Fighting Cabin Fever: How to Stay Sober and Sane

This article was written by Audra Franchini and published by RCA


The winter months are just around the corner. The cold wind is biting, snow is always a threat, everyone is counting down the days until spring. Your cabin fever is making you feel stuck. You’re getting a little stir crazy. And boredom can be a trigger.

Here are three practical ideas to deal with cabin fever:

1.) Find a way to get to a meeting.

Make the impossible possible. Check your meeting list. Is there a meeting closer to where you live than the one you were planning on attending? Do you know anyone who can come get you? Could you shovel your car out in time? Are there buses running? Or can you walk there? Getting out of the house and facing the storm, if it’s not actually dangerous, may elevate your spirits.

A unique camaraderie pops up among the brave souls who venture out to a meeting in a snowstorm. You might find just 2 or 3 other AAs or NAs and plenty of coffee brewing. Maybe somebody brought cookies (if you pass a store on your way, buy the snacks yourself). Bring your own coffee if you can, because there’s a chance the meeting coffee started brewing late.

Often more people drift in as the hour progresses. It’s a relaxed but intimate space for sharing. You could help a newcomer.

If no one’s opened the meeting room and you don’t know who to call, leave a note. Tell them you’ll be at a nearby diner for about an hour, and to come meet you there. Of course, there’s a chance that the meeting isn’t open AND there’s no diner. So you trudge back home and check into an online meeting instead. You’ll feel good that you tried.

2.) Make phone calls or set up video check-ins

If the weather is treacherous and going out is a bad idea, spend the evening making calls. Call your sponsor (even if you’ve called them earlier—nothing wrong with double dipping).

Go down your list of AA or NA members. Reach out to someone in your home group. Or be bold and call someone whose name you don’t recognize. Tell them you needed to connect with people. If they are a lapsed member, maybe your call will be the catalyst to bring them back.

3.) Try online recovery meetings.

The Recovery Centers of America Alumni Association offers several online meetings and resources to help you get through the long winter months. Our meetings such as Morning Inspiration, Big Book studies and virtual wellness check-ins are available throughout the week.

Don’t rely on online meetings alone—we all need live, human connectedness. But it’s a great resource for times when you can’t get out.

Whatever you are going through emotionally during these long, cold, and often snowy winter days, talk about it with someone. You don’t have to go through it alone.

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