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Maintaining routines important while social distancing during COVID-19 pandemic, expert says

Counselors suggest maintaining daily habits while working from home.

WASHINGTON — For many people, we're entering week two of working from home. Self-quarantining and social distancing has become the new norm while dealing with the coronavirus.

Dining out and doing many other things we typically took for granted has all stopped, and for many, this is foreign territory and be causing some stress in your lives.

While this routine has changed for many, a counselor we spoke with said it’s important to keep some of our daily habits to avoid mental anguish.

Tiara Anderson, a counselor, said it’s important to keep a routine.

"When you wake up in the morning, you probably want to practice some sort of hygiene, you may want to eat, workout. So you want to make sure you have a good balance of eating, working out, getting good rest and having the best possible routine throughout the day.”

It sounds simple, but for many, maintaining daily routines is difficult. Anderson says this is a high stress time.

"People could be very anxious and startled and really unsure because there's a lot of uncertainty. So, leading with optimism and realistic perspective is going to be really helpful," Anderson said.

With warmer temperatures on the horizon, gas prices on the decline, and airline tickets drastically reduced, social distancing has been difficult for some. Many are feeling as though their spring and summer months are canceled.

"You want to think more in terms of my life and things I've been looking forward to are on pause as opposed to being stuck," Anderson said.

With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Anderson said we shouldn’t worry about the things we can't control.

"We will not be able to know everything and we also wouldn’t be able to control things, so being able to find peace in that, being able to accept that that is a reality, lead with the facts, lead with what is happening, and remind yourself to pay attention to the thoughts that you’re allowing to define your now moment," Anderson said.

Anderson also suggested using video chat apps to make sure you’re seeing your friends and family while still practicing social distancing.

The biggest take away was that this is very likely a temporary situation, so just remember that this too shall pass.

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