — and you can do only so much binge-watching before you start to get that unnerving, antsy feeling of being all cooped up.

This year, cabin fever is likely going to be more widespread and severe due to #COVID-19. Options for typical indoor pastimes such as a dinner out, a session at the gym or a concert are severely restricted or prohibited.

Cabin fever is more than boredom, however. “Cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people face if they’re isolated or feeling cut off from the world,” says Healthline. “Cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.”

Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, hopelessness, sleep disruptions, lethargy, and anxiety or depression. You will need strategies to keep cabin fever’s effects at bay when you’ve already done every jigsaw puzzle and streamed every Netflix show.

Maintain a schedule even though you’re more or less limited to the confines of your home. Include time for a variety of activities including exercise and outdoor time (bundle up if you must), and you’ll be a step ahead of the winter doldrums.

Keep your social life active at a distance by connecting with friends and family on Zoom, FaceTime or one of the other available platforms. Most people are in the same situation, so even if you feel like there’s nothing new to share, ask them how they’re coping.

We at ClothingDonations.org suggest you take advantage of the extra indoor time to #declutter. #Cleaning out a closet or cupboard and getting rid of the stuff you don’t need will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, but also help you feel more contented within your space.

People who develop severe eating disorders, sleep problems, anxiety and depression, of course, should seek professional help. But those of us who are just sick of being “stuck inside” can shake things up in little ways and make it through the winter — hopefully the last in which the #coronavirus is a major factor.

Shed Pounds, Donate Clothes

If you’re like many Americans, you might have overindulged during the holiday season and may be toying with the idea of changing some aspect of your behavior by making a New Year’s resolution.

According to Inc., 2019’s top three resolutions are “diet or eat healthier,” exercise more,” and “lose weight.” Runners-up include “save more/spend less,” “quit smoking,” “read more,” and “find another job.”

Any of these resolutions on their own — or any combination of them — is difficult to keep. Most people start too-restrictive diets or overly ambitious workout schedules only to stick with them for just a few weeks.

To increase the likelihood of sticking to your resolution, document your goals, Forbes says. Understand why they’re important to you, and develop a strategy for attaining them. Set a reasonable time frame, and emphasize the progress you make over the minor setbacks that will undoubtedly occur.

If it’s weight loss you want, don’t think that you’ll shed 10 pounds every week. You won’t, feel bad about it, and stray further from your diet. If you want to get more exercise, start slowly so that you don’t hurt yourself and wind up spending more time on the couch recuperating.

Remember to give yourself a reward for reaching an event milestone — cheat a little after a month of dieting or get a massage after your first 5K run. Celebrating such successes can condition you to achieve more.

Healthy resolutions often include an appearance factor, such as fitting into a smaller size pant or dress. The Organizing Blog has a radical suggestion where this concept is concerned: If a garment doesn’t fit now — as you embark on your resolutions — get rid of it.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll find garments you’ve wanted to fit into and wear again that have languished in the back of the closet for years. Edit your wardrobe down to only the essentials that flatter your physique today — the stuff you really wear.

The clothes you’re trying to fit into again are holding you back. Not only do they not fit, but they also may not suit your current style. They represent the old you — not the new you, who sticks to resolutions. Pack them up and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup.

Besides, if your current go-to garments start fitting a bit loose in the months ahead, you can reward yourself with a small shopping spree. The new you will need a new look — and that simple reward will help keep you on track to accomplish even more.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2019!

Use an App to Track New Year’s Resolutions

Worried that your resolutions will slip away and be forgotten before you can see any of the benefits? Don’t despair! It’s 2018, and there’s probably an app for that. Among the many fitness trackers available, TechCrunch suggests 8fit for people looking for help in achieving a variety of diet and fitness goals. More general in scope are Done and Habit List, which can track one’s personal progress on virtually any to-do. Or try iMore’s suggestions to break bad habits such as overspending, looking at your smartphone and tablet “screens” too much, and smoking.