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With a lot of public spaces temporarily shutting down and social distancing for the common good, the team at Healthy Lamoille Valley shares a few tips to make it bearable and keep our health up.

1. Schedule a time for daily check-ins with your family. Ask: Are there things that we as a family could be doing to help each other?

2. Limit certain kinds of screen time. Endless scrolling and a constant news stream can increase anxiety. Instead, try to use screen time in a practical way, to be present for school, work, communication with loved ones.

3. Create a routine. Having everything come screeching to a halt can be disorienting. Live by yourself? This applies to you too.

4. Limit use of alcohol and other drugs. Did you know that over time alcohol use depletes the serotonin in the brain, leading to depression? While alcohol may help you dull the feelings of anxiety and stress in the short term, it creates longer bouts of depression. If you would like to talk with someone about this, reach out to the North Central Vermont Recovery Center at ncvrc.com or 802-851-8120. If there are youth in the family, monitor substances in your home as they have even deeper impacts on the developing brain. Visit parentupvt.org for more information.

5. Get outside daily and be physically active. A few simple ideas include walks, running in place, a scavenger hunt, stretches outside, or create an obstacle course. Have fun with this.

6. Take breaks when needed. Treat yourself and your neighbors with kindness.

7. If you need something, ask. There are a lot of people who care about you and are willing to help both with tangible needs and to improve your mental health. If a mental health need feels like more than you or a friend can manage, call the local Crisis Line at 802-888-8888 and ask to talk to a mental health counselor.

8. Work on making your home a place you enjoy being in.

9. If you’re able, volunteer. A lot of towns have set up volunteer forms on their websites and over social media.

10. Find ways to have fun. Play a game, read a book, read the comics, journal, create art. Be purposeful about putting humor and fun in each day.