Lindsey from OC Pup Scouts here! Last month, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we featured an Instagram Stories takeover with Mental Health Advocate, Rachel Yaffe. Rachel shared her top tips for living mindfully as a dog mom and pup parent. You go can to our Instagram Highlights under “Health+Dogs” to see some easy daily practices to living mindfully and how you can integrate your dog into these exercises.
Not only was I so inspired by Rachel’s personal story, her tips definitely helped me to be more intentional with my time with my pups and I remind myself to implement what she has shared throughout my day.
With the busy summer season approaching (or maybe it’s already in full swing for you), I think now is the perfect time to take a step back and evaluate how we are going to continue to make time to connect with our fur babies. I’m not talking about going on a road trip with them, bringing them to the dog beach or on an outdoor adventure. I’m talking about the little moments away from everything, when you’re going on your routine walk around the block, waking up, going to bed, or even sitting on the couch scrolling through Instagram. These are the moments that are full of potential for connection with your dog rather than being preoccupied with everything else in life. And these are the moments that Rachel reminds us about below.
So while she shared a little sneak peek of these topics on our social media, we wanted to take a deeper dive with Rachel on ways to live mindfully with your dog. Enjoy this blog write up from her. We hope that it inspires you to reevaluate the small moments where you can live in the present and not only improve your mental health but also your relationship with your pup.
Take it away, Rachel…
Hi, I am Rachel Yaffe! I am a holistic healing advocate, lifestyle blogger, and transformation mentor. After four years of fighting a rare cancer diagnosis, I took my health into my own hands. As I found gratitude and acceptance in my chronic cancer diagnosis, I committed myself to heal from the inside out. My continuing journey of physical, mental, and spiritual transformation has inspired me to share my knowledge and gratitude with others. My mission is to show others how to fall in love with life, just as I have.
I partner with and collaborate with brands that support my mission. I also mentor individuals through their self-transformation.
Being a dog parent is so much more than taking care of another living being. Dogs are unconditionally loving animals who gift us dog parents so many opportunities to live healthier and more intentional lives.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for living a more mindful life as a dog parent:
STARTING YOUR DAY
Start the day with a few minutes of cuddles. Be present. Take a moment to soak in the unconditional love from your pup and find gratitude in the moment and the day ahead. Starting the day with gratitude can completely change the way that your day flows. I promise, you’ll feel SO much better if you start your day with morning puppy cuddles… the phone can wait 😉
WALKING WITH YOUR DOG
Dogs need exercise so you might as well make the most of it! The sunshine, the vitamin D, the movement is all extremely healthy. Not only is walking good for your health physically, but soaking in the vitamin D early in the morning actually helps you regulate your circadian rhythm and helps you sleep.
TAP INTO YOUR SENSES
Take time to notice your senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, touch. Tune in with a little more detail than you otherwise would. Look at the lines on the leaves, the trunks of the trees, the sounds of the birds, and the joy that your pup experiences as you walk presently and intentionally with them. Tuning into the senses is one of the fastest ways to bring yourself back to the present moment.
Notice the joy that your dog experiences when you feed them, walk them, play with them, etc. Use the joy that they get from being with you to fuel your joy! Use this as a reminder that joy is simple and does not require much.
In moments of stress, take a moment to close your eyes and pet your pup. Go outside on a short walk. Allow your pup to remind you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In moments of stress, love still exists.
THANK YOU to Rachel for collaborating with us on this blog post! We are so thankful for you and for sharing your light and love… and especially your love for dogs.
Until next time, take care and hug your pup for us! =)
AUTHOR’S NOTES & DISCLOSURE: The opinions of this blog post are based on personal experiences. All affiliations are suggested based on collaborative efforts and have not been paid for or should be considered as paid advertisements. OC Pup Scouts is not to be held liable should you have a negative personal experience with anything recommended that has been mentioned as these thoughts are independently shared. If you are struggling with mental health, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help and guidance.