How A Nurturing Community Improves Your Mental Health

Mental illnesses have been prevalent in the United States, with over 46.6 million adults affected. From this group, only 42.6% have received mental health services. These statistics show how mental healthcare remains to be inaccessible for most people.

As a result, some people have sought out options to control stressful situations and avoid triggers. For some, caring for their mental health means belonging to a support group or a community.

While it is essential to seek medical care, it is also beneficial to surround yourself with a nurturing community. Before we discuss its benefits, we have to determine first what constitutes a community.

A Nurturing Community

There are many different types of community. A group of friends supporting each other can be a community, the same way that your neighborhood is, too. You can be living in different types of communities, and the best way to take advantage of this is by finding a healthy one.

According to the Center for Disease Control, healthy communities continuously improve physical and social environments to maximize their people’s potential.

With this definition, we can understand that it is not enough to surround yourself with people and call it a community. You must immerse yourself with people who nurture you for the best.

Here are some of the benefits of belonging to a healthy community.

  • Live Within A Safe Space

Within a caring environment, you get to feel a sense of belonging. You can express yourself more without the fear of judgment.

Sure there will always be criticisms as you go on a journey to self-realization. But a community who cares will give you constructive feedback instead of dragging you down with negativity.

Hearing constructive criticism from your friends will make you feel secure because you know that they mean well.

Living in a safe space also applies to its literal meaning. Staying in healthy residential communities may help lessen the chances of stress and depression.

Studies have shown how participation in organized physical activities boost your self-esteem and social skills. Try participating in weekly sports games or social meetings with your neighbors.

With a safe space, you can avoid or at least lessen the impact of stressors on your mental health. Knowing you have a safe space may also help you focus on yourself and your mental health.

  • Empower Yourself

A community may be a single solidified group, but it is still composed of individuals with personal strengths and weaknesses.

Living within a nurturing community gives you a sense of purpose. No matter how big or small your role in your group is, you know you are contributing to something larger than life.

Think of yourself as a puzzle piece to a bigger picture. Every single detail has a purpose that only it can fulfill. Without even just one piece, the outcome would be different, and the image wouldn’t have its meaning in full.

If you are still unsure of what your strengths and weaknesses are, your community can help you. You can try out skills and talents with them.

With their constructive criticisms, you will discover which skills you need to improve and what talents you’ve already perfected. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can affirm your purpose and boost your self-esteem.

  • Learn And Grow Collaboratively

Being with people with a positive mindset and a winning attitude will help you realize your goals better. You can set goals for yourself and the community. Staying with healthy people will also inspire you to create positive change, not just for yourself but also for them.

Having a healthy group of friends can also help you avoid or change unhealthy behavior. You can learn healthy coping mechanisms from them, and they can learn from you, too.

Taking steps for constant improvement will also feel easier to do with a community that encourages you to grow.

Healing is not always linear. At times, it may get hard to quantify your progress, especially when your steps are small and change is gradual. A community will be able to nurture you by giving you an external perspective. In this way, you would be able to track your progress better.

Being a part of a healthy community also requires your participation. Maintaining your relationship with your people involves both giving and taking. Remember also to play your role and help others get through their situations and achieve their set goals.

Take Action And Find A Community

With all these benefits—safe spaces, empowerment, and growth—you may feel excited about belonging to a nurturing community. Find solace in your existing circles, may it be your relatives, your friends, your neighbors, or your colleagues.

You may also search for a new community to immerse yourself in. You can start by volunteering for advocacy-driven organizations or by sparking up a new hobby or interest.

Aside from joining different groups, you can also be a part of a community through a therapist. If you struggle with mental health issues, seeking a therapist would help you control your situation.

A therapist will provide you with steps toward self-betterment and a support system to help you get through your healing process.

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Positive Effects Of Animal Therapy On College Stress 

“Some stress on a person is a normal part of everyday life. This ‘good stress’ called ‘eustress’ can help propel you forward and motivate you to achieve goals.” Aarti Gupta, PsyD, a clinical director says. Stress comes in different forms. Whether it be a self-induced one or provided by people around us, we tend to feel anxious about things which are out of our control and our comfort zones. Stress is a natural reaction of our bodies to demands or threats.  

 

 

Why Having A Pet Is Good For Your Family

Adopting a pet can bring an incredible change for your family. Whether you’re planning to adopt a dog, cat, fish, bird, or other animals, it has an overall positive impact.

And it’s not only for the humans in the family but for your adopted pet as well. Animals can keep you company through life’s ups and downs, and they will never get tired of being with you. With that, there are many ways why having a pet is excellent for your family.

Here are some benefits of keeping a family pet:

Pets Can Ease Stress And Improve Your Mood

Taking care of pets and merely being around them can give you a sense of relief from stress. Animals can do unexpected fun things that can bring a good laugh.

Moreover, sharing your space with a pet can highly improve the family’s overall mood. By taking care of a pet, you’re also making valuable memories to keep for your family.

Spending time with pets have also been shown to boost feelings of pleasure. Thus, they can offer comfort and companionship that is different from human relationships. 

Pets Can Boost Child Learning

If you have young kids, having a pet to take care of at an early age can boost their learning.

Since pets are good listeners, a child may feel more comfortable practicing sharing stories with them than another person. Knowing the breeds of pets can also allow them to enhance their learning when it comes to animals.

Taking Care Of Pets Can Teach Children About Responsibility

They develop a sense of responsibility by doing small but crucial tasks. It can be by replenishing the dog’s water bowl, cleaning the fishbowl, giving treats to the cat, and more. Hence, it also results in children getting more involved with household chores.

Furthermore, by learning and understanding the needs of a family pet, they get to practice being a good pet owner.

Pets Can Improve Your Physical Health

Training and playing with your pets can be a great physical activity. House dogs, in particular, can help with that because of their nature. You can enjoy your daily walks and playtime with your furry friend and get active together as well.

Training them and teaching them simple tricks can also be an excellent way to sweat. You’re not only improving the dog’s skills, but you can keep your family in shape as well.

Pets Are A Constant Companion

Whether at work or at home, pets are constant companions that you can rely on during difficult days. They can give you unconditional love and comfort when you feel like the world has turned its back on you.

Pets can help you or a family member process difficult emotions and bounce back from a setback.

Owning Pets Can Boost Children’s Self-Esteem

Taking care of a pet can boost children’s self-esteem and accountability. They can take pride in taking care of a smaller being even at a young age. It is in a tie with pets teaching children about responsibility.

Since dogs, for example, are naturally loving towards humans, children feel more free being themselves around them. Even when they’re alone, having a pet to play and interact with is a fantastic support system for young children.

Having A Pet Fosters Social Interactions

Aside from being good friends themselves, pets can also allow you to improve your social interactions. Pets help humans enhance their social skills by boosting owners’ self-confidence and self-esteem. 

It can start from only going around the neighborhood and striking up a conversation with neighbors who are also pet owners. By posting pictures of your pet online, you can garner reactions that can turn into meaningful interactions.

For young children, on the other hand, playing with an animal can bridge the connection between playmates. It is because children can gather up more courage to interact with another child with an animal.

Caring For A Family Pet

The majority of animals that you can keep as pets live a 15 to 20 years lifespan. Thus, you can expect that it is a long-term commitment. While having a pet is fun and beneficial, you also have to prepare for their long-term care. Here are some factors to note of before adopting a pet:

 

  • Allergies

 

First and foremost, know if specific allergies run in your family. You can talk with your doctor on how to address this. For some, they expose young children to pets early on to see if they’re child has allergies. 

 

  • Work Load

 

Assess how much you can commit to devoting your time and attention to raising and taking care of a pet. Since older family members can be busy, children help take care of family pets. It’s also great to assign tasks to each family member to know which will do each chore.

 

  • Lifestyle And Advantages

 

Think of your lifestyle and what benefits you want to gain from owning a pet. Some people lean on low-maintenance pets, while some seek comfort and active interactions with pets.

 

  • Household Age

 

Consider the age range of each family member. Some child and elderly members of the family can not match well with fragile or hyperactive pets.

 

  • Adopt Or Shop

 

Plan where and how you will get your family pet. The best path is to adopt pets from a shelter and screen the shelter for any behavioral issues. You can also buy small pets from pet stores such as hamsters, rabbits, fish, turtles, etc. 

Things To Consider When Owning A Pet

While you may own a pet for only a limited number of years, it’s a different story for them. Pets will devote their whole life being with your family. You have to have compassion,  commitment, and dedication in taking care of a pet.

Hence, if you choose to adopt a pet, make sure to be a responsible pet owner.

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How To Bond With Your Dog During Quarantine

One of the many things I have been feeling thankful for since the quarantine order came is that I was at home when it happened. My work requires me to visit different parts of the globe, you see. I usually get a house sitter who can take care of my dogs while I am away or bring them straight to the animal shelter. But now that I do not have pending projects to deal with, I get to bond with my pets again.

Here are a few bonding tips that you should try during the quarantine.

Try Grooming Your Pet On Your Own

Various news outlets recently published articles about Chris Evans giving his dog a haircut while quarantining together. At first, I thought they wanted to tell the world that Captain America found a new talent. As it turned out, though, the dog ended up with a bald spot because the actor wasn’t used to grooming animals. There were no hard feelings between the two, so it’s all good.

Now, I am not sharing this to discourage you from trying to groom your pet by yourself. It should merely serve as a reminder to do things based on your level of expertise. Say, if you have a Shih Tzu, you can shampoo their fur in the beginning. In case you feel more confident, you may put their hair in a high ponytail. Nevertheless, you should only give your dog a trim when you are sure of your skills.

Let The Dog Tag Along Wherever You Go

Pets are no different from humans, in the sense that they are capable of missing their owner. That is especially true if the latter has always been busy at work and rarely finds time to spend with the dog. Hence, you may have caught them throwing a fit in the past by peeing on the floor, chewing on your shoes, etc.

Since you are locked down, though, you should let your dog tag along wherever you go. You may mostly be at home, but you can make them happy by not shooing them away when you go to a particular room.

Teach Some New Tricks

You and your pet can have a productive bonding experience when you teach them new tricks. Doing so should not be too challenging when you have already shown them a few in the past. If you need a refresher, you can look for tutorials on video-sharing platforms.

Teaching something new to your dog may be one of the best ways to pass the quarantine. Aside from taking you away from gadgets, it will take your mind off all the terrible things happening in the outside world.

Learn From The Dog

Similarly, you can spend your days understanding your dog’s body language. This tip is especially helpful for people who have gotten a new pet from the animal shelter while quarantined. You have never been around each other much, so you likely do not know what makes them tick. If you actively try to communicate with your pet, you will undoubtedly know when they feel hungry, angry, sad, or excited.

Final Thoughts

The quarantine order has been brutal for everyone who is used to staying out of the house for more than 12 hours. It may have been a welcome change at first, but it has become a nuisance after a week or two. Despite that, there isn’t much that we can do but follow the regulation if we want to live.

You are lucky for being able to quarantine with your beloved dogs. Don’t waste the opportunity to bond with them by staying glued to your gadgets. Good luck!

3 Benefits Of Quarantine On Animals

I grew up around farm animals like cows, goats, horses, and pigs. Our family also had dogs who served as my best friends and protectors from a young age. My mom would always say that old family dog Jasmine used to sleep by my crib or play with me.

Even when I became an adult and lived on my own, I did not outgrow my love for animals. I looked for an apartment that would allow me to bring pets at home. Then, I adopted a couple of rescue dogs who I connected with as soon as I saw them.

Because of my out-of-town business trips, though, I did not have much spare time to spend with my pets. I always felt so guilty about it, especially when I would live them to the same shelter where they came from. I had no choice; I lived alone, and no one could look after them while I was away.

But I honestly felt mixed emotions when I found out one day that the governor placed the state under quarantine. Of course, I was terrified about getting coronavirus and dying before even getting married. I also felt sad due to the growing number of individuals who got COVID-19.

Admittedly, I was somewhat happy about the quarantine, too, because it meant that I could be with my animals for weeks. And this new regulation was beneficial not only for humans but also for pets. Here’s why.

More Animals Got Adopted

When the pandemic broke out, I did not feel too scared about my safety. I thought that as long as I stayed at home, I would be safe. At the time, however, I was more worried about the high number of abandoned or abused dogs that kept on piling up in shelters. That’s especially true when I Iearned that they could have coronavirus, too.

While this fact kept me up for a few nights, the silver lining was that the shelters had been emptied by people who wanted to adopt a pet. Some of them might have been lonely and needed company. Others might have felt the same way that I did, and so they went on to adopt animals. Either way, it meant that the dogs could live in a safe environment.

Owners Could Bond With The Pets

The quarantine guaranteed that people would have time to bond with their pets. I knew that from experience, given that I could not even go next door to visit my best friend. I would only get in my car and drive whenever I’d pick up the groceries and then come back a few minutes later. The rest of the day was spent hanging out with my four-legged friends.

During this quarantine, I managed to get to know my pets more, and vice versa. We would play fetch at the backyard every afternoon and then have dinner under the stars. I also taught the dogs a few basic tricks, such as rolling over and playing dead.

Lonely Animals Finally Had A Home

Despite the care that volunteers give to animals at the shelter, it is still nothing compared to having an owner. They don’t need to stay in cages 24/7, for one. They can stretch their muscles without fearing other dogs. Of course, their owner gets to pamper them.

This sense of stability is essential, especially for abandoned animals. They need to be in a peaceful space where there aren’t 20 or so dogs barking from all sides. This way, it becomes effortless for them to stop feeling lonely.

Final Thoughts

I salute all those people who have thought of fostering or adopting animals during the coronavirus outbreak. Whether you have a dog, cat, or any other animal, your affection can do wonders for their well-being. Cheers!…

Common Rodent-Borne Diseases

 

Selective Focus Photograph of Two Rodents

Source: pexels.com

The 2018 Animal Care Seminar was focused on assisting veterinarians who specialized in laboratory animal medicine, specifically those getting ready for the board examinations. Keynote speakers were invited to discuss various topics regarding animal medicine. Interesting topics included the laboratory rat, facility architecture and equipment, and viral diseases. Immunodeficient rodents, the laboratory swine, and mouse pathology and diseases were also some of the most followed topics of the seminar. A review was done after the end of all the discussions, and the mock board examinations ended the day.

In relation to this, we will discuss some of the most common rodent-borne diseases.

Salmonellosis. Rodents can be carriers of Salmonella bacteria that lead to illnesses in both animals and humans. The infection originates from eating food or drinking water that contaminated with rat feces, the most common of which is through food contamination with farm animal feces. Some symptoms of the disease are fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Leptospirosis. This is an infection caused by the bacteria Leptospira. It is usually acquired from the urine of infected pigs, cattle, rodents, and dogs. People can be contaminated either through direct contact with urine or contact with water, food, or soil that is contaminated with the urine of these infected animals.

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

Typhoid Fever. Salmonella Enterica Subsp. Enterica Serovar Typhi is an endemic that is seen in several developing countries where hygiene is poor overall. Typhoid fever affects nearly 30 million individuals annually, specifically in children. It does not harm animals and is exclusive to humans only. Thus, it has a lower likelihood of having been transmitted by rodents except when they come in contact with human feces, such as in the sewer systems. Fortunately, this disease is treatable with antibiotics and vaccines.

Rodents are carriers of many other disease-causing organisms, some of which include viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and helminths. They are also carriers of various parasites. Rats act as reservoirs for many illnesses through their ectoparasites, including ticks, lice, mites, and fleas. They are also vectors for diseases carried by mosquitoes.

 

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5 Love Languages And Their Health Benefits 

Every person can love. Even Thanos proved to love his adopted daughter, didn’t he? When he got the soul stone? That’s already on the premise that he’s a titan. How much more can a human not feel the love? However, despite the universality of the concept of love, it is often exemplified in a multitude of ways. We tend to speak different love languages.