Cabin Fever: 7 Ways to Keep from Going Stir Crazy

car buried in snow with tree

The car is buried and it’s still snowing!

If you are anywhere in the United States mid-Atlantic region as of the writing of this post, you’re probably stuck inside as what the forecasters are calling a snow hurricane dumps buckets of snow and wind on your area. While cabin fever is not something that I’ve ever suffered (my home is my happy place and there’s always plenty to do inside for me especially if the power stays on), I’ve known plenty of others who find being stuck in the house nearly unbearable.

So what can you do to combat cabin fever–that feeling like you need to get out of the house no matter how dangerous or ill-advised it might be?FullSizeRender (6)

Try These Strategies for Avoiding Cabin Fever

    1. Watch Television or Movies – This is a go-to for many people, but after a few hours, it can cause you to feel even more antsy as watching something is such a passive activity. Start with this one and move on to another in the list when the program you are watching stops holding your attention.
    2. Cooking or Baking – If you’re like most folks in my area, you made sure to get your bread, milk, and toilet paper before the flakes started to fly. Those are Maryland staples during a snowstorm and the empty grocery store shelves prove it. I baked my way through a cold Alaskan winter to stave off cabin fever. I became an
      Gluten Free Oatmeal Apple Crisp

      Oatmeal apple crisp ready to go in the oven.

      excellent bread baker during that time. There’s nothing quite like the smell of rising dough and freshly baked bread when you’re stuck inside. That goes for any baked goods for that matter. There’s something about those scents that make your home feel more inviting and that’ll help you feel more relaxed while you’re hunkered down inside. It doesn’t hurt to have the oven on either for that little extra bit of warmth. While I’m unable to eat the bread that I used to bake, I’m looking forward to putting a batch of my oatmeal apple crisp in the oven later. I use a slightly modified version of the linked to recipe. Not sure what to make with what you have on hand, set up a free account on Supercook and enter your ingredients. They’ll find matching recipes for you online.

    3. Cat enjoying laying on rag rug

      Murphy and his favorite rag rug.

      Crafts – Even if you’re not a crafty person, there are crafts anyone can do. Some require having materials on hand before you get snowed in, but you’d be surprised with how many you can make by repurposing things from around the house. Check out Pinterest for all kinds of crafty ideas or maybe turn those old worn out clothes, sheets, or fabric of any kind into a rag rug? This is a great way to clean out your closets AND make good use of

      Rag rug tool made with a piece of wire hanger and duct tape.

      Rag rug tool made with a piece of wire hanger and duct tape.

      clothes that are beyond repair and would end up in the trash because they’re too full of holes and stains to donate. These are my favorite rag rug making instructions because they don’t require any special equipment. Some people call this a toothbrush rug, but I made my rag rug tool out of a bent piece of wire coat hanger and duct tape.

    4. Games/Cards – If your cabin fever is more the result of someone stuck inside with you driving you batty, then how about pulling out those old board games or a deck of cards? That gets everyone playing together (hopefully nicely) and it can occupy a group of people for hours at a time. Take the time to learn a new card game. Do a web search and you can find pages of new card games. Stuck inside by yourself? There are lots of different ways to play solitaire.
    5. Finish A Home Project – Have you been meaning to finish hanging that shelf, caulking the bathroom tub, or tightening the loose knobs on the kitchen cupboards? Now’s the time.
    6. Escape in Your Mind – Is that antsy feeling creeping up inside you? Do you have to get out at all costs no matter how dangerous? Pick up a book and let your mind go somewhere else if your body can’t. Don’t have a book at hand (really???) you can download one from the library through programs like Overdrive. Check with your local library website to see if they participate. You can borrow a book and mentally travel the world without ever leaving the house.
    7. Snow Cream, Adult Style – Cabin fever still eating you up inside? Maybe you need a drink to calm your nerves. Put a twist on snow cream by boozing up this classic children’s snowstorm treat. Drunken snow cream can be made many ways. If you don’t have Irish Cream, consider Kahlua, schnapps (buttershots is nummy), cream de cacao, or amaretto. Even flavored vodka is tasty. The upside to this is if you eat enough of it, you’ll no longer give a damn about being stuck inside.

Best of luck to all of you who are trying to ride out this blizzard.

What do you do to stave off cabin fever? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!