The winter of 2013/2014 has been a long one for many people across the country.  Relentless cold temperatures, ice storms in the south, snow storms in the east and Midwest and the dreaded “Polar Vortex” have all contributed to the feeling that spring will never arrive!

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It’s not unusual for many people, this time of year, to feel the effects of “Cabin Fever” but fortunately there are some steps you can take that may help while waiting for spring to arrive:

  • Try to spend some time outdoors.  The temperature may be cold but with proper clothing and gear winter activities like sledding, skiing, skating or just taking a walk can be enjoyed. Just getting yourself outside can have a positive effect on your mood.
  • Get as much sunshine as you can.  Open curtains and blinds, work near a window or take a quick walk. Lack of sunshine can cause chemical imbalances in the human brain that may contribute to depression.  If you live in a place with little or no sunshine consider purchasing a lamp that mimics sunlight.  These are used for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder and are very effective in making the body believe it has been exposed to sunlight.
  • Maintain contact with friends and family.  Isolation is one of the contributing factors of cabin fever.  Socialize with people, go to the store or out to eat.  Having another person or people to talk to can keep you from feeling lonely.
  • Spend time pursuing hobbies or interests.  Having something that requires focus or concentration enables you to keep your thoughts from dwelling on feelings of isolation or loneliness.  You may even accomplish some of those tasks you’ve been putting off.
  • If you have the means it may be helpful to take a vacation to a warmer climate.  Getting out of your surroundings may provide much needed relief.
  • Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Eat nutritious foods and be sure to get enough exercise and rest.
  • Take part in structured activities such as book clubs, exercise classes, etc.  These allow you to socialize and focus your attention, while also giving you something to look forward to.

Winter can be long, cold and difficult to endure but with the right attitude and some of the preceding suggestions spring won’t seem so far away.

For more information and tips on enduring frigid winter temperatures, contact the behavioral health or work/life experts at eni.