Pet Newz

Self Care

I shifted under the covers.

As I turned, Cooper turned with me. He shifted a tiny bit more and placed his chin on my ankle.

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I set down my book (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone… so, so good!) and listened to his breath.

The weight of his head resting on my foot, the warmth of his furry body pressed against my legs, the sound of his snores… peace.

Pure happiness.

This is my nightly routine: We finish dinner–we eat together every night–then I finish cleaning the kitchen while John takes Violet up for her bath and bedtime. I scoop the litter boxes and change into my jammies. I pour myself a glass of wine or a mug of tea (let’s be honest… usually wine) and climb into bed with my book and my Cooper. I’m in my jammies and in bed almost every single night by 7:30 or 8.

This is my self care. A glass of wine, a book, and my dog–oh, and an early bedtime–keep me sane.

It’s so small. Each one of those things is so little but bring me so much joy in my chaotic, stretched-too-thin, day-to-day.

It’s quiet. It’s calm. It’s peaceful.

Add to this mix Ripley. She often climbs onto my lap after Coop and I are fully settled in. She waits until he’s in position so that he doesn’t accidentally jut his legs into her side. Once she’s sure we’re both in place, she curls up and dozes off.

Ripley squeaks in her sleep. Those squeaks bring me even greater joy. They’re just so darn sweet and tiny, and I know she’s content.

Her tiny frame–a whopping eight pounds–settles into my lap and manages to feel like a hot lead weight as soon as she falls asleep.

Sometimes Newt piles on. She prefers to watch TV with John, though; he’s her person. She always chooses him when he’s around. I think she joins me, Coop, and Rip when she’s extra cold or when she’s ready to go to sleep for the night. I pretend she’s coming in because she wants to cuddle with me, but… 🙂

Lately I’ve noticed this push for all sorts of “self care” products. It’s a cottage industry that sprouted up, I believe, in response to the massive amount of stress we’re all under.

A mani/pedi, face mask, TV binge, shopping spree, whatever… might help decrease your stress in the moment. If that’s your thing, that’s awesome. As long as it feeds your heart and soul instead of depleting you (or your bank account), great.

I do other things, of course, like take my vitamins, drink lots of water, exercise a bit, get outside, but this nightly routine–my Coop, my cats, my book, and an early bedtime–tends my heart and soul. It’s small, but it’s my self care.

Thank goodness for pets.

How do you take care of yourself?

Do your pets factor into your self-care routine? I’d love to learn how you keep your sanity in the comments below!

BTW, if you’re a reader like me, let’s connect on Goodreads!

If you’re not using that platform, I’d LOVE to know what books you’ve loved this year in the comments below. My top three from this year, which I highly recommend, are Deep Creek (my favorite book all year), Calypso on audiobook because it’s read by the author and makes all the difference in the world (free with an Audible trial), and The Friend (a dog book, kinda, but not what you expect).