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We've Got the Fever

Cabin fever is a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated indoors for an extended period (like this winter). Its symptoms include restlessness, irritability, excessive sleeping, and an urge to go outside, even in miserable weather.

Before this winter I thought a claustrophobic reaction was something I had the first time I saw Christmas ornaments on display at Deptford Mall in July. Upon receiving around six feet of snow this winter in the South Jersey area, I realized that cabin fever involved another matter entirely.

I’ve learned that the best way to tackle cabin fever is to come face to face with the fact that you have this problem and admit it. Then use your most logical defense to conquer it: denial. Here are suggestions for fighting your own case of cabin fever:

1. Smile when you look out your window and watch your snow shovel being covered by snow from the latest blizzard.

2. Go online and look up today’s temperatures in a few of the spots you’d like to visit for vacation this summer. Yes, summer does still exist. Stop being so bitter. Miami-73 degrees. Honolulu-75 degrees. Cancun-78 degrees. All right, feel free to return to your bitterness.

3. Look at old photos you took last summer from Ocean City and your local pool. Try to stop sobbing.
4. Allow yourself a few delusions. Yes, it’s 83 degrees outside with plentiful sunshine, as forecasts say. Honest. Do not go outside in your bathing suit to confirm these statistics.

5. Watch your old Jimmy Buffett concert video. If that doesn’t help, mix up a pitcher of margaritas. Mix, pour, repeat.

6. Set up tiki torches in your living room to create summer atmosphere. Remember to phone your home insurance company and double your premium first.

7. Make yourself feel warmer by booking a trip to Clearwater to watch the Phillies spring training in March. Expenses will be around $1500.

8. Use the home gym you bought after watching an infomercial while being stuck indoors during the previous blizzard.

9. Book an appointment at the hospital due to injuries you suffered from using the home gym right after you’re dug out from the latest storm.

10. Refund your tickets to Clearwater to pay for a portion of your hospital bills from the home gym injuries.

11. Make a note to yourself: Buy Powerball lottery tickets to help cover the remainder of those hospital bills.

12. Go online and look up today’s temperatures in Wasilla, Nome, and Anchorage. Try not to look too smug.

13. Use the extra spare time to finish filling out your income tax returns for 2009. Try to stop sobbing.

14. Make a note to self: Price flamethrowers the next time you go out.

Hopefully these ideas will offer you some relief. Since you feel so much better, then you should check the extended weather forecast to see what day the thaw you know will arrive is coming.

Chance of snow Monday night.

15. Try to stop sobbing.



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