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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

What is ‘cabin fever’, and why should you fight it?

For long, the concept of cabin fever has been associated with long spells of isolation. Right now, the entire world is experiencing something similar.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2020 9:10:16 am
The Shining, cabin fever, what is cabin fever, how to fight cabin fever, cabin fever while in quarantine, indian express, indian express news A still from the 1980 film The Shining.

Most people think of the 1980 Stanley Kubrick psychological horror film ‘The Shining‘, when they hear the words ‘cabin fever’. A family of three, tasked with taking care of a palatial hotel for the winter get stuck inside when there’s heavy snowfall — leading to madness and murder.

For long, the concept of cabin fever has been associated with long spells of isolation. Right now, the entire world is experiencing something similar; families have hunkered down during a pandemic, so as to keep safe. And, an extended period of home stay and inactivity can be a nightmare-like experience. It can cause frustration, anxiety and sleeplessness. But, cabin fever can and should be tackled. Here are some things you can do; read on.

Use technology

Unlike in The Shining, you do not have to depend on a typewriter to get work done. Use streaming websites, podcasts, video conferencing to stay abreast and connected with the rest of the world. Every few days, connect with distant family members and friends via a video call.

If you are away from your significant other, you can decide on a movie and watch it together, real time. It can be your ‘movie date’. Also, since most of the people are working from home, they can stay connected with colleagues and work buddies. The key is to use technology as a way to communicate with people.

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Dress up

No, no one will think you are losing your mind. Dressing up can instantly put you in a different and happy mood. Science says that just the act of getting ready can shift gears in your head and make you feel excited, like you have something to look forward to. Also, when you do not take care of your appearance, you feel more negative than usual. So, this may be a good idea after all. Get up from the bed, take those comfy pants off and wear your favourite dress, even if it is for a little while.

Change the home set-up

A boring-looking room can make you feel worse as you stay in quarantine. To prevent yourself from spiralling, you can change the set-up of the room and make it slightly different, more interesting perhaps. Albeit a simple project, it can make a huge difference. It can make you feel as if you are in a different place, a different arrangement.

The Shining, cabin fever, what is cabin fever, how to fight cabin fever, cabin fever while in quarantine, indian express, indian express news A prolonged period of staying in can lead to frustration, boredom, anxiety, and sleeplessness. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Get moving

Not outside, of course, but you need to move around a bit. You must not stay glued to the bed at all times. Physical activities like yoga, indoor exercises, stretching exercises can keep you in good mental health, too. It has already been established that physical fitness is necessary for sound mental health.

Keep the brain active

Read books, watch the television, stay inquisitive. In fact, you can also engage in some mind puzzles so that you put your brain to use. This holds good for people who are working from home, too. When you are done with the day’s activities, do some other mental exercise that you find challenging. This can include indoor games, and card and board games, too.

ALSO READ | This quarantine period, make these healthy changes to your house

Find a hobby

Everyone has a hobby; if you don’t, it is time to pick one up now. You can learn to play a new instrument, make paintings, a new dance form, or absolutely anything else that can keep your mind off the dreary happenings.

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