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30 Things to Do When You Have Cabin Fever

I don’t know about you guys, but I am done with all of this snow. Over it! I think this is the most snow I’ve seen since moving to Michigan in 2015. I will be so happy when summer is here. I would also say I’ll be so happy when spring is here, but you know, sometimes it snows in the spring, too!

At the beginning of the snowy season, I was content with staying inside my warm house and lounging on the couch binge-watching my stories or reading a book. But now that it’s February, I have been experiencing cabin fever. I am ready to get out of the house and do something fun.

The past three weeks, I’ve been making it a point to visit an art gallery or a bookstore…SOMETHING…because I just don’t think I can take being stuck inside my house all of the time! Have you been feeling the same way?

If you feel me on this, then take a look at the thirty activities below. You just might find a few to help cure you of your cabin fever.

cabin fever
Going for a nature walk in the snow can be a great way to beat cabin fever.
(Photo credit: J. Hamra)

1. EMBRACE THE COLD & SNOW: GO FOR A NATURE WALK.

I know it’s hard getting out in the cold because it can feel miserable, but if you just commit to a 30-minute nature walk, it will do you a lot of good. Being outside in the natural daylight will lift your mood. According to Kathryn A. Roecklein, Ph.D., an associate psychology professor at the University of Pittsburgh, going outside can help increase your mood in a positive way and help with depression.

In a February 2018 interview with NBC News, the professor explained, natural light raises your serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “happy chemical” because it is connected to our wellbeing and happiness. So getting outside in the light can truly lift your spirits!

2. VISIT YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE.

I have this thing with bookstores. (That should be a hashtag if it isn’t already.) It’s just like going to the library. Whenever I am surrounded by books, I just feel at home. Bookstores are definitely my happy place and I especially enjoy visiting them in the wintertime.

One time, Travis and I took our three little ones to Barnes and Noble just to get out of the house. We weren’t exactly sure how they would respond to being in the bookstore, but to our surprise, they loved it. We didn’t buy anything; we just looked around. Zhen, Zechariah, and Zephaniah loved exploring and playing in the children’s section, and we enjoyed browsing the books and sipping on coffee from Starbucks.

Belle Isle Detroit, Michigan
Photo of me at Belle Isle Conservancy (Photo credit: J. Hamra)

3. VISIT A CONSERVANCY OR A GREENHOUSE.

Another one of my favorite wintertime activities is to visit a conservancy. It feels like an escape from the reality of the cold season. One snowy day, I took the kids to Belle Isle Conservancy in Detroit. We felt like we had stepped into another season. It was very therapeutic to be surrounded by diverse plant types. My favorite part of the conservancy is the desert plants. It reminds me of summer and sunny days.

According to Health Line, just seeing a plant can subconsciously make you feel calm and relaxed. Plants give us clean air, serve as a mood booster, and help us feel less sick. So bundle up and head to your nearest greenhouse. Your health will thank you!

Playing an indoor sport like bowling can also help with cabin fever.

4. PLAY AN INDOOR SPORT

Not all sports are made for the outdoors. There are quite a few indoor sports you can participate in during the wintertime. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bowling
  • Ice Skating
  • Swimming
  • Rock Climbing
  • Racquetball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Indoor Track
  • Indoor Walking
  • Boxing

Many local recreation centers offer indoor sports to residents. It’s a great way to maintain your physical activity and make new friends!

Detroit art gallery
Zhen at an art gallery in Detroit. (Photo credit: J. Hamra)

5. VISIT AN ART GALLERY

Visiting an art gallery is another great way to overcome your cabin fever. A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I visited an art gallery in downtown Detroit. It was icy cold outside, but once we were inside of the warm art gallery, we instantly forgot about the cold.

Observing art can help with reducing anxiety and stress. It can also help people who are suffering from depression. Just as physical activity can increase your serotonin levels, art can also give us a happiness boost.

“Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.”

From the article “Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being” by Renee Phillips
Cranbrook Science Detroit
Cranbrook Institute of Science (Photo credit: J. Hamra)
Aboriginal Australian Art Exhibit
Visiting an art gallery or museum is another great way to combat cabin fever. (Photo of the Aboriginal Australian Memorial Contemporary Art Exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Photo credit: J. Hamra)

6. VISIT A MUSEUM

Similarly to an art gallery, a museum can also be a great mood booster during the wintertime. A visit to the museum can also make you feel less anxious and stressful. Museums also stimulate our minds as we absorb new information when observing exhibits.

And if that isn’t reason enough for you, museums also benefit the economy. According to the American Alliance of Museums, museums contribute $21 billion to the U.S. economy each year!

7. FIND A CLUB OR GROUP TO JOIN

A couple of winters ago, I created an account on Meet Up to find local photography classes. I ended up finding quite a few classes to join and learned valuable information about photography. It turned out to be a great way to get out of the house during the wintertime.

You can find clubs or groups to join on many different platforms such as Meet Up, Facebook, Nextdoor, LinkedIn, InstaMeet, libraries, coffee shops, and other community websites.

Detroit Vintage
Detroit Vintage is one of my favorite Detroit cafes!

8. TRAVEL OUT OF TOWN

Taking a winter vacation is a perfect way to beat cabin fever. You could plan a weekend getaway to a beach or visit family who live out-of-state. Visiting a ski resort is another popular winter travel activity.

Traveling during the winter can be inexpensive, too. Many airlines offer discounted rates during the wintertime. For instance, Southwest offers low fares with their “Wanna Get Away” deals.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE IDEAS TO HELP BEAT CABIN FEVER

  • Take dancing lessons.
  • Go see a movie.
  • Take your spouse or friend to see a Broadway play.
  • Go ice fishing.
  • Have a girls night out at a paint and sip class.
  • Volunteer at a local school or nonprofit organization.
  • Take up nature photography when it snows.
  • Play at an arcade or laser tag center.
  • Chill at a unique coffee shop.
  • Go roller skating.
  • Join a gym.
  • Go to a karaoke night with friends.
  • Host a game night at your house.
  • Visit the library.
  • Spend an afternoon at an aquarium.
  • Attend an academic lecture at a museum.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Get made-up at a beauty store like Ulta or a local salon.
  • Hang out at a jazz lounge.
  • Go antique & vintage shopping. (My fav!)
  • Take a Zumba class.

DON’T FRET. THE WINTER IS ALMOST OVER!

I know it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had warm weather, but the winter season is almost over. The first day of spring is about a month away so go ahead and start counting down the days!


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Feature image courtesy of Creative Her Stock.

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