Local psychologist offers mental health tips during stay at home orders

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Stay at home orders could have some people feeling a bit cabin fever these days. Mental health experts suspect cases of anxiety and depression could rise as officials try to stop the spread of COVID-19.

According to Psychologist Dr. Matthew Boland with Health Psychology Associates staying at home could take a toll on a person’s well-being.

“Yeah it could be really easy to start losing track of sense of self and sense of purpose.”

He said there are a few things people could do to maximize their mental health. First, find creative ways to keep your passions alive.

"A lot people, who get a lot of enjoyment out of skiing and meaning out of skiing, aren't able to ski now."

Dr. Boland continued, "But there are still ways to stay connected with that, watching ski videos or reading on the internet about places to go travel and ski someday."

Secondly, setting aside time for yourself. Dr. Boland said, "Take a brief walk or seeing if another family member could watch the children that you are living with, just to give yourself some time.”

He added, “Research shows things like 15 to 20 minutes to give yourself a little time by yourself or engage in things that you enjoy could be a really good thing for mental health."

Lastly, count your blessings. “If that means writing a thank you letter to a family member or a friend, that gave you something positive in your life, or if that means journaling on things that you really appreciate in your life."

It may be challenging to implement these tips, but practicing these daily will help optimize your mental health during these uncertain times.

Dr. Boland said these are signs of anxiety and depression:

1. Feeling Down or Blue
2. Loss of Motivation
3. Increased Frustration
4. Increased Negative Thoughts
5. Increased Nervousness

If you or someone you know are exhibiting any of these signs and its creating problems in any parts of your life, Dr. Boland said to call a mental health provider.

He said almost all counselors are taking clients through telehealth during these stay at home orders.

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