Talkeetna: (907) 733-2273 ~ Willow: (907) 495-4100 ~ Wasilla: (907) 376-2273

You might also be interested in these:

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Anyone can have stress reactions after traumatic events like violence, war or combat, natural disaster, or assault. If these reactions don't go away with time and interfere with your daily activities, you may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  ...

Sometimes Life is Hard – Take Time to Check In With Yourself

Sometimes Life is Hard – Take Time to Check In With Yourself

It’s okay to not be okay. Let’s face it, life is hard. Life in 2020 was extra hard. A global pandemic, civil unrest, and an economic recession. Our country has experienced all of these things before, just… not all at once. One thing we can be grateful for is that we...

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by too much unrealistic anxiety about the aspects of life such as social relationships, financial matters, work issues, etc. Interestingly, panic attacks are not associated with GAD. You may not even recognize that...

5 Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

5 Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

Many factors push a person to end their life but most individuals who consider suicide do not want to die. They just do not know how to cope with the stress and pain they are going through. If you are carrying a heavy burden on your shoulders but don't know how to...

How do I choose a therapist or counselor?

How do I choose a therapist or counselor?

It is important to find a behavioral health provider that you feel comfortable with. Therapy isn't an easy process and if you don't feel comfortable or that you can trust your provider, you might choose to withhold information or even lie making it very difficult to...

How to Get Through a Spell of Cabin Fever?

For Alaskans, the term ‘cabin fever’ is nothing new. Living in the cold, dark, winter months seem pretty normal for us. While some manage to stay busy with activities for the winter others may struggle with anxiety and seasonal affective disorder caused by this season. In addition, COVID-19 restrictions may heighten your anxiety and stress, and thereby ‘cabin fever.’ Noticing signs early can help to minimize the severity and duration. Below are symptoms to watch for:

Symptoms

-Significant decrease in motivation
-Difficulty waking up or getting out of bed
– Increased food cravings, or binge eating
– Feeling hopeless
– being highly impatient
– Feeling extremely sad or depressed
– Having a hard time focusing or concentrating

Although these are the common signs of cabin fever, not everyone will experience the same symptoms; however, many people do report feelings of restlessness and irritability.

What causes Cabin Fever?

Human connection makes daily living more manageable. It helps us to function better when we do connect with others but our usual gatherings, office settings, and social arrangements are all out-of-whack since the COVID-19 pandemic broke. Many people aren’t getting a healthy volume of social interactions.

Self-isolation and limiting activities have become normal practice these days to avoid the spread of infection. Combine this with our cold, dark, winter months, and even more distance from one another is created and contributes to the ‘cabin fever’ feeling.

How to cope with cabin fever?

Pay attention to your symptoms. Recognizing when symptoms last longer than usual can help you act quicker and get help. Mild symptoms of cabin fever can often be overcome by simply taking action with a few of the steps below to feel better. However, if your symptoms are more severe, it is ok to ask for help from a medical professional.

Here are some ways you can beat cabin fever:

1. Go Outdoors.

Daylight hours are getting longer and the sun is lifting higher in the sky by the day. Go out and expose yourself to the sun. With social distancing in mind, going out for daily walks, a jog or ski can lift your mood. This will help you boost your immunity but also help regulate your body’s natural cycles. Twenty to sixty minutes is best but, if the weather doesn’t allow it, even short 5-minute stints are good for your mental wellbeing. A short walk around your yard or neighborhood is better than not going out at all. When your able to enjoy longer excursions, visit the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation website for options near you: https://matsutrails.org/

Alternatively, just get close to a window, open the curtains, and start moving your body. Doing a home workout by the window for 10-15 minutes can do you good as well.

2. Follow a Normal Eating Pattern and Maintain it.

Being cooped up indoors with nothing to do can increase your tendency to overindulge in junk food or skip meals altogether, causing a dip in energy levels. Maintain a properly balanced diet, drink lots of water, and limit fatty and sugary foods to improve your mood, energy levels and even keep you motivated. Mixing it up with regular exercise, for a better outlook and to keep you in shape.

3. Set Goals

Staying at home for the season or the past couple of months can make it hard to track time and accomplish tasks on time. Set weekly achievable goals to focus your attention on the right things. Make sure you also reward yourself for every milestone and goal met.

4. Keep Your Brain Busy

As the old saying goes, “the idle mind is the devil’s playground.” Too much idle time can be draining and demotivating. Watching TV or videos on the internet is not enough to keep your brain active. So, why don’t you challenge yourself with board games, puzzles, and reading books? Or learn a new skill like playing an instrument, learning to crochet or knit, or speak a foreign language. Here are a few options:

Giving your mind interesting tasks to work on will help prevent feelings of isolation and helplessness. Try some of these activities virtually with family or friends to increase social connections and stimulate your minds.

5. Stay Active

Regular physical activity burns pent-up energy from being indoors for too long and allows your body to release “feel-good” hormones. Remember, being ‘active’ doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out, sweaty endeavor. A few short 5-8 minute bursts of exercise activity throughout the day will give you similar results and might be easier to work into your routine.

So don’t let the cold or COVID-19 keep you from living a full life. Get up and start moving to beat cabin fever.

 

 

 

Smiling woman talking to wellness coach about motivation

Searching for a Therapist or Counselor?

Click here to meet our Behavioral Health team.

Kids seated on a bench smiling

Pediatric Care at Sunshine

Schedule a visit with and experienced family medicine doctor focused on developmental milestones, safety, nutrition and your family’s emotional well-being.

You might also be interested in these:

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Anyone can have stress reactions after traumatic events like violence, war or combat, natural disaster, or assault. If these reactions don't go away with time and interfere with your daily activities, you may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  ...

Sometimes Life is Hard – Take Time to Check In With Yourself

Sometimes Life is Hard – Take Time to Check In With Yourself

It’s okay to not be okay. Let’s face it, life is hard. Life in 2020 was extra hard. A global pandemic, civil unrest, and an economic recession. Our country has experienced all of these things before, just… not all at once. One thing we can be grateful for is that we...

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by too much unrealistic anxiety about the aspects of life such as social relationships, financial matters, work issues, etc. Interestingly, panic attacks are not associated with GAD. You may not even recognize that...

5 Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

5 Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

Many factors push a person to end their life but most individuals who consider suicide do not want to die. They just do not know how to cope with the stress and pain they are going through. If you are carrying a heavy burden on your shoulders but don't know how to...

How do I choose a therapist or counselor?

How do I choose a therapist or counselor?

It is important to find a behavioral health provider that you feel comfortable with. Therapy isn't an easy process and if you don't feel comfortable or that you can trust your provider, you might choose to withhold information or even lie making it very difficult to...