It’s a fresh new year and people are lacing up their new running shoes to hit the gym, focused on their physical wellness. Being fit is a great resolution, I should know I just spent $120 on tennis shoes. Yup, tennis…shoes…for my feet! Yes, feet are important and so is your back. Good support costs… Hey, good support does cost! I have insurance, so didn’t have to use my tennis shoe money toward my annual mental health check-up. Like an annual physical with a doctor, scheduling a little one-on-one time with someone who can help you sort through your stuff is an important self-care step!
Mental Health In The New Year
Approximately 25% of Americans, at any one time, experience some form of mental health issue. Anxiety is on the rise due to our fast-paced, always on, wired, lifestyles. A small dose of stress is normal. Yet it takes very little to move from normal to overwhelming feelings of worry brought on by an upcoming event or uncertain outcome. Control! It’s just an illusion, yet many of us seek it out, it can become all consuming to the point of frustration (to ourselves and others, including our fuzzy family members). Just like spirituality, control cannot be found in external things, the only thing you can control is yourself. Often it’s this desire to establish more control that tips people into anxiety. What to do about it? Take care of your mental health in the new year.
Pets and Your Mental Health
When you’re down, what do you do (besides eat ice cream)? Hug your dog! Or cat or whatever critter you have in your family. Animals do not judge. They accept us for what we are, and acceptance is the basis for feeling supported. Right now my fuzzies are accepting me while I revamp my exercise routine (by ‘revamp’ I mean ‘start’). But is this just feel good or is there any factual evidence? What role does our pet play in our mental health? According to Dr. Helen Brooks from the University of Manchester, who just conducted groundbreaking research on this topic, pets help people manage their long-term mental health conditions. Humans felt more calm due to the consistent, close physical presence of their pet. Dr Brooks added, “These insights provide the mental health community with possible areas to target intervention and potential ways in which to better involve people in their own mental health service provision through open discussion of what works best for them.”
Dr. Brooks’ research identified the benefits an animal’s unconditional love has on a human’s mental health. Read the University of Manchester press release here, and the actual study/peer review here.
Take Care of You and Your Pup
Things, when fresh, like the beginning of 2017 and even a new puppy, look sparkly, fun and inspiring. How do you keep that energy? How do I plan to keep my inspiration to, day-after-day, without excuse, lace up my fancy new sneakers, and go running…even in the face of the spitting Pacific Northwest rain? I’m going to snuggle with my dogs more frequently and also keep my mental health in-check. Literally! “Hey self, how’s it going? Feeling good?” If not, then I’ll increase the frequency of my my mental-health check-ups to monthly – and if things go well as I think they should, heck, I may even try a marathon by the end of 2017! Every day is precious, and so is our health: physical, spiritual and mental. Staying in balance is a good goal for every new year – because with it you’ll be better positioned to enjoy this glorious world with your pup by your side!
Do dogs get depressed? Yes they do, we explore this topic in this article.
Here are some items we’ve found beneficial to enhancing our mental health!
Be sure to check out: Add a Pet to Your Family & Save Your Health
Thanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!
With lub, MattieDog, a little dog making a big impact in this world!®