Maslow’s hierarchy of needs clearly states that love and belonging is an essential part of a person’s wellbeing. The ongoing pandemic has put this one particular need in trouble. The actions that earlier felt like second nature are no longer acceptable. This includes simple hugs, handshakes, and even walks, everything is off-limits.
As COVID-19 spreads all over the globe, public officials have urged people to stay at home and maintain social distance to arrest its spread. It is only natural that we will have to address the serious health consequences that may come to the forefront when we face increasing social isolation and loneliness.
However, for some of us, these days don’t have to be so lonely. Our furry friends can act as our emotional support animals.
Emotional support animals are great to help you manage your stress. As the world has come to a staggering halt due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, issues like stress and anxiety have exacerbated.
While social distancing and self-isolation can be quite effective in curbing the spread of this virus, it can take a major toll on our psychological as well as physical health. And that’s where emotional support animals come into the picture.
What’s an Emotional Support Animal?
The clinical definition of an emotional support animal is any animal that helps its owner overcome or deal with a specific disability. The animal is there to provide you with all the emotional support and companionship that you need in order to alleviate the symptoms of your disability.The clinical definition of an emotional support animal is any animal that helps its owner overcome or deal with a specific disability. The animal is there to provide you with all the emotional support and companionship that you need in order to alleviate the symptoms of your disability.
While dogs are certainly the favorite ESA, there are many other animals that you can choose from. Cats, miniature horses, peacocks, ducks, pigs, monkeys, etc have all been seen as ESAs.
COVID-19, Stress, and ESA
COVID-19 has quickly taken over the world and in the absence of a vaccination or cure, the only option we have is social distancing. People, all around the world, have been asked to stay isolated inside their homes. Whole cities and even countries are going into a complete lockdown to minimize the effects of the virus.
But these measures have certain side effects as well. With so much panic all around, most of us are in a constant state of anxiety. Companionship plays a huge role in ensuring that we feel better even in isolation.
But in today’s circumstances, things like meeting our friends have become a little difficult to accomplish. But why even think of going out when you already have someone at your home that can help you fight this? Yes, I’m talking about your ESA.
Emotional Support Animal Phoenix owners, as well as people all over the world, believe that the company of animals can help people deal with the problem of limited social interaction.
ESA Provides You With Unconditional Love
We are in the middle of a pandemic right now. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. In conditions like these, it’s very normal for us to feel unloved. We are cut off from the people on whom we usually rely for love. And while the situation is similar for everyone, people with psychological disabilities are one of the worst-hit groups.
But in these difficult times, an ESA can be of great help. You can turn to your furry little friend at any time you want.
According to a 2015 Swedish study, petting, stroking, or talking to your pet, even for as few as three minutes, can significantly improve the oxytocin levels in your brain. Your ESA is bound to be a constant source of unconditional love and support right now.
ESA’s Help Relieve Stress
Stress is an issue that arises out of a constant state of anxiety. Considering we are in the middle of a pandemic, stress is a natural reaction. But just spending five minutes with your ESA is more than enough to help you significantly reduce the circulation level of cortisol, the stress hormone.
This was actually proven in a study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University in the year 2005. The researchers accessed the blood and saliva samples of 20 participants before and after they played with a pet. The study found a significant reduction in participants’ cortisol levels in just five minutes of them playing with a pet. And the benefits were seen at a peak level in just about 45 minutes. Various studies even suggest that, when it comes to stress relief, pets can help us manage it much better as compared to other humans.
So, now tell me, should you worry about social distancing when you have a cute little friend that can help you manage things better than humans?
ESA’s Provide You With Social Support
Social support is all that we are craving for in these times of social distancing. But if you have an ESA at your home, I don’t think you have much to look for. Your pet is an amazing companion. And it can provide you with all the social support that you need.
When you have a pet with you, the world feels a little less lonely. It is always there to distract you, play with you, and make you happy. Animals are highly attuned to understand what you are feeling and act accordingly. So, whether you’re happy or sad you can always be sure that your pet will be right next to you and make you feel better.
ESA’s Can Help You While You’re Working From Home
To keep social interactions to a minimum, many workplaces nowadays are promoting their employees to work from home. But it’s not really as fun as it sounds. Working from home can be a highly stressful endeavor at times especially if you are used to the office culture. In an office, you are working in an environment where you are surrounded by people all the time. At home, this loss of people all around can end up feeling very isolating. And this can seriously hamper the quality of your work sometimes.
But if you have your ESA with you, you might just feel a little less lonely. It reminds you of taking breaks. ESA’s help you keep yourself motivated while you are working from home.
ESA’s Keep You Healthy
Your routine has suddenly become devoid of any significant physical activities. No access to your gym or regular evening walks can hamper your physical fitness. But it’s very important for you to keep yourself healthy, especially in times like this. And your ESA can help you do this.
Your pet won’t let you sit idle for long. They will try to play with you and will keep you moving all the time. Also, various studies have shown that the company of pets can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and improve your immunity..
As per the data, even before this coronavirus outbreak, Americans had relatively poor social health. According to a study conducted in the year 2018, at least three-fourth of the Americans experience loneliness between moderate and high levels. And this pandemic is just adding up to the already bad conditions.
Various experts all around the world are suggesting turning to ESAs to help in these difficult times. The company of an ESA can effectively help us fight off stress and negativity in our minds, and keep ourselves sane during this global pandemic. And if you’re already suffering from a disability, an ESA is exactly what you need right now.