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Okay, so the holidays are officially over, and now we are staring down the barrel of some of winter’s toughest months. This means that it’s time to prepare ourselves for dry skin, dark mornings, and frozen feet. Not to mention, the isolation these cold days bring can significantly impact your mental health and well being as well.

Cabin fever, as we popularly call it, is a result of being isolated in a building for some time. It leads to problems like unhappiness, restlessness, and general discomfort, and should be treated as quickly as possible. Here are a few simple tips to shake off the claustrophobic feeling and survive the winter.

1) Change Your Diet
Consuming healthy, wholesome food and drinking lots of water certainly helps with cabin fever. Go for lean proteins that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are linked to improved moods. Many of these foods – such as lean beef and wild salmon- are also a great source of vitamin D and B12 that are nutrients essential for emotional regulation. You can also indulge in cooking, as an activity helps in soothing the mind. Try a new recipe or go for old comfort food. The choice is yours!

2) Take Up A New Hobby
The feeling of being trapped will go away once you start engaging yourself in numerous activities. Use this time to hone your skills. Take up a new hobby that you have never tried before. It can be anything, from writing to playing instruments to cooking up new recipes. Trying your hands at artistic activities such as knitting and creating a birdhouse is also a great way to avoid cabin fever.

3) Binge-Watch Your Favorite Shows
Build comfortable blanket forts and make them your retreat for a cozy winter getaway. Snuggling up on your couch while sipping on a warm cup of hot chocolate and binge-watching your favorite shows is perhaps the best way of keeping any feeling of dread away!

4) Exercise
If you want to keep your anxious feelings at bay, then make sure to exercise a lot. For people who are not fond of going outdoors, they can avoid the gym and do plenty of exercise at home. Turn to the internet for a gentle yoga session or put a song on the speaker and dance to it. Such activities increase serotonin levels that help curb cabin fever.

5) Get Outside
Become active. Go to the park for a walk or run a quick errand. While the fresh air will help you clear your head, the change in routine will make you feel refreshed and charged to re-focus on your work. Going outside also allows your body to produce vitamin D which is a good mood elevator. Make use of your time by indulging in a winter sport like skiing or ice hockey!

6) Redecorate Your House
Since the festivities are over, it is time to move things around a bit. Take down all those decorations and accessories and tuck them away in your storeroom. Sew some new pillow covers or paint a room entirely to give it a new look!

7) Plan A Get Together
Invite friends and relatives to spend some quality time together. Put on a pot of stew, bake some bread, and talk to your heart’s content as light music slowly plays in the background, creating a comforting mood.

Anyone can combat cabin fever. All you need to do is keep yourself busy by doing things that motivate you and make you feel good. Follow the tips mentioned above and make those cold, winter months enjoyable!