Are You Experiencing Cabin Fever?

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cab·in fe·ver noun
irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.

As we enter into the new normal of living in the reality of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are being asked to participate in “social distancing”. This is a scary, chaotic, and potentially very isolating season. This experience will have a tendency towards exacerbating feelings of cabin fever, which can be painful and frustrating. In such as times like these, what are we supposed to do? As we have become accustomed to an overly stimulated and busy life pace, things are being halted by the reality of this virus and the importance of limiting the spread. While we long for the return to normalcy and the comforts of our routine and busyness, I would encourage us to take advantage of this season of stillness. 

Living in Southern California, we have the luxury of having amazing weather that is relatively unchanging. While there are a ton of benefits with this, one of the potential things we lose is the realization that there is a seasonality to life. In each season, we are called to act differently and respond appropriately. In the warm calming ocean breeze of SoCal, we have the luxury of living life at whatever pace we choose throughout the year; however, as we enter into this season of working from home, Zoom classes, and canceled schools we are being confronted with a type of blizzard that we have not yet seen. As a result to this change of season, we must respond appropriately. 

I would encourage all of us to take this season to take the time that has been given to us, and rather than lament what could be, and indeed there is a very real loss, to see this as an opportunity to do the things that you weren’t able to do before. This could be something as simple as spending a long time to cook a nice meal, playing a board game with your family or friends, or even to catch up on some sleep.  In addition to the self-care that we tend to deny ourselves, take the opportunity to intentionally reach out to your friends and members of your community. While, we may not be able to do this in a physical face-to-face meeting, we are blessed with the technology to connect and communicate with others. Take advantage of that!

Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.

Rav Josef

As with any season, even the seasons we don’t particularly enjoy, we must understand that there is a way we can grow and find joy amidst that particular season. Additionally, like any season, this season will pass and we will return to the times of complaining about traffic on the way to work, trying to get on waitlists for impacted classes with no room, and trying to wake up your child to get to school. 

David Ding, Director of Life Groups and College Ministry, University Covenant Church