9 Suggestions to Cure Cabin Fever

Even in the darkest of times, I’ve always tried to look for the silver lining. I guess I’m a born optimist, but I think that during these very uncertain and often disturbing times with the threat of Coronavirus spreading the world, it’s a good time to spread some of that optimism to others. While we are being cautioned to stay at home and practice social distancing, it doesn’t have to be a miserable or boring experience for those you’re “quarantined” with.

For many families, this can be a great experience to reconnect and bond while having a little fun during these uncertain times. Here are just a few suggestions to keep everyone in the family from going stir crazy:

  • Board Games — Break out the old Monopoly, Clue, Life, Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Candy Land, or whatever games you have at home. This will expose many of the younger generation that are more accustomed to video games and can bring out the fun and competitive side of each family member.
  • Card Games — Try your luck at “Go Fish” or  your favorite card game. My mom was a champion UNO player and very competitive! You might just see a new side of your family members when they get a chance to play.
  • Puzzles — Everyone should have a puzzle or two around. Even if they are the ones with larger pieces, the whole family can still have a good time. Make it a competition and see who can put it together faster. For the puzzles with what seems like a thousand tiny pieces, give it a go. It doesn’t have to be finished in one day. It can be an ongoing project that you can come back to when you feel like it. Puzzle construction should reveal those with the most patience and better eyesight in the family.
  • Art Contest—It can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Break out the old coloring books or try your hand at the more detailed adult coloring books. Coloring, painting, and creating are calming for many. If you have a contest, it’s probably a good idea to have prizes for everyone. Think Dollar Tree gifts or a hand-written certificate. I’ve always kept a prize drawer with a variety of gifts for when I was babysitting my nephews. If you’ve got one too, I’m sure everyone in the family would love a little “happy” during this time.
  • Book Hour (or however long you’d like)—Kids and even older kids and adults love to be read to. Choose a favorite novel the family would like and read aloud. Re-experience the “Harry Potter” journey, the “Twilight” series, John Grisham novels, or whatever your might interest everyone. Also, have the younger ones read some Golden Books or easy reading books to keep up their reading skills.
  • Scavenger Hunts—This may not be for some, but they are always fun. It might take a little bit of imagination and creativity, but it will be entertaining This was a sneaky way I used when my nephews weren’t too crazy about reading, but they did love playing games and, of course, finding the treasure. Clues can be as simple or difficult as you’d like, just so they lead the hunters from one place to another until they find the treasure. This can be done inside or outside in your yard. My nephews still remember those treasure hunts and talk about them.
  • Learn a New Skill—If you’re lucky enough to have someone who knows how to play an instrument, knit, crochet, sew, or whatever talents they may possess, this is definitely the time to take advantage of learning from them. If you already know how to play a musical instrument, this can be great practice time, and for the crafters, this is a great time to work on Christmas gifts, afghans, quilts, or whatever project your skills can create.
  • Family Movie Night—Each night, a different member of the family gets to choose the movie selection. Pop some microwave popcorn and enjoy being together as a family.
  • Video Game Tournaments—Compete in your favorite video games. I have some fun memories of competing with my nephews while we challenged one another on singing or dancing video games. I still think they cheated on me sometimes. It’s just not right for one of your nephews to beat you on a Taylor Swift song that you totaled owned, and I still think I could beat them dancing to an Usher classic on their video games. There was some fierce competition but always a lot of fun and great memories.

These are just a few suggestions for keeping your family entertained and occupied during this difficult time. Some great and special memories can be made together as we are cautioned to slow down, stay at home, and stay safe.

If you’ve got other options or ideas for entertainment for the family, we’d love to hear them. Please share your creativity and suggestions with us all. Stay safe but don’t forget to have a little fun with the family when you can.


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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