Experts weigh in on quarantine anxiety: Keep a regular work schedule, exercise and take it one day at a time

BOSTON — Thursday marked one month since Governor Baker announced his “Stay at home advisory.” The isolation is taking a toll on many people. Mental health experts say you have to set boundaries both mentally and physically.

“I think everybody came into this stay at home order with pretty high expectations that they would be super parents designing this great curriculum for their children while working, baking with one hand while learning a new language with another, all somehow at the same time,” Erica Savino Moffatt, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Lahey Healthcare said.

And for many people those expectations have worn off and people are left wondering, “When will like go back to normal?”

“I think the hardest thing of this pandemic is how much we don’t know,” Savino Moffatt said.

Savino Moffatt says when fear and uncertainty kick in, we need to take pause.

“For us, this sense of not knowing leads to a loss of control," Savino Moffat said. “When folks get mired in those thoughts it’s really helpful to take a step back with what you can control.”

She recommends maintaining a normal work schedule, having a designated area to work in our home and not working when you don’t have to.

“It’s really tempting to send that one more email or make that one more phone call but unless it’s really major, it’s important that we don’t and maintain those boundaries between work and home life,” she added.

Elaine Verales, a Career Counselor with Keystone Partners recommends setting a schedule and sticking with it.

“Schedule going out to walk the dog, schedule just going out to get fresh air for 10 minute breaks. Building a schedule is that commitment to yourself that at whatever time of day, you’re going to go exercise, whatever time of day, you’re going to spend time with your family,” Verales said.

And if that’s not enough, the experts say it’s ok to just take it one day at a time.

And if that’s not enough, experts say it’s okay to just take it one day at a time.

“When you get overwhelmed with thinking, ‘What’s going to happen in a month or two from now?’, that’s when you know it’s time to pull back your focus and just do today," said Savino Moffat. "You can run the mile you’re in and someday the race will be over,” Savino Moffat said.

They also suggest working out and meditating.

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