5 Ways to Cope with Cabin Fever

Who would have thought that 2021 would be a repeat of 2020? I know we all hoped that the pandemic would be well behind us by now but unfortunately it is still our collective reality. For many people, movement is limited for a variety of reasons and cabin fever seems to be a constant companion. Well, it’s time to shake off the feeling of being trapped in, the irritability and boredom. Here are five sure ways to cope with cabin fever and improve on your overall health and wellness.

1) (Re) discover your city

There has not been a better time to explore your city or home town like the present. International travel and even intra-city has become a tad complicated to achieve, what with Covid-19 tests and vaccination requirements and even lockdowns. Take advantage of the attractions within your city to have a fun day out. Make a list of the sites in your city and close by and purpose to tick off each one over the coming weeks.

Seen some of them already? How about going with a friend or relative who’s never been? There’s something special about experiencing something through fresh eyes. While I have ridden the Ferris wheel in Nairobi severally over the years, I recently joined my niece and nephew who live out of town on a ride. Seeing the excitement in their eyes as we went up, up and over made the repeat experience absolutely worth it.

2) Picnic

If ever there is an instant cure for cabin fever then it has be an outdoor picnic. Food sure goes down better with a bit of sunshine and fresh air. How about you prepare a food basket and head over to the park for a day of leisure? If a day out in the park is not possible, then why not dine at the balcony instead? Eating away from the kitchen, dining table or couch is bound to lift your spirits and boost your mood.

3) Staycation

If staring at the walls of your home has become unbearable, then it might be time for a change of environment. A weekend staycation at an Airbnb or hotel is just the change of scenery that you need. It will help you relax, recharge and go back home feeling calmer and happier. Unlike a vacation, it does not cost much nor require much planning. After months of being cooped indoors, I recently packed my bag and checked into the Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport. The two night stay was all about taking a break from cooking, cleaning and working on the laptop. I must admit enjoying food someone else prepared and not worrying about tidying up felt really good. The hotel had taken necessary precautions to ensure that their guests’ stay was safe so I was totally comfortable during my staycation.

4) Get active

For a lot of people, the pandemic has necessitated a lot of sit down screen time as a result of working from home. It’s no wonder then that we are experiencing an overwhelming case of cabin fever. Getting active is an effective way of fighting the condition. Take a walk round the neighbourhood; hit the hiking trails close by; a morning/evening run is a great way to start/end the day.

While gyms may be closed, you can work out in the house; what with Chloe Ting, Lily Sabri and all the other instructors on the internet you have no excuse. I bought a pair of dumbbells, a pack of three resistance bands and a skipping rope last year and it has helped with my fitness and in keeping my weight in check, heaven knows I needed it with all the snacking and constant feeding.

5) Road trip

Fill up the tank, put on your favourite tunes and get on the open roads. Watch the scenery and landscape change. Park by the side of the road and admire the beauty of the landscape; take plenty of photos. The best road trip I took last year was to the small, sleepy town of Molo that lies west of Nakuru a five hour drive from Nairobi. Located along the Mau forest, at the foot of the Mau Escarpment, the weather there was cool and the air crisp. The journey was absolutely refreshing and blew the indolence of being indoors away.


Don’t let cabin fever get the better of you. Step out – mask on, of course – check out the city’s attractions, enjoy a picnic, staycation or a scenic road trip. Keep active, it’s good for your physical and mental health.


Author profile
Sarah Mwangi

Sarah Mwangi is a Marketing Co-ordinator in the leading Destination Management Company in East Africa and is passionate about travel across the African continent.

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