How to Beat Cabin Fever

In the wake of last weekend’s winter storm, temperatures dropped across the country, leaving many people confined to their homes or at least reluctant to go out. Homes today have numerous entertainments, of course, but cabin fever — that restless feeling that comes with being stuck at home — is a real challenge in wintertime.

Children get especially squirrely when daily activities are limited by deep drifts and icy temperatures. Keep them busy by having them help bake cookies, make homemade Play-doh or build an indoor fort, The Budget Diet suggests, or try to help them embrace the weather by going on a nature walk or sledding trip.

Avoid binging on television and food if you want to beat cabin fever, WikiHow says — such overindulgences can actually make you feel more listless and hopeless. Instead, get plenty of vitamin D through sunlight and healthy foods, engage your mind with a good book or puzzle, and clean your home to make it more comfortable.

Host a dinner, cocktail party or game night if you want to socialize without traveling far, LifeHacker suggests. “Make people trudge through the snow to you. Put on a pot of stew, bake some bread, and break out the whiskey. How do you think people in cold climates stay social?”

You can also take advantage of the downtime to plan for the parts of the year you won’t be stuck inside, WiseBread says. Check out destinations for your summer road trip online or plan your summer garden. Better still, volunteer some of your extra time to help people facing worse problems than boredom.

One of the best things to do to keep cabin fever at bay while making that “cabin” a better place to live is #declutter, says MakeSpace.com. A cluttered home is a cramped home, “so spend the next big snow day cleaning and organizing,” the site says. It will make your space more livable and enjoyable, even while you’re stuck there due to the weather.

When you’re done decluttering, pack up any still-useful clothing and household items and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. You won’t have to lift a finger — we’ll come to you, navigating the slushy streets to get your donations before reselling them to local thrift stores and using the proceeds to fund veterans programs.

That act of charity alone should make you feel somewhat better about being stuck indoors. Stay warm!

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