I’ve been taking some ME time for self-care.
Whenever I take time to sit with myself, I’m reminded by the extent to which nature affects me.
Its energy flow impacts what I’m doing, thinking and feeling at all times consciously and unconsciously.
When I’m in the middle of ME time I pay more attention.
The pace of busy schedules, mostly inside buildings really shields us from that awareness.
We all know that feeling when we’re walking into our work buildings when it’s gloriously beautiful outside. Ugh, comes to mind.
And even when we are home, we are inside most of the time.
Think about when you schedule vacation times, most often it involves being outside more with nature.
We are part of nature and we crave outside nature time.
Which brings me to pets….
One of the draws to having pets is that it pulls the forces of nature into our homes and into our daily living. And clearly, we love that!
Plants and animals provide a direct interplay with nature inside our homes and lives and often our hearts, especially with animals.
On an intuitive level we know this, yearn for it, seek it and are healed by it.
During my ME time, I caught up on some reading, and found this article in TIME Magazine, “The science of pet therapy is getting serious”.
They reviewed the following studies. They provide good information for our self-care and for our patients.
- Affects of petting rabbits, turtles vs. toys? – The adults experienced decreased anxiety by petting the rabbit and the turtle and the toy had no effect.
- Children who struggled with reading showed fewer anxiety symptoms when reading to a trained dog with a handler. (I wonder if a dog that sat still attentively on its own would work too?)
- Grooming and walking horses has shown to reduce PTSD.
- Autistic children showed more social behaviors with their peers when in a classroom with guinea pigs.
- People with Alzheimer’s who dined in front of an aquarium with brightly colored fish ate more, got better nutrition, paced less, and were more attentive and less lethargic.
- Elderly people who cared for five crickets were less depressed after eight weeks compared with a control group. The act of caring for a living creature was the key.
I love being aware of the forces around us, inside and outside.
TIME Magazine, April 17, 2017, p. 24.
Featured image courtesy of Pavel, unsplashed.com