Rhiannon Velasquez Infant/Toddler Guide
Whether schools are offering on-campus learning, remote learning, or a combination of both, being cooped up can create anxiety and exhaustion; especially for youth who are unable to socialize with friends and families like they are used to doing.
Photo Credit: SUIMA
Photo Credit: McKayla Lee | SU Drum archive
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From the Eagle’s Nest

Dealing with ‘Cabin Fever’

It’s that time of year – a weekend that brings an end to the football games on television and the enjoyment of snowy days. It is also the time that we tend to get “Cabin Fever.” 

While “Cabin Fever” is often associated with being stuck inside during cold, snowy, wet weather, after months of social distancing and lockdowns, “Cabin Fever” is taking on a new meaning for many of us. That includes students. Whether schools are offering on-campus learning, remote learning, or a combination of both, being cooped up can create anxiety and exhaustion. Not being able to socialize with friends and families like we used to can also cause these same feelings. 

To help students work through the feelings that “Cabin Fever” causes, and to help keep the students focused on schoolwork, SUIMA has implemented a social hour, two times per week. Students can join their virtual platform during lunch. While in this virtual social space, the students can laugh, share what they are having for lunch, tell silly jokes and spend time together. They have the support of the SUIMA school counselor and Speech Therapist to guide discussions – if needed – and to offer adult supervision. 

No matter if it’s the students or the adults, here are a few tips to help keep “Cabin Fever” at bay. 

Keep yourself healthy by eating nutritious food. Comfort foods can bring some short-term relief and enjoyment to an otherwise uneventful day, neglecting nutrition will leave you feeling weighed down and sluggish. Healthy, nutritious food can provide you with energy so that you can keep up with your child – indoors and out.

With that being said, get moving. Bundle up and take a walk in the snow. Build a snowman. When the weather and streets allow, go for quick bike ride. Inside the house, build some forts or play hide and seek.

When it comes to sleep, make sure you stick with a routine. It seems like a no-brainer but going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help you get a full night’s sleep.

To help reduce “Cabin Fever” learn something new. This will help fend off boredom. By mixing things up and doing something completely new, we can help keep our brains from getting stuck in a rut. Try having a picnic with your family outdoors, (bundled up in snow clothes) or eating on the floor of the living room with a big blanket that represents the picnic area. Or make up a new dance routine and have a family dance off.

No matter what you and your family can do to break up the feelings of “Cabin Fever,” just have fun with each other. Make some memories and look forward to next year’s normal “Cabin Fever.”


Rhiannon Velasquez
Infant/Toddler Guide

For this edition, the SUIMA Staff Spotlight is on Infant/Toddler Guide Rhiannon Velasquez. Rhiannon lives in Tiffany with her husband Fidel, their three children: Phillip, Sage, and Easton, as well as their four horses, two dogs and one cat.

Rhiannon has her roots here and graduated from Ignacio High School in 2008.

One of her favorite quotes is “Smile and the world will smile back.” If you ever encounter Rhiannon, you will see that she is true to her quote and always carries a smile with her.

To break up any “Cabin Fever” she may have, Rhiannon can be found outside hunting, fishing, riding her horses or enjoying dinner at her mom’s home. In the summertime, she enjoys time in a boat on the lake.

While she works with our youngest students, Rhiannon has advice for all students out there- no matter the age: Finish your education, explore the world, then come back with knowledge and experience to help our tribe and tribal youth grow. She states that the best part of working at SUIMA is knowing she is giving back to her tribe and the tribal membership. 

Thank you, Rhiannon, for being part of the SUIMA family. 

Upcoming SUIMA events

  • PAG Family Night – Wednesday, Feb. 3, “Storytelling”
  • Family Conference Week – Feb. 8-11, Virtual meetings
  • PAG Meeting – Tuesday, Feb. 9
  • No School (in lieu of conferences) – Friday, Feb. 12
  • No School (Presidents Day) – Monday, Feb. 12
  • PAG Family Night – Wednesday, Feb. 17
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