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.

Stay Clean. 
I know in the wintertime when it’s super cold outside and chilly inside, I certainly do not feel like getting a shower and enduring those awful moments between getting out of the hot shower and being dry enough to get dressed, so I would go the absolute longest I could between. But, staying clean and smelling nice is one of the easiest ways to remain cheery and confident and you’ll choose to wear a hat because it’s cute, not because your hair is greasy. 
BEST TIP: Make/buy an oil-based sugar scrub to use in the shower. I discovered that in addition to helping with dry skin, the oil that remains after using the scrub acts like an in-shower lotion and helps to dry my skin faster so I can get dressed quicker. I always skip moisturizing after a shower in the winter just because I’m so cold, but the scrub takes care of that! I am very blessed to have a friend who makes amaaaazing smelling natural body scrubs! They make me excited to shower, lol, which helps with the doldrums. 😉 
Stay Sunned. 
Most people do not get enough sunshine in the winter to keep their vitamin D levels up. You might consider taking a supplement to give your body what it needs. Our family’s favorite brand is this one: Liquid Vitamin D 3 from Seeking Health. Recommend range is 50-70 ng/ml, (it’s a blood test). Last year about this time I was tested and my levels were around 12, which would help explain the fatigue I was feeling. I took those drops off and on the past year and was retested and my levels are now around 60! So, that’s cool.
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! 
Stay Tidy.
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. 🙂

Stay Hydrated.
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.

Stay Moisturized.
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.

Stay Groomed.
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. 🙂

Stay Healthy.
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? 

27 thoughts on “How To | Cure Cabin Fever”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I get "cabin fever" every year about 2 weeks after autumn ends. =P I tend to forget showers, shaving, etc. in winter too. hehehe… Drinking enough water is also something I struggle with, but something I find helps me is to get a large water bottle full of water every morning, and just keep it with me throughout the day. It helps me to remember to stay hydrated. Then, as it runs low, I just refill it. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this! =)


  2. I am suffering from cabin fever for sure!! Thanks for the tips, I like the idea of cleaning and organizing. And hand cream is important for chapped/cracked hands. 🙂 The only thing I have to add to the list would be baking a with a new recipe or preparing/cooking something warm and yummy, because it can change up things a bit – it boosts your mood, engages your creativity and uses your restless energy for something good and productive – and as a reward you get to eat it afterwards! 🙂

  3. Love it, Olivia! Living in Oregon, our winters include very strong winds, heavy rain storms and a lot of cold cold weather! These tips sound awesome, and I can't wait to start using 'em. Thank you for another awesome post!

    Ashley B.

  4. amen! I agree-just because its winter and we're not "out and about" as much doesn't mean we should just quit taking care of ourselves while we are home more! these are some great thoughts!

  5. I really enjoyed this post! Especially the Stay Healthy part. I'm always interested in seeing what other people eat/do to stay healthy!

    This will come in handy as it is snowing here right now! So far we're up to about 8 inches!

  6. Great article. I can certainly empathize with you on being single on Valentine's Day. I'm not anymore, but I didn't get a single present from a special person the whole time I was single. It can get kind of boring. However, instead of thinking of that, think of all the lonely people that won't get anything either. You have family and friends you can be with, what about old people in nursing homes? Single people far away from family and friends, or those that just don't have anyone? Can you get a group of your friends together and do something special for them? I found a great list of things a person can do on Valentine's Day that has nothing to do with having a sweetheart. There are 20 different things to do; basically random acts of kindness. For example a few things are making Valentine's and handing them out at a nursing home, delivering Valentine's treats to elderly neighbors, taking Valentine's sweets/treats to a local police/fire/rescue department, donate toys or books to kids in need, cook dinner and deliver to family/friends, make Dad's favorite dinner, deliver Valentine's treats to your doctor/vet office, leave a Valentine in the mailbox for the mailman. I'm sure there are many things that you can think of. Sure I have my own sweetheart now (husband of 17+ years), but I'm trying to teach my children that Valentine's isn't just for sweethearts; that they can show love to everyone. I'm hoping to do at least one of these with my kids this year. We may even squeeze in more than one. Anyway, it's not a lecture, just thought I would share an idea.

  7. I second the oregano oil, except also it is GREAT for warding off stomach bugs!!! Whenever I have a stomach ache I take about 1/3 of a dropper (put it in the very back of your throat and it's not near as bad) and I INSTANTLY (no exaggeration) feel much much better! We haven't had the stomach bug go through our family for YEARS since we started doing this!

  8. Cabin Fever? The best cure for that is school. ( I am in college) You are so stressed out over trying to meet deadlines, that you don't have time to think about how gloomy the weather is or anything else. Haha 😉

    1. I'll second that. I'm too busy in anatomy to worry about cabin fever (though this cold snap is making me a little crazy.)

  9. I've definitely been feeling winter wearing on me. I thought we were getting closer to spring and then it dumped two feet of snow. These are some great ideas! I'll have to try them out.

  10. I SO agree with all these tips, as well as I am learning from them! Thanks so much for not only the encouragement to keep on with what I'm doing this season, but to try some other things too. I think it will really help with the frequent cabin fever I've been experiencing lately (aren't we all?) especially with being snowed in all the time in the Northeast this time of year.

  11. I totally agree with you! It can be so easy to get discouraged this time of year. How funny, my family also uses oregano oil and we make a vitamin C drink out of ascorbic acid. That is a great idea about putting oregano oil in a capsule. Never thought to do that! My dad is the one in our family who always uses oregano oil and he usually just puts it down our throat which a lot of times leads to hacking+choking+coughing= awkward.:)

    Oh and I love your top picture BTW. Very artistic.:)

  12. Great article. The leg shaving part gave me a chuckle, though. One of the things that I love about winter is not having to shave my legs, since nobody's seeing them anyway!

  13. We all suffer. It's so cold that I have to wear leggings or tights and I hardly ever brush my hair unless it's REALLY bad. My hair is so fine that even brushing with water makes it staticky. I try to eat healthy, although a snitch of chocolate or two is a fault. LOL! I just do what I feel like for the moment.

  14. These are great! The other day I completely tore my room apart and reorganized it. I couldn't take it anymore.
    I play music constantly to keep my attitude upbeat.

    I wrote a newspaper for my family when I was 11. Oh, the spelling mistakes I made.

  15. Great article! Thanks for the tips. . . I told my mom about the oregano oil and she said you should be really careful and take it in a pill form as the oil could burn the tissue in you throat. Just a helpful tip!

  16. Thank you for this post! Simple things make all the difference. When north Texas had that bad ice storm and we all were trapped at home, I had to wear big sweaters with pajama pants under multiple skirts to keep warm, but I made sure to wear a necklace and fix my hair nicely. (Later I was really glad I did, because my mom took our family Christmas picture outside in the ice!) Actually, at any time of the year, when I fix my hair, instead of leaving it in the braid I slept in, I get an instant boost.

  17. I love being home… With that being said, with all the snow we've been getting here in upstate NY, I felt I was going stir batty! Thankfully, yesterday, with no kids in tow for a change, I went out and just browsed in local antique stores. It fills the bill of yard sales till they start back up in May;) About this time of year my mom always says to me, "I sure could go for a good yard sale about now!" Guess I got it from her:) Loved this post!

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