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Healthier Habits – April 2022: The Power of a Pet

Healthier Habits – April 2022: The Power of a Pet

The team at Inverloch Library recently created a display filled with animal books, and it generated a lot of great feedback and conversation from patrons.

People smiled as soon as they saw it, loaded up on books to borrow and shared stories and photos of their own pets. Branch manager Jo included some photos of her dogs and listed some amazing facts about dogs, including that by patting a dog for 15 minutes, you can lower your blood pressure by 10%.   

The health and well-being benefits of pet ownership are widely known. These benefits include, but are not limited to: 

  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels  
  • A similar decrease in triglycerides, helping with loneliness and isolation (walk your dog and the whole world talks to you!)  
  • Great opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities  
  • Providing a good mood boost when they do entertaining things  
  • Relaxation benefits from patting a dog or cat 
  •  It’s good for us to ‘look after something’ – caring for, feeding and grooming a pet can give you a renewed sense of purpose 
  • They usually love us to bits! 

Pet ownership isn’t always possible for everyone. Your living situation, job, hobbies, financial situation, and health (including allergies) all play an essential role in the care and attention you can provide to an animal. So how do you still gain the benefits of an animal without actually owning one?  

  • Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or offer to pet sit if a neighbour is going on holiday.
  • Visit a pet café and spend time with animals. We love visiting Grounded Paws Animal Rescue in Traralgon.
  • Watch funny animal videos on Youtube or social media. Some studies suggest that watching videos and viewing photos of cute animals can relieve stress and boost your mood. 
  • Borrow some books about animals from your local library.  

 

You can read more about the benefits that pets can have on our mental and physical well-being at Men’s Line Australia

April Recommendations 

We are reading – Olive, Mabel and Me by Andrew Cotter 

Olive, Mabel and Me is a book about the love we have for our dogs and the companionship and joy they bring. And about how we can all benefit from being just a little bit more Labrador… Available in paperback, e-book and e-audiobook

We are listening to – Boring Books for Bedtime podcast 

While this podcast is not animal-related, we think there are quite a few of you who might find it useful. Boring Books for Bedtime is a weekly sleep podcast for the stressed, the anxious, the insomniacs—anyone who struggles with endless, annoying brain chatter that keeps us up at night. Think relaxation, meditation and some ASMR. Enjoy! 

April 2022 Special Events and Dates – 

Extra Support

The opinions and recommendations in this blog do not replace advice from your doctor or mental health practitioner. If you feel like you need further support, you can access many free mental health helplines, support websites, online counselling, web forums, interactive toolkits, one-on-one counselling and group therapy sessions. Please visit the Better Health website for a  comprehensive list of services.

Mental Wellbeing at MYLI

The Healthier Habits blog is adapted from the Myli – My Community Library employee ‘Page Break’ program. Page Break is an initiative from our Manager Volunteers & Community Participation, Kathie Olden. Kathie sends out regular updates to staff inviting them to participate in simple activities and conversation starters that focus on making small changes to their mental health and wellbeing.

 

 

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