Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 10 – 16 May 2021. As dog parents, we know how much our dogs impact our wellbeing so I’ve put together 5 ways in which you can reconnect with your dog, as well as nature around you, and improve your well-being.
Connection is all about feeling understood and being able to relate to one another. Do you also feel that your dog is always happy to listen to you and that his expression shows full understanding? When speaking about connection I’m not only talking about the relationship between you and your dog but also the connections we make THANKS to our dogs. I’m talking about connections with other dog owners, dog walkers, groomers, vets, and many like-minded people. I’m an introvert, but I have no problem talking to anyone with a dog! There is so much to talk about! Would you agree?
Being active has never been easier than when you have a dog! Did you know that regular activity goes hand in hand with lower rates of depression and anxiety? Exercise releases hormones that make you feel good. For example, endorphins, which make us feel exhilarated and happy and even block any feelings of pain and discomfort caused by exercising if we overdo it.
Take in your beautiful surroundings on your walks and at home. Mindfulness helps us see the unusual and notice simple pleasures. Enjoy every moment, whether you’re walking your dog, eating lunch, or talking to friends. Be present when it comes to your feelings and your surroundings. Leave your headphones at home (or even the phone) and just enjoy the simple pleasure of walking your dog. Take your time. Inhale and exhale…
Learning new things is good for our brain and often exciting for the learner too. Trying something different, rediscovering an old interest, or signing up for that course you’ve always wanted to do is so exciting. The same applies to our dogs. Teach him new tricks or buy him puzzle games. If you need some tips, there are a few Facebook groups you can join such as Canine Enrichment or Pup Talk with Niki French – dog behaviourist
Did you know that giving and helping others promotes the feeling of wellbeing for people of all ages? It makes us feel good, doesn’t it? Why not do something nice for a friend or even a stranger? You could even volunteer your time with a local dog rescue. If you struggle with time but would still like to support rescue dogs, check the Vita Canis Style to Rescue website and help us help those who can’t help themselves. The bonus is… you’ll feel epic!
Stay safe, Jitka xx