Life is always better with a four-legged friend, but when you’re following strict stay-at-home orders, achieving mental health may utterly depend on their reassuring presence.
Fortunately, our pets have a lot of practice under their collars. They have their own rhythms and routines when it comes to your daily grind. And when it comes down to it, there’s so much you can learn from your pet in a time like this.
Pets give us unconditional love and emotional support every single day. Right now, we need them more than ever. Simply stroking a pet’s fur can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, control heart rate, and reduce cortisol, the hormone involved in our response to stress. If you’re at home with your pet(s) but no other people to relate to, they can make you feel less alone and more at ease.
Slow It Down
A key takeaway from your pet during quarantine is to slow your roll. Aside from breaking into a veritable spring when you open their package of treats, your pet isn’t going anywhere fast. Ambling between the couch, your desk, the kitchen table and your bed may sound brain-numbingly boring day-in and day-out, but your pet doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, they relish in the patterns and you can, too!
Down for a Nap
Our contemporary society doesn’t really value the high art of napping. We’ve been programmed to move as quickly as possible in order to be effective. Take a look at your pet right now. We’d be willing to bet that they’re enjoying a little snooze right now. You can, too!
Chances are, your pet found the most delicious spot of sun coming in through a window in which to doze. It’s warming, peaceful, and relaxing. Bonus: vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and strong bones. So, take it from us, get down on your pet’s level and soak up some sun. It’s all but guaranteed that you’ll feel rested and calm when you wake up.
Pets are highly skilled at making their own fun. Remaining in quarantine for weeks or months at a time can be difficult, but it can also provide moments of creative genius. Playing a round of hide and seek, tag, fetch, or peek-a-boo can be thrilling at a time like this.
Make a little mischief, have a couple laughs, and top it all off with a good snuggle session.
What Else You Can Learn From Your Pet
If possible, and only when it’s safe, go outside with your pet. They need and benefit from exercise just like you do. You’ll both be able to clear the mental cobwebs away with a little fresh air and life-sustaining movement. By enjoying a simple pleasure, we hope you’ll be able to put things into perspective a bit.
Look and Feel Your Best
No one could argue that staying in the same pajamas for a week is a valid approach to quarantine, but think about how your pet always has a pep in their step after grooming. When you look your best, you feel your best. Sort of like a “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality, you can learn from your pet that it’s okay to look, and feel, good.