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De-stress like my dog!

When I was growing up my grandmother always said that when she passed she wanted to come back to life as one of our dogs. A morbid thought for a child, but as I became an adult I understood and agree with her. My dogs live the LIFE. Now I also want to come back in my next life as my dogs.

But this got me thinking, why do my dogs live such a stress-free life and why can I have that life now. I realized I control a lot of things that are routine for them, when they eat, what they eat and they depend on me for regular exercise. All of these are important for that de-stressed life but let’s go a layer deeper to the things that for my dogs are just instinct and second nature; things as a human I have overlooked because I’m too busy “living”.

I started to pay attention to the little things that they do. So here comes the day in the life – or at least the first 30 minutes of my dogs day.

- upon wake they yawn and then stretch, big lungie stretch from the neck all the way down to the feet. Sometimes they even strength there legs out further behind them one at a time slow and deliberate.

- next might come another yawn

- then it is the famous dog shake, a twist and turn from head to tail shaking their body awake

- the next action depends mainly on me as the human if I’m up and ready to go or if I’m coasting sill laying in bed an extra step is added

- if I’m still in the bed then then jump back in bed and lay down next to me for a little morning cuddles. This is just a few minutes where I pet and say good morning remind then how much I love them and what great puppies they are.

- once the humans are up and out of bed, the dog head straight for the water bowl – time to rehydrate after that wonderful night sleep and some morning stretches

- then it is outside to relive themselves, get the bladder and digestion moving

- while outside it is time for a few deep breath, feel the clear fresh morning air in your lungs, there may even be another yawn or a quick stretch in there again

- most likely it is back inside for more hydration – just good ole fashion tap water for the dogs

So let’s recap in the simplest way possible.

- wake

- stretch

- shake

- cuddles (optional)

- hydrate

- bathroom break

- deep clean breaths

- hydrate

When you lay it out my dogs have one of the smartest morning routines and it is all completely instinct. They did not have to read any self-help books, or listen to a single podcast to do follow the routine that nature has planned for him. On top of that this entire routine that maybe 5-10 minutes.

I will be very honest, some morning I have spent 5-10 minutes scrolling on my phone before even leaving my bed.

We could even break it down further

- Stretch, hydrate, breathe

I leave out the bathroom in this because I have a feeling that your body won’t let you get too far without incorporating this as part of your wake up.

I would love to encourage you add the cuddles in. I realize that this step seems like it could be a give or take and no big deal, but I will tell you that it is one of my favorites. This cuddle time does not have to be with another person or animal, it could merely just be a hug and an I love you provide yourself. As you may recall when I cuddle with the puppies, I tell them how much I love them, how wonderful they are and how important they are to me. What if we did that for ourselves each morning – cuddled and said something along the lines of good morning self, thank you for just being you and I love you!

Dang so easy, but so powerful.

So for the final time I’m going to advocate for your first 5-10 minutes each day look something like this:

- Stretch, cuddle/love on yourself, hydrate, breathe

If 5 minutes feels like too much time, then how about 3 minutes or even 2. Trust me I know we waste more than 2 minutes each morning, why not just give my dog’s de-stressing routine a try. What do you have to lose?

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