Welcome to a brand new year!
2020 Promises to be an amazing year ahead, that is why we need to ensure that our mind health, heart health and physical health are operating at optimal levels.
Some of us have tumbled into the new year – others have hit the ground running!
Gym memberships are being renewed and New Year’s resolutions are being carried out with the enthusiasm that your past selves of the previous decade could only have hoped for.
2020 Will likely bring a few curve balls that one would need to cope with, be it unmanaged stress levels, compromised mental and physical health, business highs and lows, wins and losses to, family challenges etc.
Creative coping mechanisms will need to be part of your arsenal to get through 2020, with your heart, mind and spirit intact.
So, what do bunnies have to do with all of the above?
As women, who are constantly under pressure to wear many hats at the same time and still be expected to thrive at optimal levels, we should remember that mother nature has given us the gifts of interacting with our floppy- eared friends to help us on our journeys.
The incorporation of appropriately trained rabbits and other animals such as cats and dogs in traditional therapy sessions is becoming more and more of a feature in the healing process of those suffering from trauma. Furthermore, they are brilliant companions to those coping with Alzheimers, valuable mates in play therapy for children with Autism and patients suffering from anxiety and depression. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group document that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression versus their male counterparts.
Traditional modes of therapy are opening up to acknowledging the sound benefits of incorporating the petting of rabbits in therapy sessions, putting patients more at ease and deepening the value garnered in these sessions.
The result of playing with an animal has been shown to increase levels of oxytocin (stress reducing hormone) as well as decrease the production of cortisol (stress hormone).
When we have reduced stress and anxiety, we can benefit from improved physical and mental health.
If you are currently undergoing treatment for anxiety and depression, consult with your healthcare practitioner about the possibility of including a therapy pet as part of the healing process.
Some rabbits are small enough to be regarded as a “lap size” therapy pets.
You may be wondering what would qualify as an ideal therapy rabbit. Well, here are some points to note, as listed by LoveonaLeash.:
- A friendly, confident rabbit can be a great therapy pet as they are cute and non-threatening.
- Many rabbits are small enough to be a good “lap size” therapy pet.
- A therapy rabbit should be well socialized, have a calm demeanor, enjoy being petted, and love being around people.
- A therapy rabbit is a healthy rabbit of any size, breed, color, shape, sex, or age (but needs to be at least one year old).
- The rabbit must be comfortable going to new places and riding in a car.
- He or she should be calm while being held and petted (without getting restless and suddenly trying to jump).
- Additionally, a therapy rabbit should have good litter box habits.
- This includes not eliminating while being held or while on a blanket or towel, for an hour or longer.
- Like a good therapy cat, a therapy rabbit should not be stressed by being around other therapy pets.
Emotional support rabbits are can be extremely beneficial for the improvement of ones mental and emotional wellbeing, they are caring and gentle, drawing us into being fully present and in the moment. Though small, they have big personalities too!
Remember, self-care and healing can be greatly enhanced by the value that our furry friends can bring to your journey.
South African Depression and Anxiety Group
Want to Visit a Bunny?
Contact The Virtual Bunny Club to visit a bunny, make a donation and offer additional support for these precious animals.