How to fight cabin fever

Posted at 2:29 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 14:29:29-04

Baltimore residents are bracing for a nor’easter Friday followed by possible heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Joaquin.

The impending storms can have an effect on the psychological health of residents. According to Towson University assistant professor of psychology, most people will experience anxious feelings leading up to the storm.

“I’ll bet money that most people are more anxious before the storm than during it.”

Memories of previous hurricanes, such as Isabel, Katrina and Sandy, drive much of the anxiety. The element of uncertainty also adds to the drama. People worry about work, school, homes, family and friends.

When everyday tasks are interrupted, it can be hard to accommodate logistics. Dr. Chasson says adequate preparation is an important part of handling the uncertainty.

“Have a plan for what you’re worried about,” says Dr. Chasson. “Make sure that you have enough non-perishable food and water. The logistics are out of your control. Take a step back and recognize that.”

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During consecutive days of rain, most residents will chose to stay inside. When stuck inside doing the same thing without positive, regular activities, a person’s mood can really be affected.

“To use a not so technical term, cabin fever sets it,” says Dr. Chasson. “When you’re stuck inside with the same people, no matter who they are, you’re going to get sick of them.”

To combat cabin fever and boredom, Dr. Chasson recommends to get creative. Prepare in advance with battery backups to favorite electronics or do some exercise to break up the monotony. 

15 Family-friendly things to do during a power outage:
1. Puzzles – Work together or take turns putting together a puzzle
2. Legos – Use your imagination to build a Lego creation
3. Mad Libs – Create mad libs and have a good laugh
4. Board Games – Pull out the good, old-fashioned board game
5. Charades – No props required, get everyone involved
6. Rice Krispies treats – The perfect treat that doesn’t require your refrigerator or oven
7. Build forts/tents – Take advantage of the weather to create forts and tents to play or sleep in
8. Arts & Crafts – Use pencils, crayons, markers, playdough and any other craft supplies you have
9. Glow Sticks – Stock up on glow sticks for a neon bright night
10. Puppet Show – Use toys or socks for a puppet show performance
11. Pictionary – Put your artistic skills to the test in a game of Pictionary
12. Hide & Seek – Take advantage of the dark to hide and use a flashlight to find everyone
13. Tell stories – Share any stories you know or create a chain story
14. Card games – Grab a deck of cards and let the game begin
15. Shadow games – Use those flashlights to create shadow figures
16. Obstacle course – Make an obstacle course throughout your house

In the end, remember that everyone is going through the same things. This is a great time for the community to come today says Dr. Chasson. Seeing people supporting one another can be a positive thing for one’s mood.

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See also: The latest news on Hurricane Joaquin