Coronavirus Cabin Fever: How To Keep Your Sanity

Alexis Dent
April 5, 2020

With health officials and government agencies placing mandates on what people and businesses can do during the coronavirus outbreak, many people are beginning to experience cabin fever. After all, when you’re stuck inside with little to do and no one to talk to, whether as a result of social distancing or quarantining, it can become incredibly boring. However, there is no need to go stir crazy. Here are a few tips for keeping your sanity while experiencing coronavirus cabin fever.

cabin fever

Practice Self-Care

As you read through this list, you’ll find that many of the recommendations should be adhered to all of the time and not just during a global pandemic. The first of these recommendations is to practice self-care, which will help you stay positive and happy as the pandemic continues.

Self-care looks different for everyone. If you haven’t practiced self-care in the past, you may want to start exploring what exactly you can do to feel calmer and at ease. Perhaps you can prepare your favorite meal, take a bubble bath or hot shower, light your most delightful scented candle, reread your favorite book, or binge-watch hilarious TV shows or movies. You can even do every one of these things if that’s what you desire. There are so many possibilities for self-care; you simply have to find the types of care that work best for you.

Catch Up with Someone You Haven’t Spoken to in a While

You’re not alone in the uncertainty and frustration you may be experiencing during this outbreak. This is a time when many people are fearful, but we can turn this fear into love. Use the coronavirus, and its corresponding cabin fever, to be the driving force for you to reconnect with someone with whom you’ve inadvertently lost contact. You can also use this time to catch up with someone you simply haven’t spoken to in a while as a result of the hustle and bustle of life. Let these people know just how much you care, and use this opportunity to slow down and acknowledge the importance of nurturing your relationships.

Do a Social Media Detox

While social media provides us with so many benefits, like with anything else in life, it also has its downsides. Two of the major downsides of social media are content overload and the amplification of the 24-hour news cycle. Instead of leaning into the social media frenzy talking about the coronavirus, focus your social interaction on those who you really care for and would like to keep in touch with during this uncertain time. Take those conversations off of social media, and use calling and texting as a way to personally connect with the people you love.

A social media detox can be a full detox from all forms of social media, it could be a detox from just one platform, or it could be detoxing by blocking certain words and accounts from your feed; thus ensuring you won’t be triggered any further as you fight cabin fever. Going on social media less is a good thing, and you will likely find that you are happier and more productive without it.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising is always a good idea, but it is especially recommended and beneficial when you’re bored and stressed. Even the most avid gym-goers who love doing their workouts with machines and weights can find that there are effective workouts that you can do at home. Bodyweight workouts like pushups and burpees are great ways to get your heart rate up, as well as fun cardio workouts that can be found online. If an intense workout isn’t possible given your current state of physical health, you can find great yoga and stretching videos that will provide you with guidance for light exercise and gentle ways to move your body.

Catch up on Housework

This one is boring, but it’s definitely helpful. Not only is cleaning your house great for raising spirits and productivity, it’s also something that is time-consuming that’ll keep you busy. Turn on your favorite music, or put some television on in the background, and enjoy some entertainment while you do the cleaning and organizing that you’ve been too busy to tackle. You can even find a cleaning or organization-related podcast and listen to experts tell you exactly how to make your home a more ‘zen’ place.

Pick Up a New Hobby

If you’re running out of things to do, you can always consider picking up a new hobby. Even if you’re thinking, “What hobby would I even pick up?”; there are plenty to consider. Think about what it is that you like to do, as well as what you don’t like, for that matter; and think about what hobbies you could try out. If you’re drawing a blank, you can do a Google search of fun hobbies to master at home. This could even be the time that you finally learn a second language. There are so many possibilities to better yourself (and have fun in the process) while you’re cooped up inside.

Seek Professional Help

Whether you’re not currently receiving counseling because of social distancing, or you don’t see a counselor at all, now is the perfect time to reach out and speak to a professional. The great thing about this day and age is that it’s easier than ever before to receive counseling by doing so online. You owe it to yourself to stay sane during this process, as well as after it is over.

It’s uncertain how long this outbreak will last and how severe the pandemic will be as a whole. Nevertheless, we can’t let the uncertainty and anxiety win. By being intentional in the way we treat ourselves and with the habits we develop during this time, we can stay sane despite the potential for indefinite isolation.

Alexis Dent

Alexis Dent is an essayist, author, and entrepreneur. Her work is primarily focused on mental illness, relationships, and pop culture. You can find her writing in the Washington Post, Greatist, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and more.