Unless you’re a frontline health practitioner, staying at home following government recommendations is the best that most people can do to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Despite that, it’s essential to understand that it’s normal to experience bouts of irritability, lethargy, sleeping problems, and persistent sadness or depression due to the self-isolation and lockdown restrictions. After all, humans are inherently social creatures. While mileage may vary among people, isolating for more than a few months is never good for mental health.
Cabin Fever Amidst COVID-19
This condition of extreme moodiness and irritability is called “cabin fever,” and it is usually triggered by being forced to stay indoors in isolation, away from activities and interactions that one is used to having daily. However, this is also common in situations when people suddenly spend more time with people that they usually only see for a limited time in a day, such as family members and roommates.
The effects of cabin fever can differ among people with different personality types. While some people look at the extra time as an opportunity for self-discovery, others share to feel like a fish out of water—as the isolation cuts them off from their usual routines and environment.
Here are three ways of dealing with cabin fever that should help mitigate its adverse effects on people’s mental health:
1. Stick with a routine
Most of the stress-induced by cabin fever is due to the sudden loss of a rigid routine that once established your day. As creatures of habit, people are used to making things happen in a particular order in the day—when taken away, the mind can start racing, causing a feeling of loss or anxiety.
While true normalcy is difficult to achieve in these uncertain times, it will help your mental health establish a new routine. One of the best ways to do this is to stick with regular sleeping hours, making your bed, taking a bath, and getting dressed every morning. Eating nutritious meals at regular intervals and having scheduled exercise breaks will also go a long way in addressing the worst of cabin fever.
2. Limit your work hours
The most common problem associated with working from home during the pandemic is losing that semblance of a work-life balance. With people working out of their bedrooms, the physical boundary between work and personal life tends to become blurred, and it can be challenging to establish when one starts and the other ends.
To counter this, therapists recommend exercising discipline to start and end during regular work hours. Aside from that, it’s also helpful to find a workspace that is not in the bedroom. This helps reestablish work-life boundaries, and it should alleviate some of the sleeping difficulties typically associated with cabin fever.
3. Ask for help
Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life. The first thing to do in addressing mental health problems is in recognizing that they exist, and realizing that just like any ailment, you have the option of seeking the services of a therapist.
A therapist trained in helping people process their emotions might be able to recommend ways to combat cabin fever’s immediate effects. While social distancing rules and quarantine restrictions may make it challenging to schedule face-to-face consultations, some life-coaches and therapists in New York City, such as Therapy24x7, offer remote therapy.
Much of the focus on the COVID-19 pandemic has been on its adverse effects as a physiological ailment. However, many people don’t realize that the pandemic also affects their mental health. Thankfully, mental health issues like cabin fever can be addressed. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a therapist near you.
Are you stressed out because of the pandemic and are looking for a medium to express your feelings? Therapy24x7 offers affordable therapy in New York City. We specialize in stress management, addressing clinical depression, chronic anxiety, unresolved childhood issues, grief, and body image issues. Contact us today to learn more about our services.