How To Beat Cabin Fever

by Danielle Fecteau
Shield Staff  

The walls start closing in and you feel like your bed has become your best friend. The temperature outside is in the negatives and you find yourself spending more and more time in your dorm room. We’ve all been there. Soon you forget what it feels like to even be off campus. You long to get out and see the world around you again, but you can’t seem to beat those wintertime blues.

You could be experiencing cabin fever, which is “an intense anxiety reaction to feeling restricted in a confined space indoors with nothing to do, or not wanting to do anything, for a period of time,” said Dr. Gordon MacKinnon, professor of psychology. “An example is being shut-in during a snowstorm for several days.”

Though you may be anxious to get off campus to interact with the outside world, you may find yourself retiring back into your dorm after classes and watching Netflix all night. “Cabin fever is similar to claustrophobia in that it is flavored with an intense restlessness and desire to escape,” said Dr. Robyn Siegel-Hinson, associate professor of psychology.

In order to escape the grip of cabin fever this winter, you could need a little incentive. Rochester Hills is a great area to get out and involved in the community.

1.    Get up and get out.

Sure the weather outside is frightful, but think of all the cozy wintertime activities. Hot cocoa, comfort food and sugar cookies, oh my! Some fun places to visit in Rochester during the winter months include Dessert Oasis, Bean and Leaf Café, Panera Bread, Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. And if you can’t force yourself to make it off campus for something warm to drink, Kibo Corner is located in the student center.

2.    Get into the great outdoors.

Have a snowball fight, build a snowman, go sledding, or just go for a walk. The beautiful snow won’t be around forever so try to enjoy it while you can. You don’t have to go off campus to have the most epic snowball fight in the history of Rochester College.

3.    Enjoy the wintery ambience.

Stroll through the wintery ambience of Downtown Rochester. Hike in nearby Bloomer Park or on the Clinton River Trail right behind campus. Grab your boots, get out of the dorm room and see the sparkling snow.

4.    Go shopping.

Though the Internet has become even more popular than physically shopping in a store, winter can be a really fun time to get out and head to the mall. Being in the heart of Rochester, RC is pretty close to all the major shopping centers in the area. Lakeside Mall, Partridge Creek and the Somerset Collection are all great places to hang out and do some shopping. If you’re looking for better prices, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is another close place to search for some bargains.

5.    Catch a movie.

This is the box office’s busiest season, and rightfully so. The best movies usually come out before and after the holiday season -- a perfect time to get out of your cabin fever haze. Emagine in Rochester Hills and  Forum in Sterling Heights are a couple of close-by theaters.

6.    Get on the road.

If you’re willing to drive a little farther out of the Rochester area, some options could be ice skating at Campus Martius in Detroit or some winter fun in Frankenmuth. Campus Martius has its seasonal ice rink open and available for a cheap-priced open skate at $8 for admission and $3 for skate rentals. “Campus Martius is so beautiful and magical this time of year,” said Zac Kwiecinski, junior pre-pharmaceutical major. Also, Bronner’s in Frankenmuth is a store where Christmas never ends and you’ll find endless holiday entertainment such as ornaments, stockings and other great gift ideas.

Grab your boots

So get a group of friends together and grab your winter boots. These cold months don’t have to be as depressing as we make them out to be. Go sledding, make a snowman, and drink that cocoa. Summer will be back before we know it.