Cabin Blues? Blizzard Fever? Here’s How to Cope

By UB’s Joyce Marter, LCPC

Most of us in Chicagoland are stuck indoors with yet another “Snow Apocalypse.” This can lead some of us to feel isolated, down, and stressed about getting behind with work and other responsibilities during this “Snowmageddon.” Here are some ways to cope:

Let it Go: Can’t work? Can’t complete the urgent things on your “To Do List”? Let it go. Mother Nature is giving you a break. The snow will get shoveled and the work will get done. Take a few minutes to practice some breathing, relaxation or mindfulness techniques.

 Shower: It may sound silly, but staying in your jammies can exacerbate the “funk.” Get showered and dressed and feel human even if your stuck inside.

 Exercise: Can’t make it to the gym? It doesn’t take any equipment to do a few traditional calisthenics—sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, the plank, etc. Even taking a few minutes to do some deep stretching can promote relaxation and decrease stress. Of course, shoveling is always a good workout…

 ractice Self Care: Take this time to take a bubble bath, give yourself a mani-pedi or read that novel you never finished.

    Clean Your “Cabin”: If you are stuck inside and your place is a mess, it will increase your anxiety. Take some time to tidy up your home and maybe even tackle that dreaded closet or junk drawer. You will feel better.

    Connect with Friends: Especially for those who live alone, it is important to fight the blues by staying connected. Pick up the phone. Invite neighbors over for a movie festival. Post those pics of your last vacation to your FB profile. Connect with people who care about you.

    Stay in the Present: Is school going to be cancelled tomorrow? Am I going to be able to make it to the big meeting? How is the avalanche of what isn’t getting done this week going to affect next? Again, let it go. Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time and don’t let your mind jump ahead.

    Keep it Calm: Limit your exposure to anxiety producing movie or news about “thunder snow”! Being bombarded with worry when feeling powerless while stuck at home can fill you with unnecessary anxiety. Incorporate some light hearted “fluff” to your media exposure.

    Stay Healthy: Drink water. Eat healthy and limit your alcohol use. Eating crap and over drinking can exacerbate stress, anxiety and depression.

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