I Adopted An Emotional Support Animal, And It's The Best Decision I've Ever Made For My Mental Health
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I Adopted An Emotional Support Animal, And It's The Best Decision I've Ever Made For My Mental Health

Having an animal around can do more for you than just keep you company.

I Adopted An Emotional Support Animal, And It's The Best Decision I've Ever Made For My Mental Health
Alexis Hoffman

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all know that cutting out social interaction has taken its toll.

For me, like many others, spending so much time cooped up inside, by myself, while at school has led to feeling isolated, lonely, and even more anxious than normal.

I've always had cats. At my home, we have seven cats that never fail to distract me from everything and anything.

When coming to campus, I realized just how much I missed having them around. I also realized just how much I depended on them to help make me feel better while in lockdown.

At the end of last semester, I decided it would be a good idea to get an emotional support animal.

What is an Emotional Support Animal? It's a pet that provides emotional support and comfort to its owner on a daily basis. Being that I have diagnosed with ADHD, and how I'd made it clear to my doctor how much I relied on my pets for emotional comfort, I started the process of searching for a kitten and filling out the paperwork. By Thanksgiving break, I found the perfect kitten, a Scottish-fold munchkin who I named Millie. I picked her up when I returned home for Christmas break.

Since then, having Millie around has helped ease my anxiety and even focus more during virtual classes.

Not only is she the cutest thing I've ever seen, but having her around has also given me something to take care of that can help get my mind off the stress of being in college. She's also great company since I spend the majority of my time in my dorm staring at a computer screen. I've felt generally more positive since she's been around.

My dorm doesn't feel so empty anymore.

Millie has even helped me focus on my school work. She sits on my lap while I'm doing homework, which has helped me be able to actually get things done. If I ever need a break, I just pet her a few times, and I'm able to get right back to work. She's like this little ray of sunshine. Also, she's helped me maintain a schedule. I know I have to get up to feed her and give her water every morning around the same time. I don't just sit in bed all day, knowingly procrastinating tasks that I have to complete. She keeps me company while I do those tasks a lot of the time.

If you're struggling with mental health, an emotional support animal may be an option that could help your situation.

Of course, talk to your doctor first. I can say, after having her around for a little over a month now, that getting her was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Of course, the semester has just started, but I feel like Millie is going to improve my well-being.

Report this Content
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments