In the brisk winter, the chill of the night can bring a blanket of snow. It always looks beautiful to see sparkling snowflakes decorating the landscape and frost covered branches hanging overhead. While icy roads and snow drifts can create their own set of obstacles, on days when you are stuck at home due to inclement weather you have new challenges to face. Whether you are stuck at home for several days due to bad weather, or the cold and flu season keeps you down, we are all subject to getting a little cabin fever every once in a while. What can we learn about our cabin fever, and how can we keep it from getting the best of us?
I’d like to think Jonah had his own struggles with cabin fever, after spending three days in the belly of a sea creature. He probably thought any moment would be his last. Even Elijah felt lonely on his wilderness journey (1 Kings 19:4). David spent many lonely days running for his life, fleeing from King Saul. There are plenty of biblical examples of those who have faced extreme solitude, and recovered, so we know there is hope for all of us.
- Invest in meaningful activities
- Invest in prayer and Bible study
- Invest in other people
When you are stuck inside, you often have plenty of things to occupy your time. There are times when you can even prepare ahead of time and get a book to read, a puzzle to piece together, or some movies to watch. After a while, filling your time with too many passive activities can seem meaningless, and we start to relate with Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:2, Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
If you try to pass the time during your confinement, try to create something that has special meaning or value to you. If you watch movies or read books that are purely entertaining, it’s easy to fall back into the mindset that all is vanity, or meaningless. Try to work on learning to play a new song, write a poem, work on a painting, or create a new treat in the kitchen. You can feel accomplished and productive, even in your solitude, so long as you have something to show for it in the end.
Invest some time in prayer. This may seem like a simple solution that gets mentioned frequently. It’s super common to take the free time you have, and try to spend it on entertainment, and you neglect to spend time in prayer or in the Word of God. When Jonah knew he had a calling to Nineveh that he was neglecting, he did everything he could to avoid the place, and embarked on an expedition in the opposite direction. When he was stuck in the sea creature, you bet he turned back to God in prayer. Of course, he’s an extreme example because he willingly ran from God. Many times we let circumstances lead us away gradually. Take the time you have today to invest in prayer and Bible study to see where God may be leading you, even though you be stuck inside.
Reach out to friends, family, and loved ones. When you feel like you are stuck inside and can’t go anywhere, you can start to feel like you are all alone in your struggles. You might have a neighbor in need, or friend just around the corner. Just before Elijah reached his lowest point, he felt like was the only one serving God (1 Kings 18:22). After the angel of the Lord ministered to him, and brought him back to the place where he was chasing after God again, he discovered he wasn’t as alone as he thought. As it turns out there were 7,000 in Israel who didn’t bow unto Baal (1 Kings 19:18). While your circumstances may lead you to feel lonely, you are surely not alone, and there are others who are willing to lead you through your wilderness journey.
Do you feel like your cabin fever reminds you of another Biblical example? What strategies have you found to overcome the boredom and loneliness that comes from snow days and sick days?
Hi, I’m Micah Black. I began my career with Mardel in 2006, while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. While I love to write fiction and convey stories through novels, I also have a passion for studying philosophy, theology, and apologetics. I enjoy the faith-building resources available at Mardel, and look forward to sharing what new topics and information I’m learning.