Imagine this: you’ve had a rough day at work, so you’re taking a walk through the park to clear your mind. Suddenly, a friendly dog comes up to you. His tail is wagging, it looks like he’s smiling, and you can’t help but smile back. You give him some scratches and pets before he runs off to greet the next person along the path. You keep walking, and you can’t help but notice you’re still smiling. Just one minute with that dog has made you feel a little better.
Well good news: it’s not just imaginary that animals can be good for your mental health! TIme spent with animals can lower stress, reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, boost mood, and increase feelings of social support. That’s a pretty powerful impact our furry friends can have!
Wondering how you can increase your animal interactions as a form of self-care? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- go to your local zoo
- find a local cat cafe
- get together with a friend who has a pet
- adopt a pet of your own
- take a walk at your local dog park
- sit down at the park and observe the local wildlife
What are some other ways you can have more time with animals? Let us know in the comments. And give a shout out to your favourite pet too!