Whether you’re stuck in a polar vortex or on a rainy coast, all of us Canadian young professionals (YPs) are starting to feel just that: stuck! We’re stuck at the office, stuck in our cars, stuck on the couch, and it’s starting to make us a bit crazy. If you are one of the many YPs feeling as though the walls are closing in on you and that the only way you’ll ever feel happy ever again is if you are teleported to a sprawling tropical beach right now, it’s very likely that your blues are due to spending too much time indoors. And though we may feel like lashing out in a fit of snow rage, try to resist taking that foul mood out on partners or pals and instead recognize that the enemy we’re really fighting is cabin fever, “a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.” (Thanks Wikipedia). So to combat this common Canadian condition, here are four tips to help us glide a little easier into (yes, it will come eventually) spring:
1. Seek Natural Light: The foremost cure for cabin fever is natural light. While we may not be able to get the warm kind we currently crave, the rays that come in through our windows still do the trick when it comes to boosting those happy hormones, serotonin and melatonin, and in keeping our inner Circadian clock ticking correctly. From the time you wake up til you begin winding down your day, keep those curtains open and place yourself nearby, allowing Mother Nature to give you a big dose of her own natural cabin fever remedy.
2. Eat Yourself Sunny: Another worry that accompanies cabin fever is developing a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is provided by the sun, so if you live in a gloomier region of the country or are spending most of your time inside, you may be at risk of suffering symptoms of this deficiency, such as bone and muscle pain and cognitive impairment. Thankfully, we can also get Vitamin D from certain foods, like eggs, dairy products, and oily fishes like salmon and tuna. So to counteract that lack of sun and help fight cabin fever from the inside, up your intake of Vitamin D-rich foods and enjoy all the immune boosting, body strengthening, and mind clearing it can provide.
3. Scroll, Click, Create: While confined to the indoors, it’s OK to spend a bit of time scrolling unique recipes and awesome DIY decor projects on Pinterest and Instagram (a very common YP hobby in itself). But in order to fight cabin fever, we must get past the oohing and awing over pictures of said projects and actually get up and partake in them ourselves. Thankfully, experimenting with intricate and healthy recipes can take up a lot of time, so why not fill your dark winter evenings with brightly lit markets, vibrantly-coloured produce, and warm cozy ovens? Get to that homemade chicken vindaloo and those organic quinoa cookies now, because next thing you know it will be patio food and BBQ everything, taking over our lives once again. And we also know that come summer we’re only concerned with outdoor DIY fun. No one wants to stay inside and make funky spice canisters or bedside steps for the dog when the sun is blazing; the time for such tasks is now! So find your inner Martha Stewart and Mike Holmes and get to work on those indoor crafts and culinary creations before that distraction of summer bliss is upon us.
4. Dress Right and Have Some Fun: Remember when we were kids and it just never really felt that cold? We were too busy having fun to notice wind chills and frostbite. More importantly, we were dressed way more appropriately for the cold weather. As YPs, we are now dressing for style and for quick jaunts to the car and the office and back (then we complain about being so cold)! In these final weeks of winter, try ditching the cute coats and dress booties and instead dressing for the actual occasion: winter. Throw on some of that real deal, gender-erasing snow gear, and get out and indulge in the season that makes up so much of who we are. (Remember, #wearewinter.)
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)