How to combat ‘Cabin Fever’ while under quarantine
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How to combat ‘Cabin Fever’ while under quarantine

Mitzi Santos

March 20, 2020


    It’s just been six days since Metro Manila then followed by the whole Luzon were put under enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

    There have been restrictions to the usual daily activities like going to work and school, going to the gym, going to the malls, and even going to events and parties. Everyone is instructed to stay at home during the whole duration of the quarantine.

    Initial discomfort due to these restrictions may cause ‘Cabin Fever.’

    According to, the origin of the term ‘Cabin Fever’ started around 1900s in the North America. It refers to someone who is in isolation in a remote area, in a cabin, or during the winter where it is necessary for someone to stay indoors for days.

    Vaile Wright, a psychologist and director of clinical research and quality at the American Psychological Association said that Cabin Fever is not like a psychological disorder. It may not be a real condition but the feelings it’s associated with are.

    Signs of Cabin Fever are having a range of negative emotions and distress related to restricted movement, irritability, boredom, hopelessness, and difficulty in concentrating.

    People who are prone to acquiring Cabin Fever are those who are more extroverted and not used to being at home. Here’s what you can do to combat Cabin Fever as illustrated by Cara Alegre (@carathedrawer)  on Instagram:

    Watch your energy

    Juggling all your tasks at home might be tiring. Watch your energy. This whole quarantine period has no space for bad vibes right now. If you are sharing your space with the rest of your family, this is very important because one irritable person can influence the 10 happy people to be irritable as well.

    Take a breather

    You can let go of that negative energy by taking a break. Do something different from what you are currently doing. You can step outside the porch, or just simply open your window and look outside. Breathe for a minute or two.

    Listen to music

    Music is a universal language and is a stress reliever. So, if you feel stressed and need to unwind, listen to music. Listen to your favorite artist, play your favorite song or any song that will make you feel happy. Music will help you ease the stress that you are currently feeling.

    Come up with a 30-day project

    If you are not working from home, what you can do is come up with something you can work on for the whole duration of the quarantine. Discover new hobbies, finish that book that has been sitting on your shelf for so long, do yoga, start watching a new series, and a whole lot of activities that can entertain you. You can even tag the rest of your family along. The more, the merrier, right?

    Find someone to talk to

    You might be quarantined but know that you can still connect with the people outside using your social media accounts. Check up on your friends, your colleagues, and relatives. It’s great to make them feel your presence once in a while. Who knows they might be going through the same thing, right?

    Be kind

    Different people have different ways of coping up with the problem. Some have high tolerance to stress while others are way more sensitive than the other. You don’t know what the other person is going through. So, more than anything else be kind and look after each other.

    Have an alone time

    With everything that is happening around us, it is just normal to feel overwhelmed after seeing the news, reading updates online and with all the adjustments. What you can do is take a step back and be alone for a while. Avoid the news and other people for a while and recharge.

    ‘Social Media’ distancing

    It’s important to be informed but sometimes all these noises can affect you emotionally and mentally. There will be rants here and there and what’s important is you take a break from social media and focus on other activities like reading a book or doing yoga.

    Look up

    Take a good look at the things you used to take for granted before like the night sky, the beautiful sunset, and even just the clear sky. Try to look up and you’ll realize that you’ve been missing the beauty of nature. The world is bigger than what you can remember.

    Take your time

    Feel things out. If you don’t feel okay, it’s normal. It’s good to acknowledge what you are feeling and take your time to be alright. Remember: it is okay not to be okay. Life’s a trip and enjoy the ride.

    During this trying time, don’t forget to look after yourself. By taking care of yourself, you will be able to function well, think clearly, and be able to perform your duty as part of your society.

    There will always be problems around you and what you can do is control your emotions and don’t let it get the best of you. You can go through it and this will soon be over.


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