Cabin fever is gross. You’re squirrely, you want to go outside, you feel fat. In my case, I feel like I’m suffocating because I haven’t let fresh air into my apartment since December.
Even though March is right around the corner, and with that, hopefully spring, it’s hard to keep faith when you wake up to temperatures like this:
I posted this on my Instagram account this morning. When will we get better temps? Maybe in four to five weeks.
But who’s counting?
What can you do to battle dreariness of cabin fever?
- Go outside anyway. If you’re living in a region where you wake up to this for four months out of the year, then you’re used to it. Get dressed, bundle up, and take a walk. Get some air, appreciate the snow, if you can. Remember how hot it will be in August. Throw out some seed for the birds, buy some peanuts and feed the squirrels still making the best of it. I took a walk the other day when temperatures were above 0, and it was nice.
- If you don’t want to go to outside, at least go out. Grab coffee with a friend, or let your kids run around the mall (if you have a decent sized one). Find a coffee shop and do some writing. Getting out, even if it’s cold, is better than staying inside and eating your way through a bag of Doritos.
- Speaking of junk food, eat better. Right now our produce is slowly starting to return to normal prices (Six dollars for a pint of strawberries? You gotta be out of your mind!) and fruit is starting to taste like fruit. Summer bodies are made in the winter. Start now, eat better, maybe go to the gym if you have a membership. I have a Planet Fitness not two blocks from me, but I don’t have a membership. I prefer to go outside when I can, but this prevents me from being able to workout regularly. I should buy a membership–it’s not like I don’t have podcasts to listen to while I’m on a treadmill. And ration out those Girl Scout cookies you bought last week from the girl down the street. Yes. I’m looking at you.
- Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a shower. Look, I get it. This time of year is horrible. I suffered from depression for a long time. With the issues I’ve had this winter, it’s easy for those feelings to come back. I’ve had surgery, I’ve dealt with a sick cat (cleaning up after her, and paying for the vet was HARD AND STRESSFUL), I have car problems. My husband isn’t around anymore (okay, that’s more of a plus, but still) and I’m alone, taking care of my two kids. My daughter’s school has been closed due to severe cold and blizzards and has had late starts, too, and both have interfered with my work schedule. All the snow this year has made me need to shovel more than ever before–Note to self: Never have carpal tunnel surgery in the winter. And yes, that has made me down. The lack of sun, the lack of fresh air, sometimes you just wanna cry. Cry–in the shower. Get dressed. Getting dressed can make a world of difference. Put some makeup on. I’m not talking about real depression here. If you need real help, then go get it. Thinking about hurting yourself is NEVER okay. Seasonal depression, cabin fever, situational depression, a down feeling you can have but will go away, that’s what I’m talking about.
I have really bad situational/seasonal depression right now. But things will perk up. I just have to push through until they do.
- Never underestimate the power of family. Spending time with your family can help. If you’re feeling down, the first thought is always to distance yourself. If you have family around you, spend time with them. I just scheduled a dinner and movie night with my sister. It might be -10 below by the time the movie is over and even after its 3rd car appointment tomorrow morning, my car may still be leaking oil, but I’m getting out there.
- Make progress in some way. Keep chipping away at your work in progress. If you have a different hobby, work on that. Schedule little goals for yourself and don’t forget to reward yourself for doing them.
- Help someone on a deadline. If you can beta read, or grab and ARC for a review, maybe that can help keep you accountable. Someone else is counting on you. I just took an editing job. She needs me to get it done–and I will.
- Take your vitamins. I’m not a doctor, and anyone who takes meds needs to consult theirs before adding anything to their daily routine. I take adult gummies. The B vitamins lift my mood and the Vitamin D probably helps too.
All you can do is tough it out. Spring will come, in some parts of the world sooner than others. In Northern Minnesota, we probably won’t see a true rise in temperatures until early April. But I have a few things to look forward to between now and then, namely a new book release that I am anticipating very much. I’m also doing busy work with putting my books wide. I’m trying to stay busy, and I hope that it works.
Find some things to brighten your spirits. Even if it’s just buying a new winter coat for next year–they’re all on clearance right now, right? Just avoid the new display of swimsuits, because nothing will make you feel worse than trying one of those torture contraptions on.
If you suffer from depression, seasonal or otherwise, please get help. If you’re reading this, please know I care about you and want you to take care of yourself!
If anyone needs:
The depression hotline number is 1-866-233-3459. They have a website that includes other resources, and you can find it here: https://www.psychguides.com/guides/depression-hotline/
The suicide prevention hotline number is: 1-800-273-8255 and their website is
Hang in there!
Let me know what you do to combat the cold and crazy cabin fever!
I’m still working my way through my series . . . .