Cabin Fever during Quarantine

To ensure public health, my family has strictly adhered to the recommended safety measures during the pandemic. This means we have all made sacrifices to keep each other safe. While we do all this to protect our physical health, mental health is just as important. For those like me who struggle with anxiety or depression, mental health issues have been compounded under quarantine. Now that winter is setting in, there is also a sense of cabin fever taking hold. In addition to the suffocating feeling of being stuck inside, I’m constantly worried for family members who are susceptible.  There are also serious concerns of financial security now that I am living on an irregular income. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Rather than dwelling on the uncertainty of the future, I decided that capitalizing on my cabin fever would be a more productive way to deal with it.

Capitalizing on My Cabin Fever

By nature, I am an active person and have a difficult time staying still for too long. So, having to self-quarantine and being confined to quarters are not my idea of a good time. However, that is precisely the position I was in after necessary travel this summer. The first few days were easy enough. I enjoyed quiet pursuits like reading and drawing. The best part was that I was actually saving money. I didn’t spend anything beyond basic necessities.

Then like clockwork, the optimism of the first week began to fade. I grew restless and began pacing around the house like a caged tiger. My nervous tension also put everyone around me on edge. Looking for a quiet outlet, old habits and vices became more appealing. Instead of giving into vices like alcohol, cigarettes, and online shopping which harm your health and your wallet, I decided to put my nervous energy to good use.

Organizational Projects

Since I was spending so much time at home, it was the perfect reason to tackle my large-scale organizational projects. I began with my bedroom since I spend the majority of time there. In the end I donated a ton of clothes and home decor items which I no longer needed. Not only did I free up valuable space, but I also earned myself a tax-write off this year. Next, I took on my work space a.k.a. my computer. I passed an entire day sorting through my digital documents and cleaning up my hard drive. I even managed to finally edit photos from past vacations, some of which I had forgotten entirely.

Once I had my personal spaces in order, I turned my attention to my unfinished design projects. During the cleaning process, I discovered a stack of postcards and craft supplies I had bought to display them. It only took about an hour to hang them, and but it made a huge impact. Not only did it brighten up my room, but it also gave me a more positive outlook. Instead of focusing on what I can’t due under the current travel restrictions, I found myself planning future trips once they’re lifted. Capitalizing on my cabin fever to cross nagging tasks off my to-do list gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. When I finished, my spirit definitely felt lighter and less encumbered.

Inspire Others To Be More Productive

My productivity and restlessness also had some unforeseen side effects. My compulsive need to organize rubbed off on those around me. Soon after I completed my projects, my mom was finally sorting through her books, DVD collection, and art and crafts supplies which were overflowing from their storage boxes. We then moved into the kitchen and reorganized the cabinets to make the space more functional. As a bonus, we found cookbooks and appliances that will definitely be put to more frequent use. My dad was also motivated to complete small home repair projects and cleared areas where the materials had been kept. I know they both felt the same relief to finally deal with the projects that we never seemed to have time to finish. Furthermore, they saved a ton of money doing it themselves instead of hiring out the work.

Investing in Physical Health

During quarantine, we literally had nothing but time. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to focus on physical health goals and get into a regular exercise regimen. It also provided the cost-saving benefit of eliminating my monthly gym membership fee. Though it may seem like an insignificant expenditure to some, that money goes a long way on a limited budget.

Additionally, my family is now spending more time to try healthy recipes instead of eating out. Any savvy budgeter will attest to how much cooking at home can save you each month. Furthermore, a healthy diet and lifestyle will also save you a ton in healthcare costs down the road. Quarantine allowed me to influence and improve the eating habits of my family members. Finding ways to improve your family’s physical health is always a wise investment.

Momentum for Professional Pursuits

Seeing all these positive changes in my life gave me momentum to continue capitalizing on my cabin fever. After achieving personal goals, I am turning my focus towards professional pursuits. My next undertaking will be to finally finish my pet projects that may boost my career prospects. Finding old notebooks and unpublished works reignited some creative sparks in me. As I revisit my past pieces, I have been able to reconnect with myself and found the confidence to push myself to achieve more. My hope is that this newfound confidence will allow me to share more with the public and be open to new professional opportunities.

Maintaining this positive outlook and setting goals have helped me weather the worst aspects of life under quarantine. It’s easy to get mired down in the negativity of it all, but we must all remember life continues. Though things may look bleak at the moment, I am going to use my time to build towards financial security. My hope is that I will be closer to my professional and financial goals after this pandemic has ended.