Tag Archives: Cabin Fever

Going a little crazy(er)…

Not at the moment… I have too much going on to be going crazy really. Not only are we waiting for a match for the adoption, but I have a humungous pile of jobs to do in the house and the garden and then there is the whole #NaBloWriMo thing into the bargain.


However, I am aware that in some regions where this blog is read, they have had the first snowfall. I always think of getting cabin fever when I think of the first snowfall. It only happened to me once, but once is more than enough.


What is cabin fever? Well, the idiom was only coined in 1918, but the term can cover all levels of things from feeling like you want to hibernate and being a bit grouchy to having a totally claustrophobic reaction to being kept in the house and not being able to go outside.


My book of reference for this month “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor” reckons that it is probably a form of SAD, which I have written about recently. However, my own personal experience, and what my research has turned up is a definition which encompasses a much deeper and more visceral reaction to having to stay inside due to inclement weather.

cabin fever

Symptoms of cabin fever are a need to sleep more than is usual, to sort of enter a kind of hibernation state, extreme irritability, restlessness, even paranoia about the people they share a living space with, an urge to go outside regardless of the weather, just to escape. It is understandable that people might associate this with being snowed in, but my experience was in the depths of summer.


I was living in Woking at the time and had been struck down with a fever and vomiting bug. I was living on my own in a bedsit which was painted purple (I loathe purple on the walls, and especially the dirty purpley sort of colour, purely down to that place). I was cut off from everybody and everything for 3 days. By the end of that 3 days I was climbing the walls. As soon as I got out of the place though and took a walk up and down the road (because I was too weak to go far) I immediately felt better.

raking leaves

That is one of the suggestions of how to cure cabin fever. Get outside. Obviously, dress for the weather. No point going outside in shorts and a t-shirt when it is 20 below zero with a 10 degree windchill, because you are asking for trouble. And frostbite. But getting into the weather appropriate garb and getting out there to top up the Vitamin D is worth the fuss.

My reference for the month also suggests putting fluorescent lighting in the rooms you spend most time in, finding company in some way (thank you social media and book clubs), and even working creatively inside can really help matters.

It is interesting.  I think I suffer from cabin fever a lot more than I thought.  The best medicine for me is to go out and get the gardening done.  On that note… I am off to sweep up more leaves!