With millions of people practicing safer-at-home protocols during the coronavirus pandemic, many are reporting feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

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Clinical psychologist Dr. Norman Freed is a disaster mental health specialist for the American Red Cross of Greater New York, and a private practitioner specializing in grief, loneliness, and bereavement counseling. He says the best way to fight off feelings of social isolation during this time of physical distancing is to create structure and goals to build a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

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“Structure regulates emotion, so when we create structure, we actually stave off those feelings of depression,” says Dr. Freed.

Dr. Freed recommends getting outside, taking a walk, socializing with others from a safe physical distance, or reaching out to friends and loved ones via telephone or video chat to help ward off loneliness.

“Connection breaks the barrier, the constriction, and isolation that we’re all feeling these days,” he says in the video above.

Tune in to Thursday’s Dr. Phil to learn more about how to remain connected to others while staying safer-at-home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov.

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