Quarantine habits may be fun at first, but mental health experts say it can be unhealthy – WABI

Posted: April 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Working and schooling from home has become a day-to-day reality for many in the face of COVID-19.

This has meant some of our typical habits are being disrupted.

A survey of nearly 1,500 people by Advanced Dermatology reveals 91 percent of people are dressing "more casually" while working from home.

One in five admit to brushing their teeth less than normal, while one in three say they're showering and doing laundry less often than normal.

Doctor David Prescott, a psychologist for Northern Light Health says this behavior is to be expected when a pandemic disrupts your daily life.

But he says it's important to keep an eye on just how long you're going without taking care of your personal hygiene.

He says, "Actually, one of the symptoms of major depressive disorder is that all of that stuff stops or starts to happen every five or six days and it's a real effort. So pretty fun to scale back a little bit but if it's starting to feel like it's weighing you down maybe it has gotten a little past fun."

Doctor Prescott says it's important that we all try to stick to some sort of routine.

He advises making a schedule or a check-list for things you want to accomplish to help you stick to that routine.

Another thing we are all worried about, weight gain.

According to a survey conducted by Advanced Dermatology, 54 percent of people say they are worried about potential weight gain.

Top reasons include, being less physically active, having easier access to food and eating more to cope with anxiety.

So, what do we do about it?

Doctor Prescott says schedule time in your day to be active.

Instead of playing on your phone during your break, go for a walk or walk up and down your steps a few times.

He says studies show when we are bored or when they are looking for some kind of reward, your brain starts to crave higher carbohydrate and high sugar foods.

Dr. Prescott says, "Not having them readily available is important, even to the point of I encourage people who are really focused on this, watch what you have on your counters. Interestingly enough, the sight of food tells us to go ahead and eat it, if you will. The most effective things are to eat healthy things rather than to avoid unhealthy things."

Doctor Prescott says when you make your essential grocery run be sure you are stocking up on healthy options for yourself.

He says it's natural to be worried about weight gain but don't let that anxiety become overwhelming.

Survey link: https://www.advdermatology.com/blog/working-from-home-coronavirus

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Quarantine habits may be fun at first, but mental health experts say it can be unhealthy - WABI

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