Beating Cabin Fever

Veronica Gomes

KG/Elementary Counsellor: Letter #2 to SEISEN Families / Beating Cabin Fever

Weekly letter: 13th March 2020
Online Learning Week 2
by Veronica Gomes

Dear SEISEN Elementary School families,

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever is a popular term for a relatively common reaction to being isolated in a building for a period of time. Cabin Fever is a term that describes the feeling of being cooped up at home, confined to an inside existence, and one that is a “catch-all for the boredom and restlessness brought about by being inside for too long”*.

Whether in Tokyo or abroad, many of us are under self-quarantine. It is important to be aware of cabin fever syndrome – rooted in the feeling of confinement and isolation for an uncertain period of time.


Not everyone suffering from cabin fever will experience exactly the same symptoms, but many people report feeling intensely irritable or restless. Other commonly experienced effects are: feeling low/ sad and lethargic, lack of patience, low-stress tolerance, increased anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and decreased motivation. Food cravings, changes in weight, Social Isolation and hopelessness, frequent napping and difficulty waking.

Coping With Cabin Fever
Here are some strategies to help you cope with cabin fever:

  • Get out of the House: Go outside for a short time, take advantage of that opportunity. (following guidelines to help prevent exposure to the virus). Access to daylight can help regulate the body's natural cycles, and exercise releases endorphins. Even a quick stroll can help you feel better quickly. Daily exercise is also a proven treatment for stress and low mood.
  • Routines: Keep up a normal daily routine and maintain healthy eating patterns as much as possible. Routines and familiarity in times of uncertainty provide a sense of safety.
  • Maintain Normal Eating Patterns: Eating right can increase our energy levels and motivation. You may feel less hungry if you are getting less exercise, but monitor your eating habits to ensure that you maintain the proper balance of nutrition. Limit high-sugar, high-fat snacks and drink plenty of water.
  • Use Your Brain: Avoid relying heavily on-screen and tech as mindless distractions to pass time. Stimulating our minds by working on crossword puzzles, reading books or playing board games helps us feel productive and reduces feelings of isolation and helplessness.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and think about how we’ve all coped with difficult situations in the past. We will overcome this too.
  • Make sure everyone gets alone time, because your family is spending a long time together in confined spaces. It is healthy to plan and designate ‘time out’ from one another. Accept that conflict and arguments may occur between siblings, parent-children, and amongst adults.
  • Maximize the opportunities of having time inside together by taking on achievable projects such as spring cleaning, with the view to donating excess toys (etc) to a local organization.

Yours sincerely,
Veronica Gomes
Seisen International School KG/ ES Counseling


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