The COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of anxiety for many people, from those worried about contracting the coronavirus to those concerned about job security.

Mental Health America, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with mental illness, reported that the U.S. saw a 19 percent increase in clinical anxiety screenings in the first weeks of February, and a 12 percent increase in March’s first two weeks.

The same way that people with pre-existing physical conditions are more likely to become gravely ill if they contract the coronavirus, the group warns that mental illness patients are at a greater risk of experiencing deteriorated mental health at this time. Not only that, anxiety can quickly trigger physical reactions in the form of panic attacks that – in extreme circumstances – can result in shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and all-around numbness.

At the same time, traditional anxiety treatments, such individual and group therapy sessions or simply going for a walk in the park, have become more difficult for thousands of Americans as more and more states have ordered mandatory shelter-in-place orders.

In other words, while quarantining at home might be the best prescription for your physical health right now, it’s not necessarily optimal for everyone’s mental well-being – especially for those who live alone.

“Mental health conditions are by nature isolating, and we want to keep people connected,” Mental Health America states on its website.

It doesn’t look like COVID-19 or the many quarantine orders around the country are going away any time soon, and just as we’ve provided countless at-home workout tips, we also wanted to provide ways to keep your mind and spirit strong.

Here are some tips from mental health professionals to make sure you and your friends make it out of this pandemic with sound mental health.

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