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Mental Health and your Pets as Finals Approach

Did you know that spending a few minutes a day with your pet can help relieve anxiety and stress? As finals are approaching, you might find yourself becoming more susceptible to stress, but there are ways your pet can help you reduce that anxiety. Here are some tips to consider….

  • Spending time with any pet (dog, cat, horse) can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine which can help calm and relax your mind.

  • If you are a dog owner, taking your dog on a walk can clear your mind and allow you to stay focused on a different idea rather than the stressor! Many people prefer companionship when jogging, running, or walking, so this would be a perfect opportunity to spend time with your pet.

  • With any pet, take 5 minutes and teach them a new trick- it doesn’t have to be challenging, just reward them with treats for being helpful to your mental health! Dogs especially enjoy learning, so it could be very rewarding to see them pick up on a trick quickly.

  • Adding structure to your day and creating a routine with them can also alleviate stress because things will become more predictable in your environment! By creating a predictable space for your pet, you will also reduce their stress levels.

  • Set an alarm to play fetch with them outdoors for a few minutes a day! If your pet isn’t active, try basking in the sun with your pet instead!

  • Research suggests that petting an animal can also help manage stress because it is a touch sensory relief response! Plus, they enjoy it as well!

Not only does animal companionship help reduce anxiety and stress, but it also reminds you to stay connected with your pets!

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