Living in Isolation

Tips for Alleviating Cabin Fever

Chickens are not bound by social distancing like we are.

The days are beginning to drag on in this grand social distancing /stay at home experiment (or Physical Distancing as suggested by the World Health Organization) and it’s only been a week. I love my husband and my garden. I love the cats, my chickens, and even the freezer-destined lambs. But not socializing, no handshakes or hugs, not even being able to see and say “Hi” personally to friends? I’m not a fan.

While we all really live alone inside our own heads, we seem to be herd animals with a need for contact and community. And the cold void that is in the Internet somehow doesn’t always fill our needs.

So, I’ve been looking for solutions and found some that might just work to slow that need to reach out and (don’t say it!) touch someone.

Shim is our cuddle kitty who loves social closeness with his people.

Astronauts are possibly the people with the most experience at being truly isolated. I saw a story on Scott Kelly, a retired astronaut, with some gems for alleviating cabin fever. The italics are my comments to his ideas. And click on the link to read the entire article.

  •  Have a schedule and stick to it.  (Yes, you seemingly have all the time in the world.  But having something to do on a consistent regular basis can keep you motivated.)
  •  Go to bed at a regular time (and from another source:  don’t be afraid to sleep in.  Sleep is good for the immune system)
  • Journal – write down what you do day to day, what your thoughts and dreams and hopes are. (I did this on a momentous trip to the USSR right after the coup attempt against Gorbachev in 1991. It’s still fun to read and remember those historic days. This may become part of your legacy, something your great-grands can read as they attempt to understand these wild times.)

And from yet another source:  Put your pants on every day. Or real clothes. Do not become a PJ person. Therein lies madness. Not really, or not sure. But getting dressed “up” means you are ready to go forth and do battle, whether it be staying at home or making a foraging trip to the store. It’s a good mental trick to stay positive and ready for the challenges of the day.

Lambs are herd animals but too fast to catch and hug.

The real problem is I still haven’t found a way to get my “PC” (personal contact) time in, so the chickens and cats are going to have to get used to the occasional extended hug. Those darned lambs are too fast.

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