Beat Cabin Fever: Fun Ideas for the Whole Family
According to the CDC, staying at home is the best way of reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, after months of isolation, many families are getting tired of being stuck inside. Try these fun tips to keep your family healthy and happy even when you cannot leave home often.
Spend Time Outside
If you are lucky enough to have any outdoor space, make use of it! Try to aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes spent outside even if the weather is chilly. Your family can use this time to play games, run around, or simply relax with a good book. Being in a larger space with fresh air can be a great way of reducing cabin fever. The following benefits have been linked to spending time outside:
- Increased exposure to sun and plants has been linked to lower depression levels.
- Higher vitamin D levels have been shown to cut the risk of COVID complications in half.
- Nature walks can improve working memory, helping your kids with their schoolwork.
- Spending time outside helps improve circadian rhythms and makes it easier to sleep at night.
- A change in their environment provides much-needed stimulation for antsy kids.
Have a Picnic and Go Camping
Being stuck at home does not have to mean you miss out on family vacation time. Switch things up by arranging to camp out at home. Depending on where you live, you might be able to do things like have a garden picnic for lunch or set up a tent in the backyard. However, even in a small apartment, you can have a pretend picnic or camp out in the living room. Adding a little variety to the same everyday schedule makes a fun and entertaining pastime for the whole family. Younger children will have a blast when you tell them they get to eat dinner on the floor or sleep in a blanket fort on the couch.
Avoid Doing the Same Thing for Too Long
Even the most exciting activity starts to feel boring when you do it for hours every day. Mixing things up and trying out a variety of activities makes each day feel new and interesting. Try to ensure that you and your children are never stuck doing the same thing for more than a couple of hours. Add snack breaks in between school sessions or take a break from watching TV to do a few chores. Including a blend of productive and entertaining activities throughout the day can help keep your family engaged. Here are a few ideas to consider for adding variety to your day and staying busy during COVID:
- Learning a new recipe
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Completing essential chores
- Attending school and work
- Playing with a pet
- Reading a book
You do not need to set a strict schedule since that can actually contribute to cabin fever. Just try to regularly switch up activities throughout the day.
Limit Screen Time
If you want to avoid cabin fever, put down your phone and switch off the television every now and then. There is nothing wrong with using electronics in moderation, but research has shown that spending excessive time watching television, browsing social media, and doing other passive things online is problematic. Too much screen time can make it hard for people to focus, reduce memory skills, and impair socialization. When you are stuck at home for months, excessive screen time can result in more arguments and less focus for schoolwork. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, here is a healthy amount of screen time for each age.
- Under 2 years – no screen time
- 2 to 5 years – one hour a day
- 6 to 10 years – one and a half hours a day
- 11 to 13 years – two hours a day
Try to find activities that engage the brain more actively. Playing games, reading a book, drawing, or playing with toys can be just as exciting as watching a TV show or YouTube video.
Find a New Hobby
One of the simplest and most effective ways of getting rid of COVID boredom is simply looking for a new hobby. Finding an activity that you are excited and passionate about gives you something to look forward to each day. If you have children, helping them find a new hobby can also give you a little free time to focus on work or self-care. A hobby does not necessarily have to be something time-consuming or expensive. Here are some fun, affordable hobbies the whole family can enjoy.
- Knitting and crocheting
- Playing board games
Eat Healthy Food and Get Plenty of Sleep
It might be tempting to spend a lot of time eating sugary cereal and staying up until 5:00 a.m. However, when you are sleep-deprived and poorly fed, you are likely to end up feeling crankier. Try to keep regular bed and nap times so that everyone can fall asleep easily and get enough sleep. When possible, make time to cook healthy meals as well. You do not need elaborate or excessively fancy meals. Just simple, nutritious things like roast chicken and vegetables or fruit and yogurt work well. Meals can be an excellent opportunity for family time, but try to avoid eating out of boredom. This sort of constant snacking can cause obesity and other potential issues. By ensuring your family is properly nourished, you can avoid sugar highs, energy crashes, and other issues that make short tempers even worse.
Start Projects That Require Teamwork
One interesting study found that submariners were less likely to get cabin fever than other groups trapped in small places because they were working closely together to keep their sub running. Essentially, having shared bonds and working toward common goals can help a family enjoy time together without getting on each other’s nerves. It helps keep you occupied while ensuring you get the social stimulation needed to avoid going crazy. Some fun options to try together include:
- Assembling a puzzle
- Redecorating a bedroom
- Cooking dinner
- Starting a garden
- Learning a new language
- Training a pet
Address Relationship Challenges Head-On
When you are stuck inside with the same people all the time, it is easy for resentments to fester and ultimately lead to discussions with a divorce attorney. Families need to pay more attention than ever to the health of their relationships. Encourage children to talk out problems with their siblings instead of just sticking them in timeouts whenever they argue. You may want to consider setting up weekly family meetings where everyone can touch base and problem-solve potential conflicts. In many families, scheduling regular therapy sessions can also be wise. This can help tackle the big issues that impact family unity during the pandemic.
Families everywhere are struggling to keep things together during isolation. If you need help from a mediator or divorce attorney, the Law Office of Kelly Berton Rocco is here for you. Our team of highly trained legal professionals can assist you with navigating these challenging times. To get compassionate representation in Hackensack, NJ, call (201) 343-0078 or email us now.