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    17 Lessons My Dog Taught Me About Mental Health

    Self-care tips brought to you by a three-year-old shih tzu named Bertie.

    While we're all at home, waiting out a global pandemic, it's more important than ever to look after our mental health.


    I don't know about you, but I've felt anxious, scared, sad and disoriented for weeks — and one of the only things getting me through is my ridiculous shih tzu, Bertie.

    If you also look to dogs for their unexpected wisdom, then you may find these 17 self-care tips from my dog helpful.

    1. There are some days you just won't be able to get out of bed...and that's okay.

    2. Get outside for a dose of fresh air, even when your instinct is to hibernate.

    3. Meditating (or just lying back and dreaming of cheese) can make you feel calmer.

    4. Go easy on the substances, especially if they only make your anxiety worse.

    5. Moving your body can actually help, if you're feeling up to it.

    6. Surrounding yourself with friends is a very good idea.

    7. Watching something silly on the telly will remind you what it feels like to laugh.

    8. Allow yourself to be cared for by someone you love.

    9. Get in some cuddles for that oxytocin hit — even if you're hugging your pals via a laptop.

    10. Tell your friends you'd still like to be invited to parties (virtual or otherwise), even if you don't have it in you to always show up.

    11. Remember to have a shower every now and then.

    12. Sometimes putting on your favourite outfit can cheer you up.

    13. It's never shameful to ask for help when you need it.

    14. Comfort eating can be an effective coping mechanism.

    15. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable with people.

    16. Daytime napping can be wonderfully restorative.

    17. And finally, try to hold onto the fact that whatever you're feeling will pass and that you are capable of feeling happiness again.

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