Cabin Fever

As nice as it is being a Stay At Home Mom, and as much as you love being at home, there are times when you and the kids get cabin fever.

Cabin fever is a result of being cooped up inside the house too much, for too long. This expression was coined in Alaska back in the Gold Rush days, when prospectors and miners, fur trappers and other folks living up there in the wilderness were snowed in for weeks and weeks at a time during the long, bitterly cold winters, and couldn't get out of the cabin. Some went a little crazy and were said to have come down with a case of "cabin fever."

You might not live in Alaska and be snowed in for weeks, but you can still develop a raging case of cabin fever yourself, especially during the dreary days of winter. If it's cold and snowing, raining or "snizzling" (a combination of snow and rainy drizzle) outside, it's not too awfully tempting to venture out of the house. But do!

Even during inclement weather, when you have to bundle yourself and the kids up in heavy coats, hats, gloves and boots or carry an umbrella---get outside for a few minutes every day! It won't be warm and cozy out there during cold weather, but you all need some fresh air and to be out of the house and outdoors for a little while. Staying cooped up inside is depressing. Besides, everybody starts to get on each other's nerves, don't they? The kids bicker and squabble more, you're more easily irritated, you're all tired of staring at the same walls.

A change of scenery and yes, even a change of temperature can do wonders to restore the good spirits and equilibrium of your household. During the cold days of winter, it really is bracing to get outside and breathe that crisp, cold air. It's invigorating! Being outside when the thermometer is down near the bottom digits elicits a physical response in our bodies: Muscles contract and produce more body heat by shivering and more blood goes to the heart and brain. Taken in small doses, these reactions to cold can be good because we feel more alive and energized as a result of our body revving up to help us keep warm. You don't want to overdo it, of course. During very frigid weather, only stay outside for 10-15 minutes and make sure that you're all sufficiently clothed to withstand the freezing temperature.

Even during other seasons, we might find ourselves spending too much time in the house. If you live in an area where the summers are sweltering and hot with high humidity, there is an inclination to cower inside under the AC all the time. But make it a practice to get outside every day---rain or shine, hot or cold, and get some fresh air!

You won't ever get a case of cabin fever if you make it a habit to leave the cabin and go outdoors for a brief period each day!