It’s true – social distancing can take a toll on your personal wellbeing. Having a four-legged friend by your side, however, can be quite the stress soother. Who knew? After a week of working from home, we spoke to our fellow pet parents here at Paws HQ about the benefits their pet has had on their wellbeing.
Pets can boost our mindfulness
The team at Paws HQ has found that being a pet parent can be wonderfully therapeutic. In fact, studies have shown that pet parents are less likely to experience depression than those without pets. Playing with your furry friend can increase your serotonin and dopamine levels, helping to calm any anxiety. Our pets can also provide sensory stress relief; simply stroking your cat or dog can lower your blood pressure. Above all else, our pets can help us live in the moment and become more mindful. Your cat or dog won’t dwell on events from earlier in the day, nor will they hold grudges. The next time you’re rushing to meet an urgent deadline or receive a frustrating work email, try to take a leaf from your pet’s book.
Pets can create a regular routine
We’ve found that working from home can send you out of whack with your daily routine. Having the company of a four-legged friend, however, can be a simple solution to this. Being a pet parent means getting up at the same time every day, taking your dog for his morning walk, giving your pet their breakfast, cleaning out your cat’s litter tray, squeezing in time to play… and so much more. They may seem small, but these daily rituals add up to a regular routine. If nothing else, caring for your pet can give you a sense of purpose and achievement for the day. You catered to your companion’s needs and they love you all the more for it.
Pets can encourage us to exercise
Being cooped up inside all day – working or not – can have a negative effect on your personal wellbeing. Venturing into the outside world with your pet can ease any anxiety you have about leaving the house. That’s why us pet parents here at Paws HQ are trying to stay as active as possible. Continuing with our daily dog walks has helped us to create a regular routine and, quite frankly, has been a breath of fresh air. The same goes for our feline friends – a walk around the garden has become a permanent feature of our day. Some of us have even started going on runs at lunchtime, with our four-legged friend in tow. Anything to get our feet (and their paws!) moving.
Pets can be a great distraction
As all pet parents will proudly proclaim, our furry friends can be a great distraction from everyday life. Over the last week of working from home, the Paws HQ pets have offered us social interaction (we know we’re not alone in having full-blown conversations with our pets), heartwarming companionship, and plenty of laughter. Our favourite distractions have included sitting in front of the camera when we’re on a video call, hearing them causing mischief in another room, and reminding us it’s time to take a break. We’ve also found that discussing our four-legged friends with our colleagues has manifested into hours of conversations, picture sharing, and daily joy. It is a common topic, after all.