If you’re experiencing stress, depression, or loneliness from extended COVID-19 isolation, you’re not alone. While few formal studies have been done to show the scope of COVID-19’s impact on mental health, a quick Google search will give you some sense of the prevalence and show you why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a Stress and Coping page. Cautioning people about the negative impact of stress on physical and mental health, the page speaks to the same cautions that Johns Hopkins Medicine has on its Stress page. Listed under Conditions and Diseases, the page reminds people that “emotional stress can undermine your health” (including increasing susceptibility to illness and reduced ability to fight disease), and adds, “there are ways to prevent it from becoming overwhelming.”
For pet owners, that prevention assistance may be wagging or purring right in front of them. As the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) shows, pets help alleviate stress, fight depression, address loneliness and social isolation, improve health by encouraging physical activity, and facilitate healing and resiliency.