6 Tips for Beating Cabin Fever
I think I just might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter just makes me cranky! January is long and cold and my kids are anxious and cooped up and I am too. Some days (especially snow days, or when my kids are sick) I feel like my walls are caving in on me. GET ME OUTSIDE! I don't know how I live in this climate, I know I'm supposed to be a southern girl! If you're joining me in cursing out the “polar vortex,” here are a few ideas that may get you through this deep freeze of winter, and may help you more happily usher in spring.
1. Let the Sunshine In
Part of the gloom of winter can be associated with Vitamin D deficiency. Known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced as the body's response to sunlight. Vitamin D has some great health benfits for your bones, heart, and — many researchers believe — your mood! So open up your windows, let the light in, get your vitamins and feel better!
On cold winter days, soup in the crockpot to warm your insides seems to be the perfect meal choice. I totally get that. But when I'm bumming on the winter weather instead of enjoying it, I go for a little slice of summer. Nothing says summer to me like some yummy, yummy grill char! Give me grilled chicken kabobs with a fresh salad or mango salsa, and it's sure to brighten my day!
3. Build a Fire
Gain a new appreciation for the cold by sweating it out in front of the fire! Have a beach-themed night in with swimsuits and umbrella-adorned drinks and let that fireplace get HOT! You'll remember why you search out shade in the summertime and get your fill of the hot weather to last you a little while! (Getting out that swimsuit might even give you the kick you need to keep up that fitness resolution!)
4. CLEAN OUT!
Remember how good spring cleaning feels? Get a jump start on clearing out the clutter that can make you feel claustrophobic in the winter. Tackle that junk drawer, your kids' dressers, and scrub those floors! (and forget the pine cleaner, go with something fresh and summery like LEMON!) You'll work up a sweat getting to those cleaning projects that were waiting until after the holidays!
5. Use that Gym Membership
Our local YMCA not only has a fitness center, but a childcare with a kids' gym and climbing wall, a bounce house, and a pool! These are LIFE SAVERS for families and available with the cost of a family membership. The best part about it? The YMCA has a policy that no one is turned away for inability to pay! Check with your local branch about financial aid options!
6. Get out!
When all else fails, brave the elements! Sometimes you just can't look at the same four walls for one more minute. Bundle up and take your kids out to see some of their favorite summer spots — now snow covered — and let them observe some of the amazing differences. Give them an inexpensive camera to take some pictures to compare with the summer snapshots of the same places. Identify animal tracks and dig down to see what you can find under all that snow.
What do you do to battle cabin fever? Who has it worse? You or the kids? What has the mercury dipped to in your area?