How Social Isolation Can Become Cabin Fever
We all are used to the routinely social interactions going on in our daily lives. Even if we don’t appreciate them as much, they are vital for normal human functioning. People around us make every day a little different from the previous one. The routine that would usually eat out our brains becomes a little bearable with our friends or colleagues around us.
But when there are no people around us and it’s just us and our thoughts, above all the overthinking we can’t control, added the work load still hanging over the head, it gets really hard to think clearly and focus. This is how isolation turns into cabin fever.
Now many of the introverts might think that they can be really happy during a social isolation period but after a while, even they are fed up. It not only takes isolation from close friends and family for someone to get upset and lonely but also the strangers around us that fill up our workplace or home are a factor. Being social is an integral part of our basic human framework and if that is altered for a long period of time, and not dealt with, it might result in Cabin Fever.
Isolation during a Pandemic:
Pandemics have always rocked the whole world to its core. It’s not easy; there is an actual risk to your health if you break social isolation. When there is always depressing news on the Tv, social media, newspapers, where would you escape? And when you shut yourself out, you get Cabin fever. But on the brighter side, the world has never been this advanced and this is great to continue contacting your friends and take a new turn to be social yet safe.
What is Cabin Fever?
So when we use the word fever, do we mean an actual infection or a disease? No, it’s not like that. Though some people refer thins condition to a syndrome, while for others, it’s just a state of mind that pulls through over time.
Cabin Fever is a phase that usually happens when you’re cooped up in a building or a small living space. It doesn’t take a pandemic to get a Cabin Fever, people often feel it when they’re disconnected from the world and are feeling lonely. A series of emotions and thoughts overcome a person suffering from Cabin Fever. They feel bored and have a sensation of being choked up. This cloud of negativity surrounds them and it affects their activities.
It’s still not listed as a disease or a disorder but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. All that unexpressed stress in a person’s mind makes it really hard to think about normal and positive things in life. It destroys creativity.
Symptoms of cabin fever
Every person can have a different set of symptoms of Cabin Fever and the severity is varied too. But here are some of the most common symptoms that can pretty much point to Cabin Fever:
Some people find themselves irritated from the most minor things. Even someone breathing near them wants to scream. This feeling of frequent agitation makes you upset really easily and you start to question your temper.
People who are more used to spending their time busy and occupied have had this complaint more frequently than those who like free and leisure time. Restlessness is a very annoying feeling because you can’t really sit and relax for a while, if this gets worse, a person might have a feeling of breathlessness and suffocation.
3. Lack of focus
When you’re stuck in a closed building for so long, your mind gets stuck too. Working from home or having school from home can be a challenge. Usually, in normal times we get a break every now and then when we get out and then work again with a refreshed mind. But in this closed situation, it gets hard to concentrate even on the lightest of chores.
When your routine is not much active lately and you always want to put work or any task for later and just want to sleep or lie in bed, then you’re lethargic. Cabin fever often induces this sluggishness in people because there’s not much to actively respond to. The same room, the same building, there’s nothing to be alert about.
5. Sadness and Depression
You might find yourself always overthinking and getting sad on almost everything if Cabin fever hits you. It doesn’t take long to get lost in the countless depressing thoughts, seeing negativity on social media, and lots of spare time to think about the past. Depression is really common unless paid attention to.
6. Irregular sleeping patterns
It’s just like when you get long vacations, your sleeping routine tends to get changed and that’s not usually a good one. When you have to stay indoors all the time, you’re not usually tired and sleep late at night. Some people keep up all night even, these routines have a bad impact on mood and motivation.
How to Prevent Cabin Fever and Cope with Social Isolation
Your nature and personality has a major role in combating Cabin Fever, some people find it easy to shake off the depressing cloud around them, while some need a little help. But everything is in the mind. If you succeed in making yourself happy, then you’ve got it.
1. Don’t let your thoughts take the best of you
It’s your mind, you control it. You can turn those bad and depressing thoughts into positive ones. Think about your achievements and things that motivate you in life. Being hopeful is the key to a healthy mind because you can always pump yourself towards something great.
2. Daily dose of fresh air
It’s alright if you can’t leave your building, but you can open your window at least? You can go up to the balcony or your terrace? Breathe in the fresh morning breeze every day and look at the bright sky. There’s no way this won’t lift you up.
3. Find a way to be social
It’s so easy to communicate nowadays. Pick up the phone and you’re hallway there. Meet up with your friends and family virtually through Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom etc. and you can expand your little cooped up space.
4. Make up a healthy and FUN routine
Push back those long sleeping hours and make a nice schedule for the week. Make sure you put lots of time in there for yourself and the things that bring you joy. Include your work and your passions in one routine, you won’t be disappointed.
5. Get crafty and experiment with new things
There are countless things you can do in your alone time, all those imaginative ideas in your head that never got the time, some cooking lessons you’ve been planning on, maybe start learning a new language, redecorate and organize your living space? This can be a never ending list.
6. Spend more time doing and less thinking
Of course you can carve out a nice list of amazing things to do, but you have to start now. Don’t delay things, get them done that instant. Give yourself deadlines and accept challenges. You can reward yourself at the end with your favorite treat or an evening where you can just relax and have a nice long bath.
It’s good news that Cabin fever isn’t like any other diseases where you have to get medications etc. It’s you who can govern it. It’s you who can put an end to it. Doesn’t matter what personality you have, as long as you’re motivated, you’ve got this. So whenever a pandemic getting you low, you pick yourself right up.