Experiencing a bit of cabin fever? Government restrictions related to the coronavirus bugging you? Looking for a quick cure for cabin fever? Keep reading!
Today we bring an expert to the blog to share tips for coping with cabin fever. Our expert has four years or more under her belt of being confined. Chronic pain has been her nemesis, but her tips will apply as well to cabin fever patients.
Here’s a list of helpful tips and hints for coping with the frustrating symptoms associated with cabin fever:
Grab a good book and start reading. Need help finding a book? Check out book descriptions and reviews on Goodreads.
Do a jigsaw puzzle. It may seem a bit old-school, but they can be lots of good fun unless you have cats who want to help!
Schedule a movie and popcorn night. Especially popular if you have children around.
Call a friend or two you haven’t touched base with in a while.
Get out some board games or a deck of cards.
Sort through old photos.
Try a new hobby, like knitting, crocheting, stained glass, writing poetry, or Sudoku.
Pour through cookbooks looking for a new recipe to try out.
Start pre-spring cleaning. That way you won’t have so much to do when the good weather arrives.
That home improvement project you’ve been postponing is something you could work on.
If you’re a TV watcher, catch the newest season of your favorite show on Netflix.
Begin researching family history and start a family tree.
Plan a weekend getaway for after the restrictions are lifted.
Enjoy reading aloud rather than alone and silently? Maybe this is a good family activity if you have young readers.
Get some form of exercise. If you can get outside and continue social distancing, take a short walk, say 15 minutes. Or perhaps you have some slightly never used exercise equipment you could put to good use.
Continue to engage your faith or spiritual life through reading and/or prayer, or both.
Think about that spring garden. Perhaps it’s time to draw up a plan for what you want to plant and how.
Give in to that power nap. It’s amazing how much that few minutes improves your attitude.
Plan and treat your family to a picnic. Cook up hamburgers and hot dogs and all the fixings. Then spread a cheerful tablecloth or blanket on the floor and get out the paper goods and plastic forks and knives. Add some chips and condiments and have fun!
If you’re a writer, try writing in a different genre than usual.
And lastly, remember to practice kindness even if you are self-quarantined with your family–may be just you and your partner or spouse, and maybe a few kids, or some other configuration of family. Spread kindness even in these different and difficult times.
There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days, No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise: Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold; But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Sunflowers draw their energy and warmth from the sun. That one fact prevents us from growing them on our property. Living in a shady, forested mini-wood has its drawbacks.
Yet, sunflowers bring cheer, energy, brightness, and good feelings whether growing in your yard or neighboring field, or in a vase on a table in your living room or on your deck.
Although they can’t speak aloud to us, their message is one of friendship and good feelings. Odd that man is incapable, even with his wide vocabulary, of extending kindness to those around him.
We could take a lesson from the sunflower as she exudes grace and acceptance of the world around her. She allows chipmunks, squirrels, bees, and others to feast at her center filled with seeds and pollen.
And where does she find what she needs for tomorrow and the next day? She spends her days tracking the sun to warm herself and attract pollinators. In the morning, she is positioned to face the sun as it rises to prepare herself for another day of work, or is it pleasure? I doubt we’ll ever know.
In my post a few days ago, I focused on the topic of self-care. I shared the things I believe I did wrong in caring for myself during my working life and the last few years as a writer. Today I want to share what I’ve learned along the way (and ignored). And I’ll share some new things I have read recently about caring for yourself as you write.
TIPS FOR INCLUDING SELF-CARE IN YOUR DAY
This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. These are tips that work for me IF I remember to use them. If there is something you feel should be in this list, I hope you’ll share it in a comment below.
Remember, self-care is not selfish. To meet the needs of family, friends, and others in our community, we must first care for ourselves.
A daily schedule which includes a start and stop time for work helps many working folks. When creating a schedule, build in time for exercise and at least 30 minutes for a lunch break.
Find a way to spend part of your day standing for certain tasks.
Becoming a Stand-Up Writer by Keith Cronin at Writer Unboxed shares two stand-up options. These won’t force you to break the bank. I own the first option, but purchased it during my recent problems and haven’t been able to stand up to use it. I set mine up on a sewing table which is countertop height and on the opposite wall from my computer desk. Instead of moving the desk option, I move my laptop.
Taking breaks from sitting to stretch and/or walk around a bit is a good idea. A good thing for both body and mind.
A recent article in the New York Times Morning Briefing offers a way to do this. The writer advises getting up every hour to walk five minutes. Using a timer, either an app on your computer or somewhere you have to get up and move to turn it off, is helpful. Be diligent as this is one of the things I ignored years ago while working as a legal secretary. It would not have changed the condition as diagnosed. But it would have provided flexibility in my joints and skeleton as a whole.
In leaving a comment on last week’s post, Joan Hall shared a link for Tomato Timer. I checked out Tomato Timer and found it is somewhat like the Pomodoro Technique®. The technique is based on working on a task for 25 minutes and then take a break, say for 10-15 minutes or so. After four sessions, take a longer break (20 minutes), etc.
NOTE: Neither of these tips may be workable for writers. A screenwriter commented on the NY Times article that he cannot leave his work in this way. Once he’s creating a scene and interacting with characters, he can’t maintain momentum if he takes a 15-minute break. Others mentioned the same on last week’s post here.
Take a few minutes to assess your own working environment, no matter how large or small. It may surprise you to learn what you do or don’t find. Then try one or more of the tips above and note any change in physical problems you’re experiencing.
If you have tips for work spaces and building better backs, I’d love to see them shared below in Comments.
If you’re willing, check back with me to let me know what this post changed for you and what the impact of the change was.
FYI, I have not yet begun employing all the tips I’ve shared above as I’m still in recovery mode. I’ll try to let you know when I do begin practicing what I preach!