How to know if you have cabin fever?

Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Megan

What is cabin fever?


Cabin Fever is explained as a series of symptoms and emotions people experience when they have been confined to their homes for an extended amount of time. This is caused by a variety of circumstances including social distancing for pandemics like Coronavirus (COVID-19).


How do I know if I have cabin fever?


Some of the symptoms of cabin fever included:

  • negative emotions
  • feeling isolated and lonely
  • restlessness
  • a decrease in activity or motivation
  • constant sadness or even depression
  • zero tolerance, lack of patience
  • feeling lethargic
  • difficulty in concentration
  • hopelessness
  • distrusting people
  • sleep patterns interupted

What can I do to help me cope with cabin fever?


Cabin Fever is not recognized as a psychological condition. There is no standard procedure in treating Cabin Fever, even though mental illness professionals do recognize that the symptoms are real.

Use coping mechanisms that have worked best for you based on your own personal experience.

Try to find meaningful ways to stay occupied during the day that engages your brain and helps alleviate the stress and irritability that cabin fever gives you.

Some ideas are:

Listen to music that you did while you were young. Songs that you enjoyed while still in grade school and high school remind you of a time where you lived care free and without the stress of being an adult. This helps boost your mood.

Dance to this music, pick up your pet and just dance. They will think you are crazy but just holding your animal helps reduce the anxiety and stress.

Try to get outside and explore parts of your immediate world that you have never been to because "you have never had the time". My husband and I just took a five mile walk through the woods in the back of our subdivision where we have lived in for over 17 years. We saw a part of our world that we have never had the time to explore before, and it was remarkable.

Getting outside also increases your vitamin D levels. When your skin is exposed to the sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells thus providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur. To maintain healthy levels, try to get between 10 - 30 minutes of sunlight in the middle of the day each day.

Vitamin D reduces anxiety and depression, it plays an important role in mood and warding off depression. In one study, researchers found that people with depression that received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.

Being stuck indoors reduces your ability to receive the sun's natural healing effects of vitamin D. Symptoms of low vitamin D or "Vitamin D Deficiency" are similar to the symptoms of cabin fever, such as tiredness and a general sense of not feeling well.

If you cannot get outdoors each day, there are foods that you can eat that will help increase your vitamin D naturally. Foods that contain vitamin D are: egg yolk, sardines, herring and salmon, canned tuna and mushrooms.

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day, so taking supplements can help.