Time to expand your quarantine bubble?

Social distancing and loneliness can take a serious toll on your mental health, but careful thought should be given before expanding your "quarantine bubble." NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

(NBC News) — After months of the same places and faces, Americans are weary of isolation.

A recent survey from Johns Hopkins University finds nearly 14 percent of U.S. adults reported signs of serious psychological distress, up nearly ten percent compared to two years ago.

One of the possible factors is loneliness.

“We definitely need that social interaction, and as someone with two young children, I want to talk to other adults,” says Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The time may be right for some families to begin carefully expanding their COVID-19 isolation bubbles if they’re in an area where cases aren’t spiking.

“The main and most important thing is trying to identify people who share similar practices to you,” Dr. Khan advises.

That means have open, honest conversations and keeping in mind any conditions that might place someone in a higher risk category.

Make sure everyone is on the same page as far as wearing masks, social distancing and venturing outside the home.

You should also decide what to do if someone in the bubble is exposed to the virus.

Health experts say if you’re in a virus hot spot you likely want to hold off on expanding your bubble, or agree members should be tested before getting together as a percentage of patients never experience symptoms.

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