RetComLife #27 – Cabin Fever

Since winter is my most devastating season, cabin fever has been very common to me over the years. Because of my type of deafness, snow and ice are my enemy. I have landed in the hospital on numerous occasions with rib fractures and vertebrae compression fractures because of falling on ice. In my prime, I was about 5′ 10″, now due to the above and general aging I am 4″ shorter. Whenever the outside temperature drops below freezing, I can no longer take my 2 miles of outside walks around my community each day. That, alone, causes cabin fever.

Now that I am living in a community with about 400 other senior citizens, and COVID-19, I have added dimensions to the concept of cabin fever. Before Omicron, I took my walks indoors. When I walk all four floors of the independent living wings here, it adds up to about 1.25 miles. That is an adequate substitute for my exercise. Now that full masking outside my apartment and the contagiousness of Omicron, I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. I feel it would be better not to risk spreading COVID because of my walks through all the halls. So, at least for now, indoor walks are also off the table.

So, now cabin fever has me in its clutches even worse than past years. That has put me into another round of winter depression. For us, in the Midwest, mid-January through mid-February is the coldest and snowiest period. As of this post, that will end in just four days. ๐Ÿ˜† Thank the Lord. I’m confident that when I can get outside again, my depression will fade away, as it almost always has. I can’t wait for that to happen. It won’t be long now, that the daffodils will be sprouting up and joy will hopefully return to my retirement community life (RetComLife).

6 thoughts on “RetComLife #27 – Cabin Fever

  1. My second bout with skin cancer last summer–this one resulting in the loss of half a lower eyelid and reconstruction with an oculoplastic surgeon–have made me leery of being outside too much these last few months. I’ve invested in another sun hat and have a good sun screen, but sun screens tend to melt away in the Texas heat and my autoimmune illnesses make me intolerant of cold weather, too. I employ lots of YouTube videos for exercise needs to replace the long walks and the dance cardio and other classes I used to take. I have been lucky to live in a small subdivision of widely separated homes in the country during the pandemic time, so I can usually walk safely Covid-wise. We have one or two residents, however, who don’t believe in safe distancing and want to chat up close. I hope we soon both find ourselves out more and feeling our usual selves.

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  2. I know some of my friends live in climates that cause serious winter depression, not from lack of activity but from lack of sunlight.

    Known as SADD, they find sitting in front of a special light that has the same wave lengths as sunlight for a period of time each days help tremendously.

    This wouldn’t replace your walks but may help since you aren’t getting any natural light either.

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    1. Yeah, I thought SADD is probably part of the problem. I had planned on looking into that further, but it never happened. Maybe I can get ready for next winter. I like the old saying “Man plans, God laughs”.

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  3. This is the hardest time of year for me, too. It’s too icy in our neighborhood for me to feel safe walking right now, even with Ice Trekkers on my boots. And I have no motivation to use my exercise equipment. It’s a vicious cycle. Normally, we would go south for a few weeks at this time of year, but we’re just not comfortable traveling right now for all the same reasons you are not walking freely in your complex. At least the days are getting longer. Hang in there! We’ll make it soon…Feb is half over! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Yeah, the days are getting longer, and I already am making plans for my ยตRV trips for the year. That ought to know me out of my depression. Come early March, the daffodils will be sprouting at the homestead. Of course, I won’t be there, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find some here. Thanks for sharing, Laurel.

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