Importance of a Staycation for Those Struggling with Mental Health Issues During COVID

Dr. Ryan Cole here at Brain & Body Integration receives quite a bit of questions regarding his advice on mental health issues. Since he is an expert in the mental health evaluation field, his advice is highly respected throughout the nation, and for good reason. Dr. Cole recently received an inquiry asking about staycations during COVID, so why not share his answer with you all! Read more about how Dr. Cole answered the below questions and learn more from his expertise and direct quotes in today’s blog post:

How important is a staycation for those struggling with mental health issues, especially during a pandemic? Aka, should people suffering from mental health problems, like depression, try a staycation to help improve their mental state? Or is a staycation a bad idea?

Staycation During COVIDDr. Cole: “The answer is really dependent on whether or not the person in question can feel a sense of peace and wellness at home. Some people struggle to remain at home or in their home city and feel like they can disconnect from the stress of their life, relationships, or employment. Others may be able to lock the doors, initiate a Netflix binge, and tune out any distracting noise. For the staycation to work, you have to know your level of comfort and ability to disconnect from these various factors while at home. For those of you who have trouble disconnecting and creating a peaceful place in the home environment, a staycation may not be the best idea for you. The high expectations of a vacation, combined with present stressors at home may only cause you to feel more stressed, anxious, or depressed.”

You mentioned that some are unable to disconnect from life’s stressors while at home. What is your advice to those who struggle to (or cannot) staycation at home? Would you, for example, recommend seeking social or professional support?

Important of Exercise During COVIDDr. Cole: “For those who will struggle to staycation at home, I would suggest that you try a few things to improve your ability to disconnect from the stressors in life.  First, meditation has been shown to be one of the most effective techniques we have in our psychological arsenal to alleviate stress and improve our mental health.  Learning to meditate takes practice, and with repeated practice, you can find peace from this practice.  You can learn meditation within yoga practice and there are many great tutorials and guides online that walk you through the steps of meditation.  Second, I would encourage you to find a way to exercise.  Daily exercise or exercise at least five times per week has shown to have numerous positive effects upon mental health.  The struggle is generally finding the motivation to work out; yet paradoxically once we start to exercise, we discover that we have more motivation and energy!  So challenge yourself to find time to exercise, or even find a buddy (in person or via Zoom) that can work out with you.  Lastly, finding a professional trained in therapy can also be a great way to get the ball rolling towards mental wellness.  Sometimes it helps to have someone listen to you, validate you, and attempt to understand the world through your eyes.  And I would highly recommend that you find a good therapist sooner than later.  The sooner you find someone that can help you with this process, the faster you will be able to see results.  In contrast, if you wait too long to find professional support, improvement may take longer as symptoms tend to worsen over time and may take longer to alleviate.”

If you have any specific mental health symptoms or struggle questions that you’d like to ask Dr. Cole, simply contact Brain & Body Integration today. He would be happy to help all those out there who are looking for some professional advice or are even in need of that final step in booking an evaluation to get the answers you deserve. Contact Dr. Cole today for more mental health advice during COVID-19.

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