6 Useful Tips to Break Cabin Fever

by | Feb 10, 2021

While winter can be a wonderful time of year for outdoor activities like sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and skiing, it can also seem to drag on for many of us that aren’t able to participate in these types of activities. For some the season can mean days on end of feeling stuck indoors, resulting in “cabin fever”.

HCCA decided to tackle cabin fever this month with our #hccacabinfeverchallenge. We are inviting you to join us February 5-7 in setting a goal for physical activity and sharing a picture of what you are doing on Facebook using the #hccacabinfeverchallenge with your picture. For more information, you can visit our event page. We also have some helpful information here to help you beat those winter blues and feelings of cabin fever. Do not despair, there are many things that we can do to combat the winter blues and cabin fever feelings. Let’s get started…

1. Set some SMART goals!

For most of us, our New Year’s resolutions have already fallen to the wayside. This isn’t unusual because we often start off with a goal that doesn’t fit the form of a SMART goal, which makes reaching the goal nearly impossible. “What is a SMART goal?” you may ask. SMART goals act like a map to help you reach your destination. To learn more about it, keep on reading.

What you will need:

  1. A notepad, whiteboard, or a laptop (if you prefer to go paperless).
  2. Pencil, markers or pen if you are using paper. I prefer fine point colored markers.
  3. Some time and a relatively quiet place to think.
  4. Desire to make change.

2. Let’s Dance! A goal I set for myself…

Using the SMART goal setting tool above I set a goal to help me reach my objective (big picture reason for my goal) of improving my physical and mental health in the wintertime.

Before I started writing out my goal, I gave some thought to the kinds of exercise I enjoy doing the most and what my limitations may be. Doing so helped me to develop a realistic and achievable goal.

While I also enjoy hiking, walking and swimming, winter can limit my ability to safely do these activities on a regular basis. Dancing was the answer for me because I can do it just about anywhere and I love music. It also was a great way for me to not only get my body in motion but to uplift my mind/mood by choosing upbeat and positive music.

If physical activity is one of your goals, it is always a good idea to check with your Dr. before starting a new physical activity.

My Playlist:

1. Happy- Pharell Williams
2. Love Shack- The B-52’s
3. Twist and Shout- The Beatles
4. Fireflies- Owl City
5. Wish I Knew You-The Revivalists
6. Best Day of My Life- American Authors
7. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go- Wham

8. Dance Monkey- Tunes and I
9. You’re the One That I Want- Olivia Newton John
10. Dancing Queen – ABBA
11. Hey Ya – Outkast
12. Roar – Katy Perry
13. This is Me – Keala Settle
14. I Love a Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbitt
15. Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi

3. Fresh Air and Fun!

In last month’s blog post “Winter Wonderland?” We talked about the importance of getting fresh air. While we may not always be able to get outside for a long period of time each day we can oftentimes have a beautiful day here and there to get out and about. Here are some resources, tips and ideas to help you plan an activity.

  • Winterkids.org offers an amazing array of resources for teachers, families and communities. They have a winter kids app and for this year (November 1, 2020-October 31, 2021) only, they are offering a “Pay What You Can” membership. A membership offers deals and discounts on kid centered/family activities. Check out the website to find out more information.
  • Viles Arboretum offers Ski and Snowshoe rentals Wednesday through Saturday between 11:00am and 5:00pm. The cost is $5 per hour for adults and FREE to children under 18 years old. They also offer guided tours. Rentals are first come basis.
  • Kennebec Land Trust has just released an updated trail guide “Take a Hike” and their website offers up information on upcoming events and places to get out in nature.
  • Maine Trail Finder is a free online resource where you can browse interactive trail maps, trail descriptions and pictures.
  • Whenever you are planning an outing, be sure you go prepared. For information and suggestions on what you may need, please visit our December blog post.
  • If you decide to go hiking or sledding on private property you should always be sure to get permission from the land owner.

4. Winter Scavenger Hunt

When you don’t have a lot of time but still want to get some fresh air you can use this scavenger hunt activity for a short walk in your own backyard, neighborhood or local park.

5. Add More Color to Your Space

Winter can be very drab and dull in terms of color. Adding pops of color to your environment can help lift your spirits. Here are some inexpensive ideas to get you started…

Fill a bowl with colorful fruits. Not only will it add color to your space but it will be an invitation to healthy snack.

Treat yourself to a bunch of cut flowers or a plant in bloom. You can often find small plants and colorful bouquets at your local market for $10

If you are able to paint walls in your home, a simple quart of paint is great way to add a pop of color with an accent wall in your favorite color. If you aren’t able to paint you can use inexpensive remnant fabric to hang as a tapestry on a wall.

6. Winter Salad!

While we are on the topic of adding color, don’t forget to add some color to your diet. During the winter time many of us are not thinking of putting salad on the menu but maybe this warm fruit salad would be just the thing!

What you will need:

½ cup water
1 Tblsp. Honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of half a lemon
1 apple diced
1 banana sliced
1 clementine peeled and segments separated
1 kiwi peeled and sliced
¼ cup blueberries
¼ cup dried cranberries (low sugar) or raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (optional)


    • Wash and prepare all of your fruits
    • In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add water, honey, cinnamon and lemon juice.
    • Heat until warmed through and beginning to bubble.
    • Add diced apples and dried cranberries to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    • Turn heat down to low. Add more water if pan becomes dry.
    • Add all other fruits and gently fold together so bananas and kiwi do not break apart.
    • Cook until fruit is warmed through.
    • Serve over yogurt, cottage cheese, a waffle or pancakes.
    • Top with chopped walnuts or almonds for added crunch.
    • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers once it has cooled. Leftovers can be warmed or they can be used in a smoothie.

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