It has been more than two weeks since we have been stuck inside our homes due to the lockdown, and it’s not over yet. There is also a possibility of extension of this quarantine period, given the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country. As you remain confined in your home for extended periods of time, you are likely to feel bored, restless, irritated, and discontented. These are also signs of cabin fever that a person may experience when he/she is isolated or disconnected from the outside world. But you are not alone, billions of other people are in the same boat, thanks to COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing symptoms people may experience if they’re isolated from the outside world for an extended period. Besides feeling bored or irritated, symptoms of cabin fever may also include decreased motivation, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, irregular sleep patterns, distrust of people around you, lack of patience, persistent sadness or depression, etc.
A variety of circumstances, such as a natural disaster, lack of transportation, or even self-quarantining during a pandemic, may lead to this condition. While it is often associated with being stuck inside on a rainy weekend or during a winter blizzard, cabin fever can occur anytime.
Cabin fever isn’t a recognized psychological disorder, but the distressing symptoms associated with it can greatly affect your everyday life. Here are some ways to help you cope with cabin fever and make isolation easier to deal with.
Spend time with nature
Being connected with nature can not only help boost your cognitive function, but it may also help improve your mood, reduce blood pressure and reduce stress. Take a walk in your local park or neighborhood, while maintaining physical distancing from others around you. Elderly people are advised to avoid going outside as much as possible as they are at higher risk of getting the COVID-19 infection. If you belong to this high-risk group, sitting on the terrace or even next to an open window may make you feel much better. You can also grow herbs or small plants on a windowsill, patio, or balcony.
Add some physical activity into your daily routine to stay active. You don’t need to do extreme workouts, just keep it simple and fun. Dancing, low-impact cardio, stretching, jumping jacks, light yoga, or Pilates can do wonders to your body and mind during this stressful time.
Follow a routine
Even if you are stuck at home, create a daily routine and follow it strictly to keep your mind and body on track. Lack of routine can cause disruptions in eating, sleeping, and activity. Fix a particular time for your daily work or house projects, mealtimes, workout time, etc.
Maintain a social life
Social isolation can make you feel lonely, anxious, and depressed. Even if you can’t meet your friends like you normally used to, you can still stay connected with them though video calls or social media. Connecting with others during this uncertain time can help you feel that you’re not alone and what you’re feeling is normal.
Indulge in creative activities
Use your time to do things that you’ve had to put on hold because of your 9 to 5 job. Music, painting, dancing, writing, whichever you liked or loved doing, bring out that creativity again. Spending time on creative activities will help keep your brain busy and distract you from negative thoughts. It will also help kill your boredom and make the time pass more quickly.