EastBay Today

Posted April 7, 2020

Mental Health Hygiene

Tips for staying mentally healthy while sheltering in place

Cal State East Bay Assistant Professor Michal Stanton offers tips for staying mentally healthy while sheltering in place.
Graphic by Gus Yoo

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders have left many people feeling anxious. East Bay Today recently talked with Michael Stanton, psychologist and Cal State East Bay assistant professor of health sciences, about his tips for staying healthy and resilient.

Exercise: Even a small bit of exercise, like a short walk, improves mood and heart health.

Sleep Well: Sleep is good for the immune system, it improves brain power and helps manage mood. 

Eat Healthy Food: Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead of sweets or snacks can help with mood and keep you fueled for the day.

Breathe: Deep belly breathing stimulates the immune system and oxygenates the blood. Try practicing a few minutes per day. 

Limit news and social media: Setting reasonable limits on news and social media can reduce stress and help with peace of mind. 

Consider seeking professional help: If you experience strong emotions that do not go away over time or struggle with unhealthy behaviors such as drinking or smoking in excess, consider seeking professional help from a doctor, counselor or therapist. 

Acceptance: Work on a mindset of acceptance, making active choices to live with challenges and uncertainty without trying to deny or change the situation.