Cat Coaching for Self Care: Stop Telling Yourselves How You SHOULD Be Feeling

Hi there,

Rainbow MagnifiCat here again, from (as translated by my human). Sharing some more feline wisdom for you humans.

Lockdown is hard. I know.

Not as hard as HAVING Covid-19 or having loved ones have it.

Certainly not as hard as not being able to be with dying loved ones or attend funerals.

Not as hard as being a nurse, doctor or other healthcare professional, being forced to decide who to treat and how to treat them.

Not as hard as being a politician, attempting to make the best possible decisions in any given moment, based on the available information.

Or being another kind of key worker and braving the risks, day after day, to keep things going.

Or being in any kind of situation where you CAN’T keep your distance from people so know you’re at risk.

But hard.

You can’t see your loved ones. You can’t see your friends. You can’t swim or go to the gym.

You can’t do a million little things you used to take for granted.

You’ve essentially become house cats.

Just not as amazing (obviously).

Here are some tips from me to you, in hopes that it makes your lockdown experience that bit more manageable:

Get out whenever you can

This, from what I understand of the news Evie has on so often, varies country to country.

It’ll also vary depending on where you live and if you have access to a garden or any kind of outdoor space.

I’m very lucky and because Evie chose her home based on my needs, SHE’S now very lucky.

But she lived in tiny spaces for much of her adult life. And I’ve had my own much stricter types of lockdown.

I was grounded (when we first moved to Ireland, I wasn’t allowed out of the B&B ROOM for a whole week.

Then, I wasn’t allowed out of the little studio for a few weeks after the next move.

And then, well, I was supposed to be grounded for two weeks but snuck out briefly a couple of times before then.

Am not at ALL suggesting you sneak out – I wanted fun but in your case, tempting as it might be, lives are actually at stake and you humans only have ONE.

But based on your government’s guidelines, even if you’re missing your usual kind of workouts or social life, get out in a way that doesn’t put yours and others’ lives at risk.

Almost every day, Evie tells me she can’t be bothered.

Each time, I give her that wise, benign, majestic look of mine and remind her that the restrictions might change, exercise is essential for both mental and physical wellbeing.

And that she doesn’t have to go walk or cycle the full allotted 2km but to just get some air.

Holy macaroni, we felines need some space. This is affecting us too, you know.

Fortunately, every day, she bows to my wisdom and drags herself out.

As soon as she gets back (usually AGES later because she has, of course, started to love it as soon as she’s taken those first few steps or peddles), she tells me how wondrous, wise and divine I am for encouraging her.

I roll my eyes. I’d normally tell her she needs to get out more but, well, you know…

Assume the best

None of us know how our lives are going to turn out.

When things are especially uncertain, like you humans are experiencing now, it can be easy to catastrophise

When you catch yourself worrying about ANYTHING give yourself a hug

Hopefully, your own cats and other creatures are helping with these. I know Evie’s missing hugs so am jumping onto her lap or shoulder several times a day so she gets some cuddles.

Personally, I think close contact is generally overrated but I know you humans like your gatherings.

You will have them again.

But it’ll take longer if you keep on messing about with these restrictions.

Imagine Future You enjoying all the things you plan to enjoy.

Make those PLANS.

And take small steps each day – whether you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread or actively pondering a happy future – to help you feel better now AND when we get through this.

Embrace each moment

Look at something beautiful that makes you smile or feel hopeful or anything you want to feel.

Listen to music or birdsong or your own wondercat purring, mewing and so on.

Feel the sun on your strange furless skin.

Feel the supportive ground / earth / bed / sofa / chair etc below you.

Smell the fresh(er than usual, maybe) air or the vegan banana bread the whole of humanity suddenly seems obsessed with (if Evie’s social media timelines are anything to go by).

Taste your favourite foods.

Use all of your senses to bring you into the present moment.

Notice what feels good. What do you want to change? Make those tweaks to make yourself more comfortable and repeat as needed.

Let yourself change your mind and mood

We cats are excellent at this. One moment, purrfection pawsonified The next Kitten of the Apocalypse.

We want to go out. We want to stay in. We don’t judge ourselves for what might seem like contrary natures.

We embrace ALL of our needs and wants

How can you do the same?

Enjoy the enjoyable moments – your feeling guilty about it does absolutely NOTHING to help people struggling in those moments.

Cry, wail, sob, rage or whatever else you need to do when you have THOSE moments.

There is no manual for this.

But we felines, however superior we pretend to be, know you humans have GOT this.

You can flatten the curves.

You can create a better future for everyone.

Meow for now,

Rainbow MagnifiCat

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