Symptoms of cabin fever include: restlessness, irritability, boredom. hopelessness, impatience, anxiety, and intolerance. If you live in Dallas (or surrounding areas) and did not experience these emotions over the last few days, then you are a much stronger woman than I am. When you put a household of people (big and little) together with these same feelings, you could be in for a long day or four.
The first couple days of “icemageddon” were quite nice for my crew and me. I had stocked the fridge, including a few treats. I bought a new board game, holiday movie, and holiday crafts. I was ready to embrace a day or two with my family during this busy time of year when we are always on the go.
However, as much fun as we had making ornaments and gingerbread houses, it was clear we were all starting to get a little cabin fever after a couple of days. Tantrums started to occur (and not just from the kids) quite frequently. When the enjoyment of togetherness started to turn to displeasure, and it was clear the ice was overstaying its welcome, I knew I had to mix things up a bit. Here are five things that saved our sanity while stuck at home.
- Embrace the mess. Trying to constantly keep the house clean and organized was definitely a catalyst for my irritability. After catching myself raise my voice more than I would like to admit, I just stopped. I just let the kids play and not pick up immediately. I let my husband spread his work papers all over my freshly decorated dining room table (because I had already taken over the office). I just let it go, and the overall mood throughout the house was immediately improved.
- Make up new games. We went bowling inside with plastic cups as pins and rolled up socks as the ball and played hopscotch in the kitchen after making the course with tape. My favorite was playing treasure hunt with flashlights. I would hide one treasure (toy of child’s choice) somewhere in the playroom. The kids had to find it using only flashlights and clues given every three minutes (which is like an eternity for three-year olds). The kids loved it and I got some time to just chat with my husband.
- Go outside. We went outside every day, if only for 10 minutes. Even that short amount of time made a huge difference in my kids’ attitude. At the very least, you can stand on the porch and breathe in some fresh air. I’ve done this on rainy days too. Just dress appropriately and be safe!
- Socialize. Face time or skype with friends and family. You can even play a game or share a meal via the computer. Making cards or writing letters can also be fun. My kids were more willing to sit and color pictures for family that we put into envelopes than they were when I asked them to just sit and color.
- Make the most of your evening. Once the littles go to bed, have a date night at home, or catch up on your favorite tv shows, read a book, magazine, blog, etc. Whatever you can do (once you follow the first tip) to relax and enjoy some time for yourself will really benefit everyone in the house.
Hopefully we will not see another ice storm like the one that just hit, but hopefully these tips will be useful if you find yourself stuck at home for one reason or another.
Do you have any special tips or tricks to overcome cabin fever?