10 Ways To Beat Cabin Fever When You’re Stuck At Home


Cheng Sim •  Apr 08, 2020

If you're staying at home due to the current pandemic, pat yourself on the back for being responsible and doing your part in flattening the curve in your country. Until we're safe to step out and see the world again, staying indoors might not be the easiest situation to be in and can be stressful for some of us.

Credit: Giphy

Adding on to the realities of boredom and restlessness, we know you're doing the best you can to take each day as it comes. If you feel like you should be doing more to overcome this feeling, which we called Cabin Fever, here's what you can do to make your days easier to overcome.

What is Cabin Fever? 

Cabin Fever is a term used to describe the feeling of being stuck at home during the cold winter months. If you live in a tropical country, the idea of living in a cabin and experiencing winter is far from reality. However, with the current stay-at-home situation that's happening due to the widespread of COVID-19 pandemic, being cooped up at home sure feels like one.

Here are some signs to know if you're experiencing cabin fever:

  • Feeling bored and restless
  • Increase in food cravings
  • Experiencing social isolation
  • Decrease in concentration

If you're feeling stir-crazy from staying at home for a long period of time, there are many things you can do to keep yourself busy and distracted. The goal is to keep your mind off things and make the best of your situation at home.

1. Follow a daily routine

The first step to getting a hang of your stay-at-home situation is by following your daily routine. Just think, what would you normally do on a regular day? Then, plan out what you're going to do that day, so you can maximise your productivity. Whether you decide to squeeze in some grocery shopping, self-care session or early Raya shopping, note down on your to-do list. Make sure to allocate time for sufficient sleep, healthy eating and regular exercises too.

2. Do indoor workouts

Just because you’re staying indoors or working from home, it doesn’t mean you should throw out your fitness goal. How about spending some time doing indoor workouts? You can get your motivation and body going by watching exercise videos online. You can even challenge yourself to try a workout that you wouldn’t normally do in the gym such as cardio Latin dance workout or HIIT training. If cardio isn't your type of workout, there are other ways to keep fit and healthy even when you're indoors.

3. Plan a movie marathon

Give yourself something to look forward to like enjoying a movie marathon, an activity that you wished you had more time for before the current situation happened. Your waiting list could be anything from Harry Potter (8 movies) and Lord of The Rings (3 movies) to Star Wars (9 episodes) and Fast & Furious (a whopping 14 movies!). If you're not a movie buff, there are many binge-worthy TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, Friends, The Office, and Stranger Things. One episode is enough to keep you hooked until watch the next one and the one right after.

4. Get some laughs

Getting some laughs while watching lighthearted comedy shows can put you in a good mood. It also helps you to cope with stress and anxiety from staying indoors for too long. If you're feeling down, there are many hilarious Korean reality shows that'll have you laughing your heart out like Running Man, Infinite Challenge, and All The Butlers. On Youtube, watching Kevin Hart doing unconventional workouts like Sumo wrestling and cheerleading at 'What The Fit' or Conan O'Brien travelling to Italy and Mexico in 'Conan Without Borders' will lift your spirits up. Adding fits of laughter into your day does help you to go through it all - even for a while.

5. Learn a new skill

Some say you need to spend 10,000 hours to master a skill. Unless you're dedicated to spending 10 years honing this new skill (assuming that you would spend 3 hours of practice a day), you can achieve many things if you set your mind to it. It's also a good time to find a new hobby, which is something we neglect doing as an adult. If you're looking for low-cost hobbies that'll take a long time to master (or keep you busy until you can go out again), teach yourself a new language, try to prune your bonsai tree, learn to make clothes for your cat, play a chess tournament with a computer, practice the art of Islamic calligraphy, discover the joy of portrait photography and more. The quirkier the hobby, the more exciting it becomes!

6. Improve your cooking and baking skills

Ramadan may be a humble affair this year, but we all know it's a good chance to practice your cooking and baking skills. Don't feel intimidated by the number of ingredients you need, baking measurements to take, and kitchen tools you need. For the past few weeks, we've been sharing many simple recipes that you can try ranging from easy bread recipes to make at home to Korean recipes that are Seoul good to try. If you're new to cooking, we also shared essential tips for learning how to cook at home. Take time to practice, so you can surprise your parents with a delicious home-cooked meal.

7. Order food and imagine you're dining out

Part of the joys of dining out is the chance to catch up with your friends and soak up the ambience of your favourite cafe or restaurant. You won't be able to enjoy both perks for now, but the sky's the limit to your imagination and you can recreate this dining experience at home. Whether you're craving for delicious ayam goreng kunyit in KL or Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore, have these dishes delivered to your doorstep, so you'll never be far away from your favourite comfort food.

8. Spring cleaning

We’re all familiar with how time-consuming spring cleaning can get. Besides making your home super clean and tidy, it’s a great way to move around while you're stuck indoors as different chores will activate various parts of your body and muscle groups. Start small, plan your spring-cleaning goal accordingly and dedicate each day of the week for several rooms in your home. Start with your bedroom, followed by your bathroom, living room, kitchen and the room that you promised to work on since January, the storeroom.

9. Get some fresh air

Being cooped up at home might trigger anxiety and restlessness during these difficult times. You might not be able to visit the park or go hiking as you like, some simple things you can do at home is opening your window to get some fresh air or stepping out to your balcony or front porch to soak up the sun. It's also a good way to get fresh air into your home, so you won't be breathing in trapped toxins and emissions from household appliances.

10. Read a book

Getting lost between the pages of your favourite book is one of the greatest pleasures of reading. Whether you enjoy the thrill from a Stephen King book or the twist and turns of a Dan Brown novel, it's a different experience compared to watching a movie as it allows your imagination to take over. It also takes a few days to finish reading a book, so sit back and enjoy the comfort of your little home library.

You may be experiencing cabin fever when you're stuck at home for a long period of time, but there are many ways to overcome it and make the best of your situation. From doing indoor workouts to learning a new skill, we hope these tips will help you beat the boredom and restlessness you can get during these trying times. Stay safe and stay home, everyone!