Now that millions of Americans are working from home, you’ve probably made some adjustments. Comfy clothes for one. Appreciating insider peeks at the lives of your co-workers via video chat for another.
One of the upsides of working from home is the opportunity to spend more time with your furry companions. Whether your kitty is curling up on your keyboard or your pups are vocal during conference calls, it’s fun to show off our animals.
Best of all, some pet lovers have been able to adjust their schedules and take their dog for a longer walk in the morning or play a rousing game of ball instead of rushing out the door to work.
All of which leads us to a few questions, just how beneficial is it to your mental health to have animal companions and how will they adjust when you have to return to the office?
Pets are Good for Your Mental Health
It’s not just your imagination. Pets really do reduce stress and help you feel better. From smiling at their antics to lowering your stress levels when you pet them, our animal companions are just what the doctor ordered for a mental health break.
You probably know that pets reduce your sense of social isolation. They provide companionship and someone to talk too (even if it’s a tad one-sided.)
Medical News Today says pets provide a sense of acceptance and unconditional love. This is always beneficial, especially during times of stress.
They also benefit your mental health because they give you a routine. Routine it turns out is helpful because it gives us a sense of control even when the world is topsy turvy. For example, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world at large, Sasha still needs a nightly walk.
Plus, there’s something soothing about sinking your fingers into that fur and seeing a look of adoration on your pet’s face when you scratch them in their special “place.”
However, now that they’ve gotten used to you being at home, how do you think they’ll take it if you go back to the office on a regular schedule?
Will Your Pet Have Separation Anxiety When You Go Back to Work?
Some pets have gotten clingy. They’re following you around all the time and looking at you with a baleful gaze as if to ask, “Why are you here and is everything ok?”
If that sounds like your pet, then you’ll want to take steps to prevent panic when you resume your schedule. Signs of separation anxiety including howling, whining, barking, and even destroying furniture and other goods because they’re scared.
Pet behaviorists suggest easing them into being alone again by leaving the house without them. Sure, your options may be limited with “stay home” orders but if you can take a short drive, bike ride, or walk without your pet, that will help them acclimate to life without you. You can also put music on for your pets when you leave home.
What about your pets? How are they handling quarantine?