Isolation and Training
As the lockdown continues nationwide, a lot of us are feeling a sense of loss. That loss may be routine, a job, or maybe even a loved one. I know I am feeling a sense of loss too. This blog is dedicated to those, like me, whose lives have changed due to the pandemic. Also, those who are also struggling with their mental health at this time. Today, I’m looking at self-care tips, training tips and important information for those who are feeling the struggle.
Self-care is becoming increasingly popular. It’s not necessarily running yourself a bath and chucking a bath bomb in- but it is little things you can do on a daily basis to help you feel better mentally. The whole point is that it is baby steps- not drastic measures- in order to have a small win each day mentally. It’s important to remember that no one among us has been through this pandemic before. So, if today you couldn’t even get out of bed, it’s important to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to have an “off day”.
- Move! Not only will your dog(s) thank you for this, but it’s just as important mentally as it is physically. Do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Now, I don’t mean that you need to do 30 minutes of high intensity, “I’m gonna collapse!” workout routines; but even if you just managed 3 x 10 minute strolls a day, it will be beneficial for both mind and body.
- Take in your surroundings- when I first looked at what self-care was best and came across this, I thought- “what is the point of staring out of my window for 5 minutes?”. However, arguably it does help. Just sitting and listening to the world around you, whether that be in the countryside or in the city, can help you bring a little bit of mindfulness into your day.
- Sitting and scrolling- I am the first to say that I am addicted to Instagram. It helps to escape reality and live in a world full of influencers, celebrities and companies. However, sometimes Instagram can seem absolutely perfect, perfect bodies, houses, jobs, dogs and so much more. Try and limit the amount of time you spend scrolling. Don’t eat the salad if you don’t like it. There’s enough to stress about at the moment without adding extra pressure on yourself to look a certain way. Eat well, move more and remember that not everything is as it seems on social media.
- Plan your (and your dogs) menu and training for the week- I love organisation, and if I don’t plan my food for the week, I end up impulse buying which isn’t good for me mentally. Having a plan for both training and eating means you free up time and eliminate the purchases or rush decisions you make; this means that you probably will make better choices for both you and your dog(s).
I spoke to our featured experts about their top tips for training your dog within isolation/lockdown, here is what they advise:
- Stripping training right back to the basics and adding enrichment. There is no point adding extra stress with training during an already stressful time, remember to be patient as stress travels down the lead.
- Make an individual plan for each dog and stick to it. Each dog is a different age and has a different personality so remember to tailor it to suit each dog and make sure the plan is stuck to. Not everyone will have access to training facilities and game, so it would be helpful to use this time to train obedience and technical retrieves for the more advanced dogs.
- Using the LWDG Magic Month planner for clear goals to be set during training, and using it to write each dog’s progress, strengths and weaknesses.
- If you have bought a puppy in lockdown, the chances are when you go back to work, that puppy is going to suffer with separation anxiety. Practice leaving your puppy alone for short breaks and building the time up. The best time to practice this is when the puppy is sleeping., this is usually a good time to leave them alone.
You can purchase your very own Magic Month Planner by clicking the button below:
We know that we have an amazing community where ladies can reach out and help each other, but we also know how important it is to seek professional help if you need it. Below are numbers for various mental health charities who can support you during this difficult time:
Samaritans- Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Refuge- Advice on dealing with domestic violence. Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
Mind- Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
You can find more helplines for various mental health concerns by clicking the button below:
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If you would like to read more about isolation and your dogs welfare, you can read one of our older blogs by clicking the button below.