4 great ways to beat cabin fever

Ryan Lowery

MARQUETTE– Around this time of year, I get a little stir-crazy. The novelty of the snow and cold starts to wear off, and I begin to long for the warm summer air, early sunrises, late evenings, cookouts and bonfires by the lake. Clearly we have quite some time until those days are here. In order to continue to thrive in the long U.P. winters, I’ve had to learn how to manage life so it doesn’t manage me. Take a look here at a few tips to help you stay healthy and avoid the dreaded cabin fever.

≤ Find your rhythm, and stick to it.

There’s something powerful about a routine. I find that my day goes much better if I’m up at 5 a.m. and am able to get a workout in before my family wakes up. I’m more focused, engaged, and ready to take the day by force. But that only happens if I get my full 8 hours of sleep. This takes a lot of discipline (some days I’m better than others). I have to fight the urge to binge Netflix and grab a few munchies before falling asleep at 11 or 12. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Find the time of day where you’re most productive and which sets you up for success. Then make a plan and execute it so you can stay refreshed, energized and get after it.

≤ Take a sauna. Do it with friends.

This should be no surprise to the Finnish population here. Several peer-reviewed studies have provided evidence that there are health benefits to taking a sauna. They include decreased risk for heart disease, less pain, reduced stress, and increased relaxation. Taking saunas can also be dangerous for some people, so it’s important that you check with your doctor before participating. Adding friends is icing on the cake. It encourages social, emotional and spiritual well-being and also increases safety in the sauna.

≤ Take up a winter hobby that happens to be active.

There’s no need to discuss the benefits of physical activity. We all know that it’s good for us. What can be challenging through the winter is staying motivated. This is why I stress enjoying your activity. If you find a physical activity you enjoy doing, you’ll be much more likely to give your body the exercise it needs, versus checking an item off a list. Hockey and geocaching are great examples. Enjoy cycling but not the cold? Try an indoor gaming platform like Zwift to help your indoor rides go more smoothly.

≤ Get outdoors as often as you can.

Marquette is an area that’s beautiful year-round. We have more ski trails than we can count, plenty of areas to hike, and a few mountains really close to us that are waiting to be explored. Take a few friends out to the ice caves or snowshoe on the Dead River trails. Embrace the beauty of winter, and it will reward you with joy and happiness.