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From The Doctors

Health Pitfalls of Sheltering at Home

May 06, 2020
Residual health effects of COVID-19 and tips for counteracting them

Staying home for a couple of months may have sounded like a mental health dream a while back, but too much time at home may have an adverse effect on your health. Our team flagged four of the most common health pitfalls associated with our stay-at-home orders that have nothing to do with catching the virus itself. Have you fallen into any of these traps? If so, read on for advice on how to keep your health a priority. 

Poor Nutrition

Most people are going to the store less often, ordering food to support their local restaurants and turning to comfort food to get them through tough days. Sound familiar? It’s harder to focus on well-rounded meals when you are working your way through the pantry rather than visiting your local grocer or farmer’s market on a regular basis. Still, don’t give up on good nutrition. Stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables so you can have a nutrient-packed smoothie for breakfast or lunch. It’s okay to enjoy comfort foods too, but make portion control a priority so you don’t binge eat while you binge watch your favorite shows. 

Lack of Exercise

Gyms are closed and the weather can make or break your motivation to get outdoors, but activity is key to mental and physical health. Use home equipment or make weights out of common household items like milk jugs for strength training. Have a two or three story home? Hit the stairs! There are also countless workout classes available online these days. Whether you go all out, or simply work a daily walk into your to do list, stay active.


The uncertainty in our world is causing more people to experience insomnia. Lack of sleep can lead to health issues, so it’s important to make rest a priority and find ways to improve sleep if you are struggling. Doctors recommend setting a bedtime and sticking with it (even if you could binge Netflix all night thanks to your lack of morning commute). Room darkening curtains, limiting caffeine and relaxation tactics such as meditation or essential oils may also help. 


Anxiety and depression is on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients who have struggled with mental health issues previously are at risk of worsening symptoms, particularly if they veer from their normal routine and treatment plan. Many people who have never experienced anxiety before are suddenly struggling, too. Factors such as virus risk, job insecurity, financial concerns, and even homeschooling while also working from home can weigh heavily on one’s mind. Anxiety is common. It’s normal. Most people are experiencing some level of anxiety right now, so never feel ashamed. Talk with friends and family members. Journal about your feelings. Take time each day for yourself. If you are unable to find relief, seek a professional who can help. You are not alone and this is a difficult time for all.

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