How to Survive Cabin Fever

The winter days are short, it's freezing outside, gray skies are looming above and the kids are cranky. As winter sets in, so does cabin fever.

Cabin fever is that winter syndrome that makes you feel stir crazy as you suffer through feeling cooped up.

Unsure of your diagnosis? Here are some of the symptoms of Cabin Fever:

1. Your rooms begin to feel smaller and smaller with each cold and dreary day until you are sure you are living in a Rubik's cube.

2. The sounds of the TV, radio, dishwasher, washing machine and the barking dogs begin to echo in your head like a loud bowling alley full of teens on a Friday night.

3. Your family is grumpy and moody. They are tired of smelling each other!

4. You haven't been out of your jammies in days...and you are so sick of cooking soup....again.

5. You run out of things to entertain the kids by 9 they have turned to jumping over the couch, riding the poor dog, and playing catch with the hampster.

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? If so, you may be suffering from a bad case of cabin fever. But chin up mommy, I have a few remedies to help you survive cabin fever this winter season!

During the chilly winter days, we are tempted to stay inside, all bundled up while reading a good book. That sounds great for a few days...but let's be honest, after a week of "doing nothing" the house looks like a cyclone went through it, you gained 5 extra pounds, and online shopping has lost its luster (not to mention your bank account is empty). So how does one beat the winter blues?

Wintertime for me is a time to slow down my pace. Summer seems so busy with meeting friends at the pool, 4H Farm Fair, and summer camps. Then we dive right into homeschooling, soccer season, and holidays. I long for my own winter season to hibernate in my home.

We find bowling to be a great option during the winter! Not only is it fun for the family, it isn't going to break the bank!

So what's my secret to sanity with a houseful of children during the winter?

First, planning is essential in our large tribe. So I pencil in some fun activities in advance...sending out a group text to mark their calendars. So what fun do we have planned?

The younger kid will enjoy a weekly homeschool swimming day at our local Community College. They are so excited to swim during the winter!

We will attend our monthly homeschool ice skating days with some of our homeschool co-op friends.

Weekly library trips are my favorite!

My kids love to snowboard and ski. We planned two homeschool ski days when the prices are much cheaper. My boys are thrilled!

Nature walks - there is sooo much to see and observe during the snow season! We love to follow animal tracks, use our binoculars and observe the birds at their feeders, and check in the local beaver dams. I plan to add a winter nature journal as a winter writing project.

I like to do a mini-unit of study that helps break up the monotony of our school year. This year I am doing a 6-week art/music unit study.

I've planned a few great books to read aloud and I have all the makings for some yummy hot cocoa. To add in some extra winter fun, we will build a fort in the living room and read by candlelight!

I have several movie nights planned this winter. To embrace the season each has a winter theme and I will prepare a special winter snack (thank goodness for Pinterest! Follow me on Pinterest find great winter recipes!).

I always host a sledding day down our big hill for the kids and their friends. My hubby hopes to get a good bonfire going...what kid doesn't love s'mores!

Victoria and Peyton have piano lessons and Victoria will continue with her sewing.

If you have the winter blues, try sewing!

As much as I am looking forward to NO sports and more quality time with the family, I am secretly excited to do some cleaning projects while the kiddos are sledding outside. Oh yes, my linen closet will be completely organized while my own clothes will be purged and colored coded. (Did I mention that I am a type-A personality?) My husband and the boys are going to work on a much needed laundry room renovation while Kyrsten has plans to "really organize" my kitchen. So bring on the snow!

Baking is something fun to do in the winter.

As we are embarking on yet another cold, snowy winter ahead I encourage you to think outside of the box. Plan some family fun!

Budget-friendly family activities to survive cabin fever!

  • Go on a hike and get outside!

  • Host a game night so you can socialize

  • Bake cookies or bread and turn it into a math lesson (#homeschoolmom).

  • Start a 3000 piece family puzzle to work on all season (trust me, they take forever to finish).

  • Make an art basket for the kids and fill it with paint, glue, glitter. Have them make cards and mail to family and friends.

  • Build a tent with some sheets in the living room and pretend like you are camping.

To beat cabin fever, just remember that whenever you feel the boredom creeping in, just grab the kids and head outside!

If you are like me, around the middle of February, you will secretly dream of being on a warm island with the breeze in your hair while reading a great book. But since that's not in the budget this year, I will have to plan ahead and pray for an inspired imagination to survive cabin fever on a budget.

How do you and your family overcome cabin fever? Let everyone know in the comment section below!

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About Me

Welcome to our home, my name is Michele. My husband, Walter, and I have been happily married (most of the time) for 28 years. My husband is the Pastor of Strong Tower Church while I work as a Critical Care Nurse. Together, we have been blessed with 10 beautiful children.

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