It’s Chelsea, back again. Today we’re going to talk about how absolutely amazing pets can be for emotional support when you need some help.
For some background, I have two pets. I have an orange kitten named Trixie and a blue pit bull named Maya. I work from home most of the time, and my husband works nights. So often, I’m home alone with just my animals for company- so I have some experience here. My girls have been great emotional support for me over the past few months.
One of the primary ways that pets are great for emotional support is that they can sense emotion. When I’m sad or lonely, my pittie loves to snuggle in close and sit next to me on the couch. My cat climbs into my lap and purrs.
Pets also require you to take care of something aside from yourself. When I’m sad, I don’t really think to take good care of myself. But my pets need me to take care of them- walking the dog, feeding them, even cuddling and attention are part of their needs. They give me a purpose when I’m struggling and give me something to do. And taking care of them reminds me to take care of myself as well.
One of the best things about pets, in my opinion, is that they’re a companion that doesn’t come with the drama that relationships with other humans can. At the end of the day, I don’t have to question whether or not my dog and cat love me. Even if I make a mistake, like forget to feed them on time, they don’t hold grudges. This can be a relief if you have a lot of negative people in your life.
Both of my pets like to play, which gets me off the couch and encourages me to be a bit more active. Maya, my dog, likes to chew on balls and ropes, and Trixie, my cat, likes to chase ribbons, strings, and laser pointers. Interacting with them also gives me some real life interaction when most of my interaction with others happens through the phone or my computer.
When things get to be too much, a pet can provide a much needed distraction. Playing with, snuggling, petting, or otherwise interacting with a pet can distract you from the stresses and problems of your everyday life, allowing you to think more clearly later.
If you’re struggling with any kind of mental illness, particularly anxiety or depression, a cuddly animal can really make a difference for you in your day to day life. They’ll rely on you, love you, and even miss you when you go. The emotional support provided by an animal can really help!
If you’re in a position where you can’t get an animal, one option is to consider volunteering at a humane society. You’ll get an opportunity to be around animals and humans, which can also make a difference in your mental health.
Do you have a pet that helps you through when you’re struggling with your mental health? Tell us about them in the comments! Don’t forget to like and subscribe as well!