Cabin Fever

Looking out the window this morning, piles of snow whirling around, drifts three feet high, wind howling, temperatures freezing, a thought crossed my mind – cabin fever.

It’s started early this year, even before the official start of winter. Whenever cabin fever lurks, it can be intense, it can make you cranky, out-of-sorts, moody, de-energized or as one mom put it, “It makes me go bananas!”

So how do we avoid developing cabin fever?

Go with the flow.  On days when going out is not an option, slow down the pace.  After all, you have all day.

Still cuddling reading books together midmorning?  No worry.  After all, you have all day.

Baking cookies, making play dough, heaping blankets over a table to make a special  “house”, cleaning closets, slowly, as the children re-discover old treasures that ignite new interests and ideas while you’re at it, listening to stories on tape, building a huge block city, with people and cars, roads and houses, mixing and matching – coloring, making signs, pretending,  because we have all day.

Time.  Time is the silver lining we can celebrate in order to avoid cabin fever.

Time is what we usually never have enough of.  Yet time is what we need to connect the dots, to not rush, to slow down and enjoy the present moment.

And for children, time is what they require to create, to invent, to explore, to truly play.  When we’re rushing to go somewhere, to be on time, to hurry and get dressed, there’s not enough time for extended play, not enough time to muse and decide and even be bored, just for awhile, until they figure out what to do next.  That all becomes possible because they have all day.

So, here’s to some cozy days of winter ahead, when we must stay inside.  Here’s hoping we’ll appreciate our mandatory sentence, keep the cabin fever at bay, kick back, and slow down.

After all, we have all day!

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