Mental health should be the top priority for those stuck at home

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) - The novelty of staying home can wear off quickly. That can lead to boredom. In some cases, it can lead to mental health issues, as the sense of isolation sets in. A Michigan State University psychiatric expert says keeping track of your mental health during your time at home should be your number-one priority.

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Dr. Dawn Goldstein says mental health is at high risk while being stuck inside. Junk food and television combined with a lack of exercise can be extremely detrimental to a healthy state of mind.

"We really need to watch how we're eating," says Dr. Goldstein. "Are we eating healthy, balanced meals? Are we doing any exercise, doing anything creative when we can't go to the gym?"

At-home exercises like push-ups and squats, or even a simple breathing exercise, can improve mental health dramatically.

"When you exhale, it actually interrupts thoughts and feelings," says Dr. Goldstein. "It brings us to that present moment, which is important."

Dr. Goldstein says that contact with family, friends, and co-workers is also beneficial.

"I don't think we've looked at the perspective that it's affecting everyone, not just certain pockets of individuals."

Goldstein says prioritizing mental health early is important, as no one is sure how long everyone will be stuck at home. Governor Gretchen Whitmer's current stay-at-home order runs through April 13, but could be extended if the coronavirus outbreak in Michigan is not under control.

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