NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As we protect ourselves from coronavirus, experts say a key element is mental health.

At a time when many of us have never felt more isolated, detached, and beyond stir crazy cooped up in our homes, a clinical psychologist says there are five things we all need to be doing right now to maintain our mental and physical well being in these extremely difficult times.

READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 1/17 Monday Morning Forecast

“It’s not like anything any of us have ever seen before,” Dr. Robin Goodman told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport on Monday. “These are emotions and feelings people have never had before.”

MORECoronavirus Update: Tips To Avoid Isolation During Time Of Social Distancing

First off, Dr. Goodman suggests meditation. Try 10 minutes a day to get started. Apps can be found online.

“It helps to calm down those alarm bells in your brain, and it also brings you back to the present and the here and now,” Goodman said.


Second, exercise, whether it’s running or walking outside, or finding an exercise class on the web and doing it at home.

“Stress is actually felt in the body as well as the brain, and when you exercise and move your body it actually will calm down that stress,” Goodman said.

MORECoronavirus Update: Those Who Have Recovered Looking For Guidance On When Isolation Can Stop

READ MORE: New Yorkers Urged To Stay Off Roads As Wintry Mix Moves Through Region

Third, do something as simple as reading to engage the brain and keep the mind sharp.

Also, try to eat healthy. Goodman said it can drastically improve the way we feel.

“Anything that boosts your immune system and helps your body feel stronger and better is a great idea,” Goodman said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

However, she said we shouldn’t deny ourselves those special indulgences every once and a while.

And lastly, stay connected with friends and loved ones. And for families at home, try and give each other the space they need.

“You want to make sure you are patient and generous and forgiving with those people that you have to be close with at home,” Goodman said.

MORE NEWS: Exclusive: Witness Describes 'Surreal' Deadly Subway Push In Times Square

With things as they are on the outside, the situation is going to remain like this for a while.