Nashville has undergone a difficult few weeks to say the least.  Because icy roads and Nashville hills don’t work together very well, Mayor Karl Dean urged people to stay home.  Many were stuck in their houses for close to a week at one point.  When this happens it’s common to show a few symptoms of cabin fever if not a little bit of stress.  This idea inspired me to share a bit of advice as to how to get trapped in a winter storm without loosing your mind.

 

Choose who you get stuck with.

Like most things, snow days are best when shared.  If you know that “winter is coming,” make a quick dish and grab a few movies and board games and have a slumber party with some other friends who don’t have to work the next day.  If that’s not practical, use the weather as an opportunity to spend some quality time with the family.  Make some memories with the kids by finding a hill to sled down.  Utilize being trapped with your significant other as an opportunity to build intimacy.  Of course, we’ll all be getting in a laugh at the influx of baby announcements in the next couple of months.

 

Be sure to limit your time doing nothing.

Who doesn’t like to spend a day off binge-watching House of Cards?  A day off is a gift from the heavens and I wouldn’t dream of suggesting you spend it working the whole time.  However, I will say that the longer you spend doing nothing the more quickly you will find yourself becoming restless.  On the flip side if you mix work and play, you’ll begin to see your snow day as a means to catch up on your to-do’s as well as some R-&-R.  My wife and I were able to so some work for our jobs, paint a room and a dresser, clear the driveway, start our taxes, scrapbook, and clean the house all while catching up on our shows, watching movies, and getting some reading done.

 

Get some restful alone time.

I don’t care how much you love a person, if you spent every second of every day with them, you will sooner or later wear on each other.  If you’re stuck indoors with family or a roommate, make sure you’re taking some time to work or play by yourself.  I’m always going to recommend some self-hypnosis/meditation time.  You may also want to spend some time working on separate projects.  For the most part, when my wife and I were doing work for our jobs we ended up in separate rooms.  That, in addition to some intentional quiet time, seemed to be enough to keep us from jumping at each other’s throats.

 

Exercise.

This always seems to make it into my lists, but that’s because it’s that important.  If you start to feel restless or trapped, get a little bit of a work out in.  Maybe you’re used to going out for a run, or maybe your gym isn’t walking distance.  That’s fine.   Often times cable companies have channels where you can watch workout videos on demand.  If you don’t have cable, check out some YouTube videos.  If you don’t have Internet, how are you reading this?  Either way, don’t make excuses.  You could do a few pushups, a few lunges, or even walk up and down your stairs a couple times.  Get creative, because those endorphins produced by your efforts will prove to be useful. 

 

Have an adventure.

Look at the present as a story you get to tell now.  Instead of sitting at home bored and hungry, bundle up and go for a walk to the closest store or restaurant.  Make a memory of that time you called your friend with a four-wheel-drive so you could slowly move through traffic from hardware store to hardware store looking for salt.  Whatever you do, stay safe while refusing to let the weather defeat you.  Always remember that a unique circumstance is a memory in the making.

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