Monday, January 5, 2009

Cabin Fever

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...
Jack Frost nipping at your nose...

Ah, winter. In the beginning, there is a certain amount of excitement at the change to winter--especially because it coincides with the holidays. But then in January, the winter doldrums hit. By February, parents are ready to adopt their families out. By March, moms are ready to flee for their lives. Cabin fever truly sets in.

What to do?

The expression cabin fever was coined back when families were scattered on the frontier. Winter meant isolation and darkness and bitter cold. Visitors were rare as travel was difficult. After endless days cooped up in the family cabin, some individuals went so far as to actually commit murder.

In the modern age, that's rare. But there is still a bit of cabin fever when the weather it too bad to carry on our normal activities. Children aren't as likely to go outside to play because it's dark by the time they come home from school. The temperatures drop at night making it much colder to go out to the store or mall. And suddenly, the family is suffering from cabin fever.

In these economic hard times, fewer families are going to go out to eat or shop. So there will have to be adjustments.

Try a family game night. Friday or Saturday night is good. If the kids are old enough, draw lots to see who prepares dinner and who cleans up afterwards.

Try a family movie night. Rotate who decides on the movie. Have popcorn.

Try a family craft night. Remember that perfection isn't the goal, but the joy of creativity is good. Perhaps donate the results to a shut-in or nursing home patient who hasn't any family.

Try a family dance or exercise night. Let the kids lead the routine and pick the music. Most likely, you'll definitely get your heart rate up and wear the kids out at the same time.

What about you? What do you do the combat cabin fever?



  1. These are super ideas. Although we do have better weather for getting out down south, we do have our days of feeling cooped up. Thanks!

  2. We usually struggle out and eat lunch at the Pizza Hut buffet...and when we lived closer to the Mall, we'd go walk around it. Anything to get out of the house!

    And if leaving the house was NOT an option, we'd get out the Trivial Pursuit games.

  3. I used to take the kids to the Mall. We would wait until there was no one on the escalator (travelator) then the kids would run UP the DOWN escalator - excellent exercise and they loved the "naughtiness" of it!


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