A Mental Health Day

Self care. We have all heard or read this phrase. We’ve encountered it in the layers of Facebook pop-psych click-bait, also in more clinical settings, and even casually dropped from the lips of a suit in line at the Starbucks around the corner from the office. We are all under societal pressures: we’re Americans, and we do anxiety like no other nation. Self care comes in when you need a day to yourself away from all the anxiety, or even an hour, indulging in hot cocoa, or a pedicure, or a trip to the dollar store for stupid pet costumes. Self care in America, to a certain extent, means consumerism. It means drink more artesian water. It means take a hot yoga class at the studio that just opened. It means gather ye rosebuds from Home Depot. It means spend money. Why? I don’t know.

I am not going to say I have found a new path of self care that involves spending no money, because my self care involves horses, and horses eat gold bullion and crown jewels. They sleep on platinum pharmaceutical patents. We tack them up in rare earth tax returns.

I am going to say, self care sometimes means taking care of something else because doing THAT makes you feel better. Taking care of my horse makes ME feel better, and I would rather this than have a stranger shred my feet with hot bubbling water, emery boards, and orange sticks. My me time is Eli time. He gets apples, grooming, exercise, and a good roll and I feel recharged.

What do you do for self care? Are horses or any animals a part of it?

22 thoughts on “A Mental Health Day

  1. “horses eat gold bullion and crown jewels.” YUP. But definitely- when I’m burned out and exhausted and tired, I’ll sometimes forego riding and just groom Frankie for an hour. He really thrives on that kind of attention, and seeing him so content makes everything else melt away.

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  2. Riding and running are for sure my self-care. I also love cleaning stalls early in the morning when no one else is around–quiet and full of all the good barn things. My boy doesn’t really like being groomed, but he does like quiet hanging out or grazing. Also walking/hiking with my pup.

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  3. I have a full on zoo at my house (5 horses, 9 dogs, 2 cats, 16 goats, 80+ chickens, a donkey and a cockatiel) so I feel like I get mental health refreshers every morning and evening when doing chores. People think my husband and I are nuts to have so many animals, but there just isn’t anything like caring for an animal that is solely dependent on you for it’s well being. Plus they don’t judge, their love truly is unconditional and there is no better way to take out frustration than hard labor!

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  4. I’m not gonna lie, my self care usually involves a manicure. I can zone out for an hour and listen to other conversations going on around me.
    I do also feel similarly good after a bath day for Cosmo, when he’s all shiny and munchign away on his grain as I leave.

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  5. No matter how stressful my day has been I can feel it melt away as I do my supper time chores in the barn. The simplicity of physical action and taking care of my horses eases my soul.

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