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.

“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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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