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Experts say to practice ‘physical distancing’ not ‘social distancing’

Psychology center of Idaho Falls
Psychology center of Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Local therapists at the Psychology Center of Idaho Falls are encouraging us to stop social distancing and to instead use a more accurate term.

"The way that we think about things is very integral to how we relate in the world," said therapist, Renae Peterson.

Social distancing is a term we hear repeated from everyone everywhere during this global pandemic, but experts like Peterson say that is actually not what we should be doing.

"It's so important that we change in our mindset and make a distinction between social distancing and physical distancing. Physical distancing right now is of the utmost importance, there is an increasing imperative right now to be physically apart from one another so that we don't continue the spread of COVID-19. But that does not mean that we need to practice social distancing," Peterson said.

Human beings are wired for connection, neuropsychologist Dr. Carol Anderson says research shows that sustained isolation can cause physical, cognitive and emotional decline.

"Times of uncertainty and emotional stress, leave us very vulnerable to illness, including immunological problems anxiety and depression. And so the more that we can do in a proactive way for our mental and our physical health, the more that we can do, the better off we will be, we'll be able to get through this difficult time," Anderson said.

Staying connected socially though phone calls, video chats, and staying physically connected to those who are in quarantine with you can help your mental state.

Another great practice is to meditate often. "

You actually change the hormonal balance in your brain when you meditate. And we really need that right now because we have this stress response going on 24/7, and if you don't do something to calm down your nervous system, you will be nervous," Anderson said.

Many therapists are offering Teletherapy, like those at the Psychology Center of Idaho Falls. It's where you can have a session with the doctors online.

Teletherapy often costs the same as regular sessions and most insurance companies will cover it, but be sure to check first.

For more information on Teletherapy click here.

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Jilliana Colin

Jilliana Colina

Jilliana is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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