Hey y’all! I don’t know about you, but by about the beginning of February every year I start getting kind of restless. It’s cold, and dark, and pretty monotonous. New Year’s resolutions have been forgotten, Valentine’s Day doesn’t hold much excitement for us single girls, spring seems like forever away, and everything is muddy from weather that won’t make up it’s mind. Although I now live in the South where we have days of warmth and sunshine punctuating the frigid temperatures, I spent the first 17 winters of my life in the bleak North and I would get very discouraged.
I’ve found myself slipping into what our family calls “Cabin Fever” referencing the Muppet Treasure Island song :p even now during this cold snap that seems to be affecting a lot of the country. That feeling of bleh and meh and erg and zerg. Staying in sweat pants and just shoving stuff under your bed, eating candy and catching colds, watching too many movies and not doing enough school– these are all symptoms of the winter blues. It’s much easier for me to get over this now that I have a few tricks up my sleeve, so I thought I’d share them with y’all.
And, as much as possible, get outside! I know it’s cold, but let the sun shine on your face and let your eyes take in natural light. If you’re in the car with the heat on, roll up your sleeves and let the sun hit your skin! On the days that it’s nice out, make time to go out for a walk. Open the curtains. Get some sunshine in your blood– Vitamin D has a huge effect on your mood!
Isn’t it so much easier to be happier when your surroundings are clean? There are a lot of studies that show that clutter can reduce your rate of productivity. In the doldrums of the winter months, I usually take on a reorganizing project or two to restore order in my environment. I make sure I dust, change the sheets more frequently, and scrub the kitchen cabinets, etc; especially things that keep the cooped up air circulating and fresh. I’m hoping to start using essential oil linen sprays soon to give a lovely scent to our home. When you’re sitting around doing school or being sick, it’s always so much nicer to have a dust-free environment. When things are in disarray, it can cause some feelings of restlessness, which is no fun. 🙂
When you’re not out in the hot sun, it might not occur to you to drink a lot of water. But, this is a huge factor in how healthy and pleasant the winter can be for you. Indoor heat sucks the moisture out of your skin and the best way to combat that is to replenish it with lots and lots of water. Not just lots of hot drinks, as is my tendency, but with good ol’ plain water, with maybe a hint of lemon. Online sources suggest the formula: 0.5oz X your body weight = daily intake. So, for me that would be 56oz/day, which is seven 8oz glasses of water. Certainly something to strive for. I know my headaches and fatigue are less when I am drinking a lot.
The harsh cold weather is sometimes too brutal to replenish your skin even if you’re drinking enough. So, using a lotion regularly is a really, really good idea. I know a lot of people who get cracking knuckles and skin in the wintertime and that’s really no fun. Best way to combat that is to more heavily moisturize starting when the weather gets chilly. I keep hand cream in my purse and apply every time I get in the car. I try to put it on before bed and after showers and doing dishes and about to sit down and type. Basically, often. Don’t forget your legs and feet! You are much less likely to want to shave if your legs are super dry and painful. And and and! Your face. You’ve got to protect and fight against the toll that cold takes on your poor nose and cheeks. I’ve been using The Healthy Farm Girl’s Vanilla Spice Facial Cream this winter and my face feels better than summertime.
You may not be going out of the house for a week or showing your legs for months, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush your hair or shave. One of the best ways to ensure you stay feeling fresh, confident, and nice is to keep your legs shaved. Keep your eyebrows plucked. Your nails filed. Your toenails painted. I know I’ve let all of these things go in the winter before because I didn’t feel like it was worth it when I was stuck at home from the snow, or a sickness, or my school schedule. But, I’ve come to realize that I feel so much better if I take care of myself in these ways. It seems silly to have to say it, but I think y’all know what I’m talking about. 🙂
Wintertime is notorious for it’s colds, flus, and other various maladies. Eating healthy foods, avoiding sugar when your immune system could be compromised, and fortifying your body is so important to a happy, content, productive season. Thus far I haven’t suffered more than a 5-hour runny nose, so I thought I’d pass along some of the most-effective immune-boosting tools in my arsenal. Vitamin C, which we make using ascorbic acid and baking soda, is very powerful and a great way to just generally improve your immune system. You can take it to bowel tolerance and you really can’t overdose. Some people can only handle 1,000 mg and others (like me) can take 20,000 mg with no problem, so that’s one you’ll have to figure out yourself. (TMI?)
If I have a tickle in my throat or am feeling that pre-cold fatigue, I take oregano oil. It’s powerful stuff, so the best way to take it is to encapsulate it in a gel pill. However, until a little while ago I didn’t have the pills to fill, so I would just squeeze a dropperful into my throat and immediately drink something and eat a carrot. It’s like a burning totally out of control pizza party in your mouth, just warning you. BUT, it is THE most effective immune booster I have personally experienced. I’ve never gotten a cold/flu after taking it and it gets rid of a cold within a day if I do have one. While traveling last spring, I felt a cold coming on and asked a mom if she had any oregano oil. She did, but it didn’t have an eyedropper tip, just like a normal essential oil top. So, I dripped it onto a fried potato piece and swallowed that. Nastiest thing ever, but I stayed healthy even though I was surrounded by sick people and eating a lot of junky food.
And then there’s other stuff like colloidal silver which people swear by. I haven’t studied up on it yet, but my mom has us taking it and it seems to lessen the severity of sicknesses. If you think you’ve caught a stomach flu or food poisoning, activated charcoal is king. For I’ve-eaten-too-much-junkfood stomach aches, chicken bone broth is my first thought. These are my first lines of defense and they seem to work for me! Of course, getting enough sleep is also so important for your immune system and general healthiness. It’s no fun to be sick.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these few tips on how I cure cabin fever. 🙂 Sorta silly, sorta serious, sorta “in your head”, but whatever helps, right? When I was a young teenager, my friends and I published a magazine for young ladies called “Training To Be At Home” every other month. For one of our first issues, I wrote a “Cures for Cabin Fever” article and I just found it again after thinking I had totally lost it! You can click on the picture below to read it and laugh. 😛
Do you suffer from Cabin Fever? Have any tips for those of us who do?