The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent worldwide lockdown have led to a sharp increase in the number of people that are experiencing problems with their mental health. These include conditions such as anxiety, nervousness, sleep disorders, and stress. It has not been an easy time for most and the ordeal is far from over. However, a study that was published in September 2020 shows that having a pet is a great way to reduce the loneliness and stress that you are feeling.
The study indicated that around 90% (89.8) of the nearly 6000 respondents had at least one pet. Nearly 87% of the respondents stated that their pets helped them emotionally cope with the COVID-19 situation and nearly 95% said that they could not imagine their state without their animal companion by their side. In addition to all of this, more 94.4% of the respondents said that their animal is having a positive impact on their family.
The stats point to one thing and that is, having a pet around during this pandemic could be a positive thing and that it helps improve both your mood and in dealing with any mental-health-related problems. Now, let’s have a look at the main benefits of having a pet during the lockdown.
Routine and daily structure
Having a pet means setting yourself in order to take care of your pet. If you have a pet, then there is an added aspect of continuity to your daily life as well. For example, if you have a dog, then the routine would revolve around feeding them and walking them at the correct time. The structure of having a pet can bring some semblance of control to a life that otherwise seems completely out of our hands.
Pets can provide a type of companionship and bond that humans cannot. It helps to have a furry bundle of joy at home to help you get through the lockdown. Studies have shown that something as simple as petting an animal can help you relax and lower your blood pressure as well. It is especially nice to have a pet around for people who live alone.
When a person pets an animal that is close to them, it helps decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their body and increase the happiness neurotransmitters called oxytocin. This generally works better with animals that you can physically touch, but it doesn’t have to be a cat or a dog; it could be a guinea pig, hamster or even a donkey if that works for you.
If you’re working from home or taking part in online classes and you build up a lot of stress while working, then having a pet to cuddle or play with is a great way to relieve that stress. Pets can also give you an excuse to get out and get some fresh air if you spend a lot of time at home. Having a pet gives you a nice break from the work that you’re doing and is a great source of comfort when you have to spend extended periods of time at home.
Although this may only apply to pets that require physical activity, pets are a great way to stay physically active. For example, I have two dogs and the majority of my physical activity is when I go for walks with them or when one of them is in a playful mood while at home. It’s a really great way to stay healthy as well as stay connected to the outside world.
Having pets is a real blessing and they make life so much more interesting even when we aren’t in a worldwide lockdown. So if you are feeling lonely or stressed out, getting a pet may be a great way to improve your mental health. However, be prepared! Taking care of a pet is much harder than it looks so do research and make a well-informed decision before choosing to get one.