I love cats.  My cats have provided me with ongoing emotional support, and they love me unconditionally.  I have also learned some important life lessons from my cats, especially in regards to emotional self-care.

Below is a list of 8 important lessons I have learned from my cats:

1. Take the time to sleep. Everyone knows cats get a lot of sleep.  Sleep is also important for people, especially those with a mood disorder.  By watching my cats, I have learned to make an effort to get enough sleep.

2. Put the electronics down. My cats make it impossible to not put my electronics down.  This is important, because so often it is easy to get lost in a rabbit hole online.  Taking a time-out from the computer or playing on a phone can help reset what should be getting done.sam in way

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. My older cat, Seamus, is never shy about letting us know when he is hungry.  This is an important lesson.  People often find it difficult to ask for what they want, and therefore do not get what they need.  People don’t want to ask for a break from day to day life, in fear it will make them look weak.  A cat would never have that fear.

seamushungry.gif 4. Really enjoy your food. Cat’s aren’t worried about how many calories they consume, or about how neatly they are able to eat.  Cat’s are excited about mealtime, and really seem to enjoy the process of eating.

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5. If you are unhappy, let others know. My cats hate car rides.  How do I know?  Because they let me know just how unhappy they are each time they are in a car.  This knowledge allows me to find ways to make their trip a but more comfortable.  If they didn’t let me know about their misery, then I wouldn’t know to change anything.  This can be said for humans as well.  When I am unhappy, sometimes something as simple as a brief break can help me recharge.  If I don’t let people know that is what I need, then I will more likely than not continue with whatever is upsetting me.

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6. Spend time in the sun. Ah, cats and sun.  Rarely do cats seem more content than when they have a good sun patch to rest in.  Spending time in the sun is also good for people.  The sun encourages people to spend more leisure time outside, and signals the brain to feel more awake.

7. Enjoy the time you spend exercising. Just as cats enjoy hunting a feather on a stick, chasing the light from a laser pointer, or running with a ball, we too can enjoy the ways we exercise.  Whether it be an enjoyed sport, or a long walk along pretty scenery, exercise can and should be fun.

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8. Keep those you love close. My cats love smashing their bodies right up against me.  When I’m home, they typically stay in the same room as me.  We humans don’t need to be quite as literal with keeping our loved ones close, but spending time with family and friends is a great way to feel cared for.