Monday, January 6, 2014

Cabin Fever

It's funny how excited we get when the first snow of the season makes its appearance. And then winter arrives in earnest and we're not so thrilled. By the time the flakes are piled up to our knees we're ready for winter to be over.

Trapped inside while we deal with power outages, broken pipes, arctic winds and temps, it's easy to succumb to cabin fever. For those who are physically fit enough to go out, there are chores--shoveling, snow blowing--or even building a snow man. Some of that cabin fever finds a release.

But for those unable to go out in the cold, isolation and loneliness can exaggerate the feeling they're alone in the wilderness. It can slide along the slippery slope to paranoia and claustrophobia. And even the most physically fit can only spend so much time out in the cold. Soon we all start snapping and snarling at each other.

What can we do?

Stay active. Clean a closet. Bake. Exercise. Write a haiku about butterflies.

Talk to friends and family. There's this invention called a telephone. It's falling out of favor as more and more people text, but the sound of a VOICE is not the same as reading a line of print. Make that phone call and re-discover the joy of reaching out.

Take the time to do something you don't normally have time to do. Pedicure. Try on your old clothes so you can get rid of them. Draw. Paint. Practice that guitar that's gathering dust.

Stay away from the windows. I'm not sure why, but most folks seem drawn to just sit and stare out the window. Don't do that. Find something to keep busy.

Engage the kids in something that will capture their imagination. Build a blanket fort. Build two blanket forts and have a battle. See who can do the most jumping jacks or situps. Have a story telling contest. Let them draw pictures of their favorite summer activity. Turn off the TV and put on some music and have a dance contest. Play a board game or Go Fish.

Plan for spring. Before we know it, it will be time to garden. Pore over garden catalogues--even old ones. Estimate how many seeds you'll need. Draw diagrams. Ask the kids for ideas.

Embrace the time you've been given. It's an unexpected gift that will soon be gone.

1 comment:

  1. Our weather is okay, but I'm so busy I may as well have cabin fever!