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Tips for Physical, Mental Health Offered During Pandemic

Health professionals say it's important to maintain social connections, such as over the phone, while in isolation from COVID-19. (sewcream/Adobe Stock)
Health professionals say it's important to maintain social connections, such as over the phone, while in isolation from COVID-19. (sewcream/Adobe Stock)
April 2, 2020

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The coronavirus crisis is disrupting people's lives, but a few tips can help folks stay healthy while they stay home.

Andy Luther, medical director of Jackson Care Connect, says physical distancing is important, but Oregonians should maintain their social connections.

He says people should connect over the phone or through video chats, and notes that strong relationships are critical for good mental health.

Luther also suggests keeping a consistent schedule.

"Try and maintain good habits, as far as getting adequate sleep," he stresses. "Making sure you're getting some exercise -- again while maintaining good physical distancing. It's still considered OK to go on a walk or ride a bicycle, as long as you're staying away from other people."

Luther says the extra time people have on their hands could be used to start a new hobby. He adds that folks who are feeling anxious might consider yoga or meditation to clear their minds.

Nutrition also is important. The restaurant Laughing Planet, which has locations throughout Oregon, is providing free meals for students who are part of school lunch programs.

Laughing Planet CEO Franz Spielvogel says no proof that students are part of a program is necessary. He says the idea is to provide nutritious food in a time when people might be falling back on unhealthy meals.

"Not all calories are created equal, right?" he states. "And so, the idea is to do calorie-dense food that's also clean and healthy."

Luther says many medical facilities are able to provide telehealth services for people who need to see a doctor. He adds that if you're feeling sick, it's important to let health professionals know beforehand.

"The best thing to do is call your doctor's office," he urges. "They really don't want people showing up at the doctor's office or the urgent cares or at the emergency department unless it's truly an emergency."

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Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR