Image what it looks like from your animal companion's point of view-strangers coming and going from their home, loud noises, odd smells, booming fireworks, less attention from their human family, furniture being moved around, moving to a new home, acquiring a new family member with or without being consulted, disruption of daily routines, family members crying, people dying, their personal space being violated, and YOU, their loving and trust worthy human companion is radiating stress, worry, fear and anxiety. Most importantly, your animal companion is left without their most important support system for dealing with such stress and turmoil-YOU. They are at a loss on how to cope with everything they are experiencing and are overwhelmed. In addition, your fatigue level makes it easy to disregard any messages your animal companions are communicating.
Stress has become a way of life for most of us. Events are happening quicker than our minds can process, and there doesn't seem to be enough hours through the day to get everything done we have on our list. We can't change what is going on; however, we can change our thinking and approach to what is happening in our lives.
Here are a few suggestions to help your animal companion and you to relax during this transitory time the planet is experiencing:
Create a Safe Haven
By far, the most powerful tool for handling stress is having the control to shut off the unpleasantness anytime you desire. One of the ways we can give this control to our animal companions is to provide them with a secure hiding place-a safe haven. It doesn't to be a new safe haven in some out-of-the-way location, just somewhere they know they can go to unwind. Your animal companion will tell you where they are most comfortable retreating to (usually a place where they seek comfort from that evil, noisy vacuum cleaner,) and then do whatever you can to help fortify and insulate it to make it even more of a safe, quiet hideout. Soundproof it with blankets, play soft and relaxing music, darken the area by keeping lights low or off, and provide food, water, toys, and for cats, a small litter box. Most importantly, inform all the family members and guests that this space is your animal companion's own special place is strictly off-limits to humans.
Provide Social Support
The second most effective stress buster is a social support system just like with humans. This means that a dependable social companion (YOU!!) gives your animal companion comfort and stability during stressful and tough times. The time you have for this maybe very limited as you are busy shopping, entertaining, working, worrying, and fretting about everything. It can be a vicious cycle. The more stress you feel, the more stress your animal companion is going to feel. This is the time when they need you the most and yet, it is the exact time when we feel we don't have the extra moments to share with them. They don't understand all of the feelings you are feeling and as with children, they think they have done something to upset you. Becoming aware of the comfort and reassurance they need will remind us to MAKE them a priority.
Give Your Animal Companion Extra Attention
Give your dog more play time and walks. Provide your kitty with more petting and snuggle time. Don't skimp here. This is what is important in life, the exchange of pure, unconditional love. They are reminding us to take time and remember what is real and of value. No matter how busy or tired you are, make time for your loving and loyal companions.
Keep Your Animal Companion's Routine
Disruptions in everyday routines can cause anxiety for animals, just as they do for us. Consistency and familiarity gives them a sense of security in their lives, something they can depend upon. How do you do this? SAME OLD, SAME OLD. Stay with their regular routine during stressful times. Maintain as close as possible the usual schedule for exercise, playtime and lights out. Stay consistent with feeding times and the amount of food. This provides grounding in times of uncertainty and chaos.
Control Your Own Stress
Animals are heart readers. They reflect or mirror our internal environments and provide excellent feedback for us. We can support our animal companions but if we do not control our stress and have a plan in place for ourselves, they will continue to be stressed out and sick. Trust in the process of life. We are in exceptional times and are being given the opportunity to let go of old behaviors, emotional baggage and relationships and move into the final frontier yet to be explored-our hearts, the area where the animals are expert masters and teachers of BEING.
©Laura Lassiter 2016 All Rights Reserved