6 Ways to Prevent Cabin Fever This Winter

While winter has plenty of perks, many people throughout the country find themselves getting more bad weather than they bargained for. If snow and frigid temperatures are frequently in your forecast, you might start feeling the effects of cabin fever.

According to Time magazine, you're probably feeling cabin fever if any of the following statements apply to you:

  • You feel cooped up.
  • You're having difficulty concentrating.
  • You feel lethargic or unmotivated to do anything.
  • You're feeling irritable and on edge for no apparent reason.

It's common to find yourself in a rut when the weather outside isn't worth venturing out into and you're so over watching Netflix and taking naps. But before you get really stir crazy, try some of these six ideas to cheer yourself up and stay occupied.

1. Suck it up and go outside
It might sound repulsive at first, but getting some natural sunlight and fresh air can really do a lot to improve your mood. Try a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding if you're feeling ambitious, or simply get outside to get a good shoveling workout in. If you have kids, you can have lots of fun building snowmen and igloos and making snow angels. Parents magazine has a great list of activities you can help your kids with in the snow.

2. Get active
If heading outdoors isn't an option, you can still get active inside. Exercise is a proven mood booster, and getting a workout in can help you feel productive. Dust off your home exercise equipment and set up shop in front of the TV, or find some fun workout videos online to follow along to. Even a relaxing yoga routine is enough to get your blood pumping and elevate your bad mood.

3. Redecorate your space
Now's a good time to do some redecorating, since you might be getting a little tired of seeing the same old stuff day in and day out. Start by making sure your home is as comfortable and welcoming as possible. Bring out all of your cozy blankets and the furnishings that make you feel the most at home. Then, work on bringing in some cheerful additions, like brightly colored throw pillows, new artwork for the walls or seasonal scented candles. You'll feel refreshed being surrounded by new, exciting objects.

4. Try something new
When you have some extra time on your hands, it's easy to try new things and experiment with activities you've never done before. Maybe you're feeling like eating a comforting dinner tonight, so why not try a new crockpot recipe you found online? Pick up a new book, experiment with a new hairstyle, plan a vacation or learn some new crafts to decorate your space with. You'll feel accomplished once the project is finished, and while you're working on it, you'll have a nice distraction.

5. Eat mood-lifting foods
According to Freelance Folder, certain foods can help lift your spirits. They have high levels of tryptophan, which is then converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin helps us feel a sense of well-being and happiness. Incorporate foods like turkey, sunflower seeds, asparagus, cottage cheese, pineapple, tofu, spinach and bananas into your meals for a mood boost.

6. Socialize
Chances are, you're feeling a little lonely when you're stuck inside without family and friends. If the weather permits, invite some people over for a little gathering. It doesn't have to be anything lavish – a simple get-together to watch a favorite show or movie can be fun. If the weather's really bad, see if a neighbor wants to walk over and get together for a potluck meal.