Turning to Your Pets For Comfort During Quarantine


By Crossroads Therapist Tim Shaffer

I recently came across a friend’s post that really stood out to me; they shared a picture of a woodpecker and reflected on how we can be reminded of God’s providence just by watching how He takes care of his creation.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He calls us to “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” If nothing else, one thing we can enter into during this uncertain time is to slow down and appreciate the beauty of creation that surrounds us.

This could look like bird watching at a local park or spending time with your pets. You may find yourself in the company of your pets now more than ever before due to social distancing. For some this may be frustrating or just something to get used to.

Many people are experiencing increased levels of anxiety and depression due to the isolating nature of social distancing. While animals may not fill our need for human interaction, they can provide a sense of calm and soothing. For example, you may find that just by noticing your dog or cat’s breathing rhythms, you can start to match their pace and be in sync with them. This can be a useful way of grounding yourself when your mind is racing and you feel overwhelmed. However, I don’t recommend matching their breath if they’re in a hyper mood!

Another benefit to having a pet around is the responsibility we have for them. This can be especially helpful in providing a sense of purpose when we’re feeling depressed. Whether you have a preference for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish, etc. I would encourage you to take some time to sit with them and simply delight in their nature, and be reminded that as we care for our animals, God’s care for us is infinitely greater.

To learn more about Crossroads therapist Tim Shaffer click here.  If you are overwhelmed and looking for help please do not hesitate to reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.  We are seeing clients virtually during the coronavirus crisis.   Call us at 623-680-3486 or email us at info@crossroadsfcc.com.