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What I learnt through getting COVID...and what this has to do with our dogs.

Only a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about how well I have been for a long time.

Guess I spoke too soon…. A little over 10 days ago COVID finally came knocking at our door and floored myself, my husband and my son. Luckily, we were all at slightly different stages of the illness at different times, and had varying degrees of the symptoms, but nonetheless it was pretty brutal with us all being sick at once.

Being in bed for multiple days with pain and fever gave me time to really notice my mindset around what was going on. When we are not feeling well it’s so easy to slip into negative thought patterns and worry about things that are simply beyond our control. And, these thoughts can then lead to emotions and feelings of sadness, pity, despair or even irritation and frustration.

These unfortunately don’t do us any good and only add to the burden of symptoms we are already experiencing due to the illness, whilst our body does its best to deal with the onslaught. What does help however, is if we tune into our bodies and listen.

Our body is sending messages to remind us to rest up and take care of ourselves, and to conserve our energy which is needed by the immune system in order to carry out its vital functions.

So, instead of trying to ‘push through’ it by taking loads of medication to suppress the symptoms, I gave myself permission to put all of my calendar appointments on hold for 10 days and to honour my self-care needs.

I used my essential oils, vitamin supplementation, herbal teas, my favourite music, audiobooks, fresh wholesome foods and plenty of sleep and rest to aid my recovery process. It felt good to be supporting myself in this way.

It also helped me to re-frame my thoughts and pretty soon I was finding so many things to be grateful for at every turn. The list is long, and even the small conveniences that often go un-noticed in daily life, became subjects of my gratitude. I am so grateful for the frequent warm baths I could take to keep me warm or to cleanse after a sweaty night of fever. For the kind and loving support of family members who took care of us, brought us food and groceries and took the dogs for their daily walk.

For the steady flow of well wishes and words of encouragement from clients, friends and family.

And especially, for my two amazing dogs who stayed with me night and day, comforting me, making me smile or simply ‘holding space’ for me to rest and heal - never complaining that their daily routines had been messed up or that mealtimes were sometimes late. What precious beings they are.

It also got me thinking about how we often want / try to rush the healing process when it comes to our dogs.

Obviously, we don’t want them to suffer, and we don't wish to see them in pain or discomfort.

However, what if we simply took the time out to ‘be’ with them, to love them and support them through the process, as they do for us when we are not well?

Of course, getting a diagnosis from a good, holistic vet is important to know what we are dealing with, and getting necessary emergency medical goes without saying. But, I think we often reach for medications to deal with the symptoms of many common illnesses a little too quickly - instead of giving our animals the time and gentle care they need to self-heal. We can support our dogs with our time and intention. By offering fresh food and good nutrition to support the immune system, providing warm, comfortable spaces to rest and sleep, clean filtered water, essential oils, herbs and botanical supplements that support their physical and emotional wellbeing, gentle touch, calming music and loving intention. And perhaps most importantly, spending time simply 'holding their paw' and being with them. Helping to keep our own mind calm and staying grounded is also a key factor in helping our dog’s healing process. If we are stressed and focused on the illness / injury, it’s just adding to the burden for our dogs. They can sense our distress. However, if we focus on seeing beyond the physical symptoms and looking at the beautiful, perfect being within and remind ourselves of all the reasons we are grateful to have our dogs in our lives, then we provide the nurturing energy needed for their own healing process. I am grateful for the insights and lessons that my experience of having COVID has brought me, and my wish is that you too, will take the nudge to check in with your body more often and be softer, kinder and more supportive of your own needs. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and understanding, as I slowly ease my way back into my work routines again. Take care and have a wonderful day.


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