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Suffering from Isolation and Cabin Fever during the Pandemic?

Coronavirus is causing all manner of issues right now. If you’re self-isolating, you are probably feeling the effects of cabin fever.

The world is a crazy place right now. Never in a million years could any of us have predicted the state of the world in 2020. This time last year, did you ever think for a second that you might be at home with a serious case of cabin fever? Unable to leave for any length of time and totally separated from those you love while the coronavirus runs amok.

It sounds like the plot for a Hollywood thriller.

Unfortunately, it’s not a movie. It’s our reality in the here and now and probably for the short-term future too. We have to do what we have to do to stay safe and protect vulnerable people from this terrible virus. It means we have to stay home more than we’ve ever done before.

Now, staying home in quarantine or self isolation is no big problem in theory. Your bed is there, your food is there, your sofa is there, your Netflix is there. It sounds idyllic at first, but when you’re forced to spend a large amount of time in the same four walls, a very uncomfortable feeling can creep up on you – cabin fever.

[Read: How to socialize while social distancing without losing your mind]

What is cabin fever?

Cabin fever is a sense of irritability and even claustrophobia in some cases, which arises from spending a lot of time in one space. That basically explains the situation we’re all in right now!

Some people can cope with it and experience no discomfort or issues at all, but that’s the minority. If you’re feeling annoyed, irritable, tired, lethargic, and totally unable to focus, you’re in good company. The majority of people are feeling that way. It also means that the majority of people are suffering from cabin fever.

[Read: How to fight loneliness during a pandemic]

Common symptoms include frustration, being irritable and snappy for very little reason, a total lack of patience, feeling tired and generally lethargic, swinging from worry to anger, and then feeling like you want to eat everything in the refrigerator.

Cabin fever stems from boredom. It also comes from not being able to roam free and do what you want to do. Put simply, you’re restricted. It’s like someone has put the reins on you and you’re stuck.

It’s not a good feeling, but for now at least, we must stick with it. To overcome this hideous virus and be able to go back to some form of normality in the near future. If you’re feeling like this, take heart! You’re not alone. Everyone around you is probably feeling exactly the same way. Also, take a lot of heart from the fact that this is not going to be forever.

[Read: How to emotionally detach when you have no other choice]

9 ways to reduce or overcome cabin fever

The good news is that you can reduce cabin fever, and in some cases totally overcome it.

#1 Have a clear out. It sounds ridiculous, but having a clear out of your house, decluttering and throwing away the things you don’t need, sorting out piles to take to the charity shop. Maybe even listing some things to sell on eBay can be hugely helpful.

You’re in control in this situation, and it feels good because the situation in the world right now means that none of us are in control. You’re also decluttering your mind by decluttering your home, which could help you to focus a lot easier too. If you’re working from home, that is very useful indeed! [Read: How to get your life together with these good rituals]

#2 Move the furniture around. Again, it’s easy and effective. By simply moving your sofa to another spot or moving the entire room around completely, you’re allowing fresh, new energy to enter the space. You’ll feel like you’re somewhere completely different.

Of course, the reality is that you’re in the same four walls you were in before, but the key here is that it will feel different and can relieve the feelings of cabin fever.

#3 Tune into a new exercise. High profile fitness gurus are taking the opportunity to create new online workouts for followers. We all know that exercise is vital for a positive mood and outlook. So, find an online workout that suits you and get down to it!

If you’re isolating with someone else, rope them into it too. You’ll have a laugh while also being active and doing your bit for your mood. [Read: Exercise and it’s positive impacts on your mind and body]

#4 Create a garden or balcony sanctuary. Do you have an outdoor space which you can create a peaceful and serene environment? For instance, why not treat yourself to an outdoor spa and spend time outside in the fresh air? Why not buy some new garden furniture and work outdoors instead of sitting inside all the time? Why not plant some new flowers or change the look of the space?

Spending time outdoors is a great way to overcome the effects of cabin fever.

#5 Take a walk. Depending upon the regulations in your area, you’re probably able to head outside for some exercise at least once per day, and if that is the case, take advantage of it! Grab your bicycle and go for a bike ride, put your comfortable shoes on and go for a walk or a run.

Again, it’s about exercise and outdoor air, while also giving you a chance from the regular environment you’re spending most of your hours within.

#6 Cut down on your TV watching. You might think that TV is a great form of escapism. It’s better if you’re really connecting with your own creativity and doing something different to distract yourself from the effects of cabin fever. Go old-school and play a board game!

Design your own game or quiz and play with whoever you’re isolating with. Jump on Zoom and play with friends virtually.

#7 Connect with those you love. I’ve just mentioned Zoom, but there are many apps which allow you to have virtual parties with several friends at once. Make sure everyone is available at the same time and have a virtual party, a virtual dinner party, or simply sit there and chat for a couple of hours. Connecting with those you care about, who you’re currently away from, can relieve the difficulties of cabin fever.

#8 Make a plan. If you’re working from home, you’ll probably feel like cabin fever is totally robbing you of your productivity. You’re not alone. Many people feel this way right now. The best way to get around this is to make a plan and learn to manage your time effectively. When you wake up, make a list of what you need to do that day. Tick items off as you complete them.

If you’re working, arrange your schedule in a realistic way. Work through it as productively as you can. When you reach the end of the day and you’ve done everything on your list, you’ll feel uplifted. [Read: Don’t stay stuck – 16 strategies to get your shit together]

#9 Learn something new. There is a reason why so many people have turned to baking and gardening. It’s something new, something to learn, and it’s a great distraction from what is going on in the world right now.

Search online for some new recipes and get making something delicious. Download an app and learn a new language. If you’re going to experience cabin fever, you might as well do something useful with it!

[Read: Here’s your guide for how to stay motivated during the pandemic]

Without a doubt, the effects of cabin fever, especially during a pandemic, can be difficult. Following these tips, you might find that isolation teaches you something new or makes your more productive!

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