Fighting Cabin Fever

I live on a farm out in the country of central Pennsylvania. So by the end of October into the beginning of November I really start to look forward to getting some of that white, cold stuff. It always looks so beautiful to see a blanket of snow on our fields and in the trees around us. I also have an old vintage snowmobile I like to get out a time and two and put around on.

This year we have had snow off and on but it hasn’t stuck around to long. We would get an few inches of snow, then we would have a warm spell and it would all melt. It has however been a colder than usually winter, in my opinion, that Is something I really don’t look forward to. All that the bitter cold does is make you sit in the house, stare blankly out the window, and think of all the things you could be doing outside if it was summer. I find this is usually accompanied by, in my case anyway, an unhealthy snack I’ll hate myself for eating later on.

I was hopeful that this winter was going to be different. I have kicked my writing career into high gear and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I thought what a perfect time this was going to be to get a lot of writing done. Well that’s what I thought anyway. Now don’t take that as I’m not working on any of my books, because that is far from the truth. But the thing with getting cabin fever is that once it hits you really can’t do much about it.

So as I sat at my desk this past week working on editing and rewriting my book, I keep catching myself looking out the window at the snow thinking, “boy I wish it was spring so I could go for a ride in my side by side (I have a little Honda Pioneer 500) with out having to bundle up like I’m preparing a trek through the arctic. It’s not really hurting my productivity any but I still keep catching myself doing it and it drives me crazy. All that time my mind is wondering on things other than my book will eventually add up to a good size chunk of time that would have been better spent typing away on the keyboard.

I think the worst parts of cabin fever are the things we do to cope with it. See, having cabin fever can put you in a minor state of depression. You feel more tired than you should, you don’t have the energy to do productive things. Things that would help take your mind of the fact your stuck inside for the next several months. Even our eating habits change and we tend to eat more unhealthy snacks out of boardom ( oh the dreaded 10 lbs I put on ever winter, which as I get older, seems harder and harder to take off). I also notice I spend a lot more time staring at a tv or computer screen watching stuff on Netflix, hulu, youtube, or movies from my own collection Ive already seen so many times I can go through the entire movie in my head line for line. I think it’s our way for trying to escape the reality we are stuck in when we are stuck indoors.

But even as I write that last part, “stuck indoors”, I ask my self are we really stuck or is it just our own doing? Even though its cold, and the snow and ice is falling, the only ones keeping us inside are ourselves. Cabin fever is nothing more than our bodies telling us we need to get up and do something. It’s not something to be dread or fear, but some to be embraced. Some thing that, once we feel it, can be a wake up call to us to stop moping around the house thinking about how nice it will be when warm weather gets here. The downsides to cabin fever are all in our heads, it’s really just a warning system for us to get up, get dresses, and get out to enjoy the beauty of winter. We just need to change our perspective on it.

Your friend in the pages of fiction
J. Dimmick

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