5 ways to fight cabin fever this winter

Feeling a little cooped up inside your home? You might have cabin fever!

Lucky for you, we’ve got a few methods to fight off the winter doldrums in the event you find yourself hopelessly home bound:

Get outside.
It’s that simple: Take a walk, build a snowman, go for a run or sit on the porch. Exposure to sunlight (as little as 15 minutes a day) will boost your levels of Vitamin D and protect against seasonal mood changes.

Boost your mood with food.
Cabin fever can lead to winter doldrums. Keep your spirits high by eating foods that contain high levels of the amino acid Tryptophan, which our bodies convert to serotonin—a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Examples include:

  • spinach
  • bananas
  • tofu
  • cottage cheese
  • turkey
  • sunflower seeds

Cheer up your environment.
Add bright colors throughout your home in the form of curtains, pillows, throws and soft furnishings—or even a brightly colored, soft sheet for your bed. Use a scent diffuser to make your home smell of lavender, peppermint or jasmine—essential oils considered to be uplifting. Try growing an indoor plant; it can also help to relieve tension, anxiety and depression while getting rid of stale indoor air in the process.

Battle the boredom.
Stave off the boredom often associated with cabin fever by engaging in a time-consuming activity. Pick up an old hobby or choose a new craft to learn, play a board game with the kids, read a book, organize the basement or cook a three-course meal. The hours will pass quickly, and you may find yourself relaxing in the process.

The feeling of isolation can be a major contributor to cabin fever. Host a tea party, lunch or dinner with family or friends. Catching up, talking and laughing with company may be the best remedy for what ails you.

Sometimes, the steps you take to fight off cabin fever may not be enough to shake those winter doldrums. In this event, contact a health professional to discuss additional courses of treatment.