As the days pass and we continue to adjust to a “new normal”, it seems that we may be here for a while. Many have had the privilege to work from home, others may have lost their jobs, and others may be learning how to teach their children through their schoolwork. Everyone is adjusting and it can be challenging. However, despite how difficult it may be for some, there are ways to manage this shift in a healthy way by staying present and grounded- whatever that looks like for you. It could be calling loved ones everyday to check in, cooking healthy meals when you never used to cook for yourself, spending more quality time with your significant other or roommate since you don’t have to commute everyday, picking up a new hobby, and/or being able to take your dog for a longer walk.

As a dog trainer (and previous mental health professional), staying active mentally and physically is crucial for your overall mental health and your dogs mental health, especially in times like these. We have to find comfort in the total discomfort of the unknown right now, stay grounded, and be together even through physical isolation. Social distancing doesn’t mean isolating yourself socially and disconnecting. Connection with yourself and/or others, feeds your mental health so please stay visible (from 6 ft away ;)) we will get through this together!

Ok. Back to dogs. Keep in mind they are adjusting too! They are adjusting to your energy as you come to terms with the changes and they are adjusting to your presence 24/7, when they may not be used to it! The best thing you can do for your dog is to keep a routine. Take them out on walks, feed them around the same time you usually do, put them in their crate periodically in the other room so they remain comfortable with being apart from you, and by all means continue the training exercises you have been working on. You don’t want them to get too comfortable and think they are on vacation from rules and boundaries.

Keep a routine, keep it consistent, and perhaps you can add in more training now that you’re stuck at home 😏. Stay on track, stay positive, stay present, and show up for yourself and your dog as you create a new healthy norm for yourself. We’ve got this!