Punxsutawney Phil's prediction for six more weeks of winter seems indisputable at this point. The bone-chilling days and long dark nights have driven us all indoors to hibernate. If you have been feeling irritable, unmotivated or simply down in the dumps - blame it on cabin fever. Webster’s defines cabin fever as boredom, restlessness or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation like a prolonged stay indoors.
While we often joke about it or exaggerate, “cabin fever” is very real to millions of people. According to WebMD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that starts and ends at the same time each year. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 36 million Americans suffer from seasonal depression in the fall as the sunny summer days become a distant memory. If you're going stir crazy, a stone fireplace could just be the thing that cheers you up.
How many of these millions have a fireplace that goes unused? Nothing is more comforting and uplifting than a warm cozy fire. We have heard comments from several customers who purchased an electric fireplace for their elderly parents who enjoy the feeling the fireplace brings to the room and springs everyone back to life. One man goes down to his den every afternoon, switches on the electric fireplace while he relaxes for an afternoon nap. This calming affect on one’s mind could help alleviate or ease the symptoms of depression since the fire is reminiscent of the long lost sun. One neat feature of electric fireplaces is the flame only setting so you could enjoy it's zen-like qualities year-round. Until we get a break from the cold weather, get plenty of sleep and if you can stand the temps, get outside early in the morning for some sunlight and fresh air. Don’t let cabin fever get the best of you.