Cabin Fever and Its Cure


Many people have been stuck inside all day for many days.

Many people and their children have been stuck  inside all day for many days.



too bored to moveThe symptoms can look like a dread disease and fool even the wisest of moms:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

It’s enough to make a mom lay a hand on the forehead or neck of a child and check for fever, but in the case of cabin fever, there is no fever.

I know.

That’s because the cause is not a germ or virus, but just a lack of exercise, whether physical or mental or spiritual.

However, there is a cure. Yay!

So here’s how you cure spirit, mind, and body:

Be thankful. You can make it fun:

  • Make a box with a slot in the top and decorate it. Write things you are thankful for in the box, all day long, or as a ritual every morning, and slip them into the box. OR
  • Write your “thankful things” on long strips of brightly-colored paper and use the strips to make a paper chain you hang all around your living room.
  • Hide little prizes (wrapped cookie, quarter, or small toy such as a ball, nail decal sheet, etc.) in messy places and teach them to clean the place a bit and find the prizes, for which they then say, “I’m so thankful I cleaned under my bed (in the toy box, on the shelf, in the dresser drawer, etc.) because I found this prize! Thanks, Mom!”

paper snowflakesPlay games. Games can be themed on the snow days:

  • Have a picnic in the hot sun. Place a blanket and sun umbrella on the floor and turn on many lights, even a heat lamp or sun lamp, if you have them (be careful!), and even use a fan for a slight breeze. Play sunshiny music. Fix regular picnic food, whatever that means for you all. Have a picnic!
  • Cut out really huge paper snowflakes by folding shiny wrapping paper into a six-sided wedge shape (you know, as for doilies, tutorial links below) and cutting out large chunks of it to leave a lacy snowflake design when unfolded. Or do small ones as in this photo, and pin to sheer curtains or tape to windows, etc.
  • Build marshmallow snowmen using peanut butter for glue. Build marshmallow snow forts. Have marshmallow-blowing contests across the top of the kitchen table, etc.

Exercise. Good mental and emotional health depends on good bodily health and exercise is often the missing ingredient when children are cooped up and acting “feverish”. You’ll have to lead a bit more in this one, but:

  • Flip through all the ring tones available on your cell phone and dance or march to the music.
  • Race each other at cleaning a personal space with a prize to the winner. This rewards those who keep the personal spaces tidy to begin with.
  • Rearrange the house. Make them help. Try moving the couch or the bed to another side or in the middle. Also discuss why you like or don’t like the changes. Rearrange it back if you don’t like it.

Pretend. If you have lights and water, etc., try pretending you don’t. This will REALLY lengthen your paper chain, above. Pretend you have to:

  • Use a candle or flashlight in every dark place; don’t turn on the lights when it gets dark, just for one evening.
  • Heat water for washing dishes on the stove and wash them by hand, for one day.
  • Carry water from an outdoor spigot to flush the toilet, for a day. The rules are: after you use the toilet, you have to fetch a bucket of water for the next person. No excuses.

Last, but not least, get some sun and fresh air. Require they go outdoors at least for fifteen minutes and expose face and hands to the sun. It will do wonders. Explain how they need the sun on their skin to feel healthy and how much this will help with their sluggish feelings.  Then prepare to be amazed.

Okay. I hope I got your day going. Just think: Spring is right around the corner. Yay!


Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

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