- Alexis Atkinson
5 Wellness Lessons We Can Learn From Cats
By: Alexis Atkinson
Do you ever look at your pet and think, "Man, I wish I was you right now."
How do they do it? Always looking relaxed and content with where they are in that moment.
It's something that humans have to work so hard at. It's a conscious effort we have to make but they make it seem so...effortless.
You can learn a lot when observing a cat. Of course you'll learn about their behavior and their daily routine, but I find that there are some metaphors in how a cat lives it's life. My cat has taught me 5 valuable lessons about wellness in our daily lives that I want to share with you. Sometimes, it's the simple things in life that make everything that much better -- and cats, my friend, have got it figured out.
1. Stretch Every Day
What's the first thing your cat does when it wakes up from its nap? They take a biiig long stretch, observing each part of their body after their slumber. I've observed my cat doing the traditional "cat cow" yoga pose. Stretching the spine in both directions, the shoulders, arms, and legs. It comes so naturally to them, like they don't even think about it. I've started to do the same stretches when I wake up, and I feel an obvious difference in my body. Stretching in the morning tunes you in with your body AND you will notice less aches and pain throughout the day. Kiss your chiropractor goodbye.
2. Groom Yourself Often
You know that saying, "look good, feel good" ? Well..cats certainly live by that. I mean, of course your cat is beautiful no matter what, but she usually feels better after she's had a nice grooming sesh. Kind of like us women do...except my cat never takes me up on my mani-pedi offer (...rude.) Another thing that I see my cat do on the daily is groom herself. Sometimes she'll even do it after I was petting her for a while...apparently she thinks I'm gross. Thanks cat...remember who cleans out your sh*t box everyday.
Anyyywayss... your hygiene is a reflection of how you feel. Some days are better than others. And that's okay. I find it important to get ready and get out of my lounge clothes when I'm not feeling my best. It always helps life up my spirits and makes me feel somewhat put together.
3. Have a Hobby
My cat has a couple of hobbies that keep her busy...when she isn't sleeping. (Don't worry cat, I don't judge you, like you do me) You can usually find her looking out the window plotting revenge on the squirrel which provides her with mental stimulus. She likes to chase her toy mouse around the house for exercise, and she likes to bask in the sun while bird watching for some spiritual relaxation.
Having different hobbies for mental stimulation, physical stimulation, and spiritual relaxation not only keeps you busy, but it also improves your outlook on life.
For example, my mentally stimulating hobby is fish husbandry. I keep a saltwater aquarium which challenges me to use my brain differently than I usually do. It's something that teaches me new things constantly and encourages me to problem solve.
Next, my physically stimulating hobby of choice is yoga and running, it's something that makes me feel good and I enjoy it.
Lastly, we all need something to do that grounds us and keeps us sane, which is spiritual wellness. Whether you like to take candle-lit bubble baths, or hang in a hammock and read a book -- find something that relaxes you. For me, that is gardening.
4. Don't take sh*t from anyone
Cats are notoriously known for their "cat-itude." They don't take crap from you, the dog, or anyone that harasses them. They know when enough is enough and they stand their ground.
Standing up for yourself and not committing to things you don't want to do can reduce your stress levels. I've learned to stop saying yes to people just because I felt bad.
Sometimes, it's okay to be selfish in that regard.
If you call your cat and they don't come, maybe they just don't want to. You won't blame 'em when you get on their level.
5. Be Present
Lets face it -- we all probably spend too much time thinking about the past or the future. It's hard to stay in the moment sometimes, you're not alone. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing to reflect on things in your life and to have goals set for your future, but we have to remember to live in the now. Learning to enjoy the process even though you may not be where you want to be is just a part of life. You will find your peace if you can learn to enjoy life, no matter where you're at. Do you think your cat thinks about the next few years every day? Or thinks about their regrets? Absolutely not. Cats live in the moment and that's it. It's not that simple for us humans, but at least we can try our best and learn our from our furry friends.
Even if you're not a "cat person," you can still admire how they manage to take care of themselves so well. Cats independent personalities and routines can teach us a lot about ourselves, if you just take the time to notice. We may never be as cool, calm, and collected as our feline friends, but at least we can try.