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When it comes to slowing the spread of COVID-19, it’s crucial that we each do our part by limiting outings to weekly grocery shops and picking up medications. It’s also important that we take care of our mental health while social distancing. For those among us who can stay home (shoutout to the essential service workers who continue to keep our society afloat), self-isolation can get very lonely very quickly, especially if you don’t have a live-in partner or roommates.
While we can’t hang out face-to-face with our human friends, the good news is we still have our furry ones! Here are some ways to make the most of social distancing with your kitty.
1. Get crafty
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Get those creative juices flowing with a “catified” DIY project, using supplies on hand and the infinite amount of inspo online. Some ideas to get you started: a cat tent, cat hammock, or cat house. Nothing is too over-the-top.
2. Curl up to a nostalgic TV series
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If you’ve been meaning to binge every season of Friends from start to finish, now is the purrfect time! Your cat’s warm, furry company will make the experience that much cozier.
3. (Cat) stretch it out
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Research suggests that yoga can help anxiety and depression. We all know that cats love to interrupt yoga sessions. Maybe kitty can even show you a move or two!
4. Take advantage of technology
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Just because we need to maintain our physical distance doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected with loved ones online! Have a FaceTime session with friends and their pets. If there’s not much to talk about (after all, there’s only so much to discuss if you’ve been on your couch for a week), video chat while cooking, playing video games or watching a movie.
5. Get some fresh air
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Luckily, social distancing doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the great outdoors, as long as we maintain a 6-foot distance from others and don’t have flu-like symptoms. If your cat likes going outside, break out the leash and harness and go for a walk around the neighborhood, or even just the backyard.
6. Deep-clean your space
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Staying at home will be a little more pleasant if your environment is tidy and clean; plus, it’s more important than ever to regularly disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, keyboards, phones and countertops. Of course, your cat can “help” with laundry.
7. Finally start that novel
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Even if the finished product never sees the light of day, writing can be highly therapeutic and is an effective way to pass the time. Plus, kitty will be happy to keep your keyboard warm.
8. Help others in your community
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Okay, your cat can’t necessarily join in on this one, but getting through this pandemic will be a lot easier for everyone if we support one another. The nurse or senior couple in your building who can’t make it to the grocery store? Offer to drop off some toiletries or non-perishables at their doorstep. Managed to make it to the store when the TP is well-stocked? Consider taking just what you need and leaving some for others. Even checking in with friends, families and neighbors via text can go a long way, especially for those who live alone or are struggling to stay positive during these uncertain times.
Social distancing can be difficult, but if we each do what we can now by staying home, the sooner we’ll get through this—and the sooner your cat will have their precious alone time back.