Cabin fever is a type of illness that occurs when staying in a place for a prolonged period of time. The results of cabin fever include depression, aggression, anxiety, and sleeplessness (or sleepiness. It can go both ways, honestly). Cabin fever can be cured by simple steps that you can take to make your indoors stay more positive.

For instance, you can plant flowers to cheer you up. adds, “Aside from helping to rid your home of stale air and making your space prettier, did you know plants can also lift your mood? An Australian study found that when plants were added in people’s offices, they experienced, on average, 37% reduction in tension/anxiety, 58% reduction in depression, and 38% reduction in fatigue, among others.”

While eating is something people do a lot when they are stuck in a place for too long, you can make sure that you eat food that puts you in a good mood. Curious, is it not, that the food we eat affects our mood? explains, “certain foods also help uplift your spirits. These foods contain high levels of an amino acid, tryptophan, which our bodies convert to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.” These foods include sunflower seeds, tofu, and asparagus.

“Boredom is one of of the other factors contributing to cabin fever. By having goal-oriented activities throughout the winter months, you can help stave it off. Of course, as freelancers, you’ll always have client deadlines to keep you occupied.” I can vouch for that as a freelancer. Deadlines keep my depression in check because I’m too anxious to pay attention to my otherwise crippling depression.

Having a sense of purpose most definitely helps with cabin fever. You don’t feel trapped. Instead, you find yourself busy with work. “Also set goals for other areas of your life, such as relationships, housekeeping or home management, hobbies, etc. If you’re busy organizing your basement, for example, you won’t have the opportunity to get cabin fever (you’ll also have a reason to go outside and buy supplies).”

But it is really a balancing act. For me, cabin fever happens because, not that I don’t have hobbies, but because I am alone often. “Isolation is considered one of the contributing factors to cabin fever. If you’d rather not drive in the snow to have lunch with your friends, then invite them over for some tea and cookies. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate dinner party. Having even one person over to talk to face-to-face can help keep you from feeling lonely.”

And finally, “Just because it’s cold and dreary outside doesn’t mean it needs to be the same inside your house. Put out your Christmas decorations and lights. Use bright colors on curtains, pillows and other soft furnishings. Take out the most luxurious beddings you have. While you’re at it, why not buy a diffuser to make your house smell of lavender, peppermint and jasmine? These are just some of the essential oils that are considered uplifting and help address depression.”