By Louisa Moller

BOSTON (CBS) – Tara Montgomery has used activities like snowboarding, pool parties with friends, and outings at the dog park to help her cope with her anxiety, depression, and PTSD in the past. So, when the Malden woman started to self-isolate in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, she says, it was a struggle.

“The first five days it was really, really difficult for me. I was sleeping a lot. I was watching the news absolutely non-stop,” Montgomery said.

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Her symptoms can range from fatigue to migraines. She decided to get on the phone with her doctors and get out of the house.

“Once I started getting outside every day and just getting fresh air whether it was to take my dog around the block or just to sit in my yard, that helped tremendously,” she said.

Montgomery is not alone. Roughly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness and for 1 in 25, it is severe, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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That is why Jeffrey Zeizel, the Executive Director of the Center for Health Resources in Woburn is promoting emotional closeness while we all social distance. “Practice the rules of the 4 Fs,” Zeizel said, “In your life, when you’re having trouble rely upon your friends, your family, fitness, and faith.”

He says that action alleviates anxiety.

“Plan your day. Be productive. So get up and make a list. Here are the things I’m going to do today,” Zeizel said.

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Many mental health providers are now offering telehealth services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has guidance on how to reduce stress as we all learn more about the Coronavirus.

Louisa Moller