I think I’m losing my mind.
Today was one of the first days in the entire quarantine experience where I managed not to schedule anything at all – no Zoom calls, no time-sensitive projects, and no obligations related to anyone else but myself. As much as I have loved staying connected to people, it was lovely to have a day when I didn’t feel any kind of pressure to be social. Technically, I am an introvert – despite outward appearances – so being alone with no obligations is actually rather peaceful and relaxing for me.
After some less-than-lovely weather, we finally had a sunny day with decent temperatures. Despite some feelings of lethargy, I finally motivated myself to get dressed and go out for a walk. I managed to do about 8,000 steps walking rather aimlessly through my neighborhood. The sunlight was healing for me, and I was able to just relax and allow my mind to wander.
That’s when I realized that I may be losing my mind.
I noticed a few houses here and there that never fully undecorated from Christmas. I found myself thinking, “Maybe I will just take out my Christmas tree and decorate again.”
Honestly, I seriously considered this for quite a long time today. I even went so far as to map out which decorations I could use that weren’t “traditionally” Christmas that wouldn’t look so bizarre in the spring. I am still considering it. I mean, why not?
I have a great artificial tree that takes a good three or four days to adequately fluff out so it looks like a live tree. I have plenty of decorations that I made myself out of wine corks. Putting up the tree could actually give me a project that would suck up plenty of my time for at least three or four days, and it would look lovely to sit here and stare at it.
Obviously, I am bored. I thought about the concept of “cabin fever” and then I thought to myself, “Just what is cabin fever, really?” So I then went online and did a search. I found the following list of potential “cabin fever” symptoms at https://www.healthline.com/health/cabin-fever. Let’s see how I add up. This website has eleven symptoms, so I am going to assess each to see what my score out of 11 might be:
- Restlessness – Yep. Check this one off. I find myself frequently just walking around aimlessly, doing tiny little cleaning projects. Anything to keep me from having to sit and stare at the wall.
- Decreased motivation – Ha! Absolutely. When we first went into quarantine I had great plans for being productive. That lasted a day, and now I feel most days like all I want to do is sleep, eat, and then repeat.
- Irritability – Absolutely. I hide it well when I communicate with friends, but I can tell you that lately my patience with stupidity has moved from it’s normal level of “not much” to “none at all.” One of the reasons I don’t read the news any more is that there are too many stories about stupid people that make my blood pressure rise. I also find that when I see people totally ignoring social distancing, I have the urge to scream.
- Hopelessness – I must admit that this one also applies. I am fine most of the time, but I have quite a few days where I spiral down into the abyss of negativity.
- Difficulty concentrating – Well, yes. Oh, look, a squirrel! Where was I? Oh, yes – difficulty concentrating. What time is is? I wonder if my mail came yet. What were we talking about?
- Irregular sleep patterns, including sleepiness or sleeplessness – Finally! One symptom that I don’t have! My sleep patterns have been quite good, actually. I am not sure why, but I’m not complaining.
- Difficulty waking up – Not really. I mean, I have this all the time anyway, so nothing is changed here.
- Lethargy – Absolutely. I cannot count the number of times that I have found myself just sitting – or slouching – in a comfortable chair thinking, “I really should do something” and instead just stay there doing nothing at all. When I do get moving, I am certainly not overly energetic.
- Distrust of people around you – What people? I am alone, so I don’t have this one since I am totally isolated by myself.
- Lack of patience – Hahaha! I have this all the time but thinking about this I must admit that it’s worse lately than it has been.
- Persistent sadness or depression – Check. I try to remain positive, but really I am sad and/or depressed far more than normal.
So my score is 8 out of 11. Yep – cabin fever. So perhaps I’m not truly losing my mind.
I wonder where I should put the Christmas tree?
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.