13 December 2009

A Few Remedies for Cabin Fever


 It’s been extremely cold or raining here in Southern California for the better part of a week now. During the week, activities kept things busy. But today, with two houseguests, one a three year old, and rain falling by the bucketsful, the cabin fever started in big time. In a small apartment, cheery Christmas music and keeping the holiday lights on all day can only carry you so far.


I knew in advance it was going to be stormy this weekend so here was my plan.


1.    Plan to get out of the house at least once each day. This requires gathering and preparing the appropriate attire: the right footwear, jackets, hats, umbrellas, etc. Today went to the gym, a holiday party and a walk to see Christmas lights during a respite from the rain. It was still wet and windy, but fresh air is fresh air at this point.


2.     Figure out some fun, creative and cozy meals. Soup and grilled cheese or homemade cornbread or biscuits always a hit. Mix up a fresh salsa to give the day a little spice or bake cookies that everyone can help make and eat. Today I baked up a Dutch Pancake. It’s always fun to see how the big pancake crawls up the sides of the pan. And it’s much less labor intensive than American Pancakes. While the pancakes were baking I showered, cooked bacon and whipped up a couple of omelets to go along with the Dutch Pancake.


DUTCH PANCAKE recipe
 Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit degrees. Melt ½ c. (one cube) butter. I do it in microwave. 60 seconds. Pour into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Mix in blender 5 eggs, add 1 ¼ c. flour and 1 ¼ c. milk. Blend until smooth and a little frothy. Pour into the butter in the baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes.
3.      
      Come up with a few little craft projects. In the morning we made little angels from a Christmas kit I bought at Michael’s last week. A couple of dollars for an hour plus of entertainment. The Little Bug also learned to use scissors today and cut a piece of reject scrapbook paper into little bits and had quite a good time. Coloring and other varieties of projects will save you when things start to head south, people start getting irritated or a little person asks you one more time what you are doing and if they can help.


4.       Make a list of television shows or movies you can sprinkle in to break up the day. I try to look through favorite channels once in a while and record shows that will come in handy in a crunch: movies, dinosaur shows, Christmas specials, etc. Then when we need a little something to break up the monotony I can turn on the TV for a while. This seems to give everyone something else to focus on rather than getting in each other’s way and on each other’s nerves. Tomorrow I have a special 20 minute Christmas movie for our evening’s entertainment.

     Get some exercise. Tonight we loved the wonderful walk in the fresh air.  This morning we bundled up and went to the gym. I think the exercise in the morning and evening must’ve helped to get the excess energy out and give everyone some individual space. Fresh air is wonderful. Having worked a few winters at a couple of ski resorts and seen much of Northern Europe on foot or bike in the cold winter and spring months, there is something very invigorating about being out of doors and properly dressed to enjoy it. Very good for the soul and rosy cheeks! If it’s just too cold to be outside, put on some music and dance around the house, find a place with several flights of stairs that can be walked up and down or a mall you can walk around briskly.


      Hope this helps you find your way through the cold spells crossing the country! And share your ideas! What do you do to remedy Cabin Fever? Leave a comment below for all our sakes!

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