Brighton Hospice Presents
Spending Time With Pets
Self-Care During COVID-19
Have you ever experienced that immediate mood boost when you pet your dog, or watch a video of kittens playing?
The positive psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions have become increasingly well-known in recent years. Therapy programs involving dogs, horses, and other animals help those with behavioral disorders, PTSD, anxiety, etc. Emotional support animals help reduce stress in their human companions, and offer a warm, furry tonic for loneliness. It’s no wonder that animal adoptions have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic—during times of stress and uncertainty, it’s clear that animals can help us cope.
“Life these days gets pretty heavy,” says Sea Bond-Frojen, a Chaplain at Brighton Hospice in Portland, Oregon. Sea’s favorite way of practicing self-care is to spend time with her pets: two pigs named Hammy and Livvy, a corgi named Bailey, a Labrador retriever named Bommie, and 15 chickens. “If you have a pet at home, I want to encourage you to love on your pet. It’s so good for the neurochemistry in our brain to hang out with and pet our animals.”
For those without pets at home, watching animal videos online is a wonderful option for self-care and stress reduction. “It’s a super fun way to increase those dopamine releases in our system,” Sea reminds us.
For some extra self-care throughout your week, try following some furry friends at Sea’s favorite animal rescues: