Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cabin Fever

--Blogpost written by Bob

As a follow up to our last blogpost, cabin fever is the most severe of the winter challenges for me--it's the combination of living in the boat's small space, short daylight hours, and cold winter weather.

Our onboard propane fireplace makes our main salon warm and toasty on the
coldest of evenings.  Of course, we don't keep it burning while we sleep.
Our Force Ten fireplace is rated at 6,000 Btu when one bank is burning
(as shown) and 12,000 Btu when both banks are burning.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Wikipedia defines cabin fever as a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated or shut in a small space with nothing to do for an extended period.  While cabin fever is not a diagnosable medical condition, the medical term for such a disorder is seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  

While everyone's combination of symptoms is different, I tend to experience all of
the above symptoms to some degree except for the bottom four symptoms. 


According to the experts, the key to dealing with cabin fever is to stimulate the brain and interact with others.  Diet and exercise are also helpful.  When I lived aboard previously (for ten years), I maintained a list of things I could do to avoid cabin fever.
My short list of remedies for cabin fever is as follows:
(1) Attend as many boat-related seminars as I possibly can
(2) Go out to eat at a nice restaurant at least once a week
(3) Take a mid-winter vacation in a sunny warm place (like Miami Beach)
(4) Participate in photography events or classes
(5) Learn something new (like some type of craft or skill)

The winter is a good time to pursue my interest in photography, either taking
classes to improve my skills or learning a new photo editing program.
This winter, it's learning Adobe Lightroom.


In my opinion, cabin fever can't be eliminated, just minimized.  This will be our last winter aboard in a cold place for a long time.  We CAN get through this winter!

Thanks for following our blog!

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