Activities/Small Animals/Stories From the Community

Animal therapy: How my rabbit helped me to calm down in the face of HBL

whiskers_hollandlopAugust 26, 2021~ 3 mins read

A cheaper alternative to a real therapist Typical playtime with my bunbun <3

When Singapore went into circuit breaker near April last year, schools nationwide announced that students will not be attending lessons in school but rather they would be accessing their lectures and tutorials from the comfort of their homes. Adapting to full-time HBL was no easy feat, as it was a huge transition for many students across the world.

For me personally, at first I was thrilled to hear that I do not have to come to school physically for lessons (since it was banned) as I do not need to wake up early to travel to school and I do not need to be reminded of the unhappiness in the classroom in late 2019. Little did I know that learning through a computer proved to be way harder for me. While Year 2 of Polytechnic is known to be the most stressful year, it was more stressful for me as compared to previous cohorts since it takes more effort to memorise lecture content for exams if taught through HBL than if it is taught face-to-face. Completing assignments was also much harder as it is inconvenient to arrange consultation sessions with your lecturer who is also working from home and adapting to the handling of their heavy workload and overloaded schedules without going to the office which is the best place for asking your lecturer questions regarding your assignment/presentations/exams.

With the stressors of an overloaded academic schedule and adapting to full-time HBL taking a toll on me, my mental health took a nosedive. I realised how much of 2019 I took for granted. I was about to lose hope, until one fine guest lecture I attended on Zoom, which gave me an idea of how to heal mentally.

Petting Whiskers helps me to relax

During a guest lecture for my programme planning module, the guest speaker was answering a question posted by someone from my cohort during the Q&A segment. I could not remember exactly what the question and response was, but the guest speaker did mention these two words “animal therapy” when talking about the types of therapy his agency does to clients. He mentioned that animal therapy is commonly used as companions for the elderly, mental health, disability and children’s settings in social services. They would allow clients to interact with the animals directly by letting them carry, pet and play with animals like birds, kittens, puppies, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and so on.

Hearing about animal therapy sparked my interest and made me want to try this out for myself. Fortunately we already have a rabbit as a house pet and she has been with us for more than three years as of this writing. Since Whiskers is very fond of me and enjoys my company, interacting with her was easier and it ensured a smooth bonding experience.

Whiskers likes to relax between daddy’s legs

Whenever I feel stressed from assignments or projects I would let Whiskers out of the cage so that she could play with us. Spending time with my rabbit allowed me to forget the stressful feeling of submitting an assignment in two weeks. My bun would run around the house and expect head rubs from us which forced us to focus all of our energy on her and take our minds off our books for a while, helping to relieve stress.

When we observe Whiskers’ antics, it allowed us to destress

At first, my mum did not know what animal therapy was until I introduced the term to her. She was rather surprised that such a thing existed until she searched it up and learnt the benefits of animal therapy. Just like me, my mum really agrees that playing with Whiskers helps to relieve stress, cause after spending time with my bun we would feel a lot better than before. When you already have a pet, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on an actual therapist because your pet can be your therapist! Not only does it cost less overall, but it is also more convenient, cause why leave the house to visit the therapist physically when you already have a therapist in your home in the form of a cute furry little friend? <3

She will always roam on our sofa 🙂

Aside from handling your rabbit’s poops and shedding of their fur, spending time with your bun can actually make you feel a lot better, even when you are sad. When your family or friends have never been there for you, your rabbit can be your best friend, just like music is to Taylor Swift. 🙂

* This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pawjourr. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.



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