Bad days… We all have them. Constantly on the go with no time to spare? Overwhelmed with little to no support in carrying the brunt? Lost in the confusion of what is happening to our society? Most of us feel this way.
As pet owners, we may notice that when we are stressed or blue, our pets seem to respond to our feelings – either by curling up next to us and nudging our hand for some pets, or simply by being with us. Pets react to all of our emotions, including anxiety, sadness, and fear.
In today’s hectic world, self-care is often overlooked, which comes with detrimental effects on mental and physical health. So, how is it that our best fur friends can help us attend to the basics of nurturing ourselves? Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital is here to explain why pets encourage self-care.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the way we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Self-care might include eating nutritious meals, tending to hygiene, getting enough sleep, engaging in exercise and fun activities, and enjoying time with family and friends. It is truly the basis for complete health.
5 Ways Pets Encourage Self-Care
Each individual has his or her own way of defining self-care, but an example might be eating mindfully and adhering to a healthy, balanced diet. Self-care is a choice, something you choose to do to care for your health and well-being. Unfortunately, many of us do not attend to these things which contribute to longevity and happiness.
Enter pets… Pets, because of their reliance upon us for their own basic needs, demonstrate and encourage ways to better care for ourselves.
Daily exercise – Exercise and playing are integral to all animals. It is what keeps us fit and elevates our mood. Pets need opportunities to walk, run, and play with us for a well-rounded life, and in turn, motivate us to think about exercise and the quality of exercise we are getting.
Restful sleep – How many of us sleep so much better when we have a sweet kit or pup curled up next to us? Cats are the ultimate snoozing companions, and other animals equally love to cozy up. After all, a cat, dog, or bunny on your lap is a good excuse to take a nap!
Attending to chores – Yeah, we all know how much we just love cleaning (grimace), but pets can prompt us to get busy when the excess fur and litter box start to become problematic. Ultimately, litter should be scooped daily, and dirt, debris and fur have a way of piling up unless you sweep often. Pets help you focus on cleaning and organizing, which in turn, is good self-care.
Time with loved ones – Pets need our attention when it comes to cuddle time and socializing. They keep us grounded in what we consider to be one of the basics in life: healthy relationships. Grab your best friends with pets and go for a pet-friendly picnic or day at the beach. Your pet will love the social time, and we’re sure you will too!
Just doing nothing – Have you ever just stopped and relaxed without any distractions, or enjoyed doing nothing at all? Now is your chance. Pets help us by just being in the “here and now,” which is amazing self-care.
Other ways pets can be instrumental is by improving mood and a sense of purpose. Emotional support animals and service animals fill some of these roles that contribute to self-care, and the evidence of pets improving our health and well-being continues to astound.
The practice of self-care is particularly hard in today’s busy, distracted world. By caring for our pets we are also being cared for – and what a wonderful expression of true friendship and love!
We’d love to hear more about your best friend. Please call us or schedule an appointment.