It rears its ugly head about this time of year, when the holidays have passed, the decorations have been taken down, and the Super Bowl parties have disbanded. Nature seems to be at a standstill and it can seem as though winter never will end. The days are still short, the sunlight is diminished, and the temps are hovering well beneath our comfort zones. There’s a gloominess about the world, which affects us from time to time and for some of us, all the time.
It can make us listless and even downright irritable. Maybe it messes with our ability to concentrate or makes us not want to concentrate on anything at all. The bad news is that you can’t do anything about the weather or change of seasons. The good news is that you can do something about the cabin fever.
[bctt tweet=”It can make us listless and even downright irritable. Maybe it messes with our ability to concentrate or makes us not want to concentrate on anything at all. The bad news is that you can’t do anything about the weather. The good news is that you can do something about the cabin fever.” username=”MargeFenelon”]
If you’ve been following my blog, you know already that I look to God in all things and lean on our Blessed Mother for just about everything. Handling cabin fever is no different.
Who better than our Creator to help us deal with the way we’re made? Cabin fever is a response to our humanness during these months of winter. God made us with emotions and sensitivities to our surroundings, that’s a good thing. He made the seasons so that the Earth can regenerate each year, also a good thing. And so, even in the throes of winter-hating cabin fever, we have much for which to be grateful.
Rather than dread cabin fever, we can use it as a means by which to draw closer to God and deepen our spirituality. I can’t guarantee it, but I’d bet a chunk of money that if you incorporate into your day at least three of the 10 items below, you’ll discover that cabin fever has become a blessing to you and not a curse.
- Change up your prayer corner (and if you don’t have one, now’s the time to erect one). Just like your prayer life can become stale, so can the place in which you pray. Do something to make that space interesting again by replacing some of the old items with new ones. Fresh flowers can do a world of good, especially at this time of year. Present them to our Blessed Mother and put her in charge, so to speak, of helping you out of the doldrums.
- Let the light shine in. The sunlight might be diminished, but the light inside need not be. Find some way-cool and awesome-scented candles and place them on your prayer corner and around the house. Light them as a reminder that brighter days – literally – are coming and that ultimately Christ is the Light. Just remember to blow them all out if you’re not going to be around!
- Alter your devotions. This goes along the line of #1. You may have some old favorites you don’t want to surrender, but exchanging them (for a time at least) with new ones can really give you a boost. Choose ones that you haven’t done in a very long time or new ones you’d like to learn.
- Try a new hobby. It doesn’t have to be engrossing or expensive, just something that gets you using the amazing gifts that God’s given you (you do have amazing gifts). Even if the project flops, you’ve still shown God that you appreciate your abilities and want to use them for his glory.
- Contact an old friend. Write a letter, call, or better yet visit someone you haven’t seen in a while. It will lift both your spirits and give the Spirit a chance to work in and through you.
- Volunteer. For anything. Focusing on others instead of yourself is always a mood rejuvenator. Even if you can’t get out of the house, there are ways to help others right from your home. Do it. You won’t regret it.
- Get on the move. If you can, step outside if only for 10 minutes! The fresh air will be ever-so good for you even if that fresh air is below zero and you’re in the midst of a blizzard! If you absolutely, absolutely cannot step outside then move about your house. Walk circles around the dining room table, up and down the stairs, or room to room.
- Tame the savage beast. Beautiful, spiritually uplifting music can take you to the heights of heaven even when you’re stuck between four walls. And yes, playing oldies or pop favorites can be a great way to change your mood and make you smile, too. Who knows? You might even find yourself dancing on the kitchen floor!
- Try a new (healthy) food. Okay, you can try a not-so-healthy food – in moderation. The point is to allow yourself the pleasure of experiencing God’s goodness in the tastes, smells, and sights of the nourishment he’s provided. If it’s a food that’s new to you, you’re more likely to slow down, notice its qualities and appreciate them.
- Practice gratitude. Above all, be thankful for what you have, who you are, and what you’re able to do. Go through your day thanking God for everything. Don’t just think it; do it. Verbalize your gratitude by telling the heavenly Father how glad you are for the hot cup of coffee you hold in your hands, the walls around you that keep the bad weather out, blankets to cover you, socks so your toes don’t freeze, music to soothe you, heating, plumbing, appliances, family, friends, pets… The list could go on and on. Once you start, you’ll be very surprised at how much you find for which to be grateful. Who can feel blue in the midst of giving thanks?
Like beauty, cabin fever is in the eye of the beholder. We have the choice of letting it be a burden or a blessing. What’s your choice?[bctt tweet=”Like beauty, cabin fever is in the eye of the beholder. You can choose to let it be a burden or a blessing.” username=”MargeFenelon”]