Feelings of depression and loneliness are often more pronounced in winter. But thankfully, the companionship of an emotional support animal is a fantastic cure for winter loneliness.
Winter is the season when people tend to hunker down, take shelter from the elements, and conserve energy. And in the winter of 2020/21 this hunkering down is even more pronounced, as people shelter not only from the cold, but also from the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Winter is a beautiful time of year in many respects. Cities, towns, and nature look especially pretty when sprinkled with bright white snow and frost. Hot coffee and hearty food taste especially good as they warm the belly on frigid winter days. Winter gives us the chance (and the excuse, if it’s needed) to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.
But winter can be a difficult time of year for many people. The colder months bring their own suite of mental and emotional stresses and strains. Feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety can all be triggered during the winter, as people go outside less and see less of each other.
For many millions of Americans, winter is an emotionally tumultuous period. For this reason, an emotional support animal can be an especially important ally during the winter months. Let’s take a look at why feelings of loneliness are worse in the winter for many people, and how an ESA might help.
Feeling Depressed In The Winter
Feeling depressed in winter is all too common. There are several reasons why depression is more prevalent during the winter months. In most regions of the US, especially in more northerly areas, winter brings frigid temperatures and considerably fewer hours of daylight. Both of these factors can increase feelings of depression.
What Is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a variety of depression that is caused by seasonal changes. SAD is most prevalent in areas that experience diverse seasons and cold, dark winters. The symptoms of SAD include depression, low mood, feelings of shame and sadness, an inability to feel pleasure, irritability, weight gain, lethargy, and insomnia. Winter loneliness is a common factor in the onset of SAD.
Why Are Feelings Of Loneliness Worse In The Winter?
Feelings of loneliness are worse in winter for a variety of reasons. The cold weather means that people stay indoors most of the time, and this means opportunities for social connection are fewer. Shorter days and less daylight also mean people are less likely to venture out of their homes, and this often causes people to feel lonely.
Christmas also falls in mid-winter – and Christmas is an occasion when family and friendship is celebrated ad nauseam! Festive movies, TV, advertisements, and songs give the impression that everybody is (or should be) happy and warm with their friends and family at this time of year. But if you are one of the millions of Americans who do not have a large family or friendship circle, or if you live far away from your friends and family, this emphasis can make Christmas a difficult time of year and can strongly exacerbate feelings of loneliness.
What Is The Best Cure For Loneliness?
The best cure for loneliness is company and social connection. Having a chat with a friend or family member, meeting someone for a coffee or meal, going for a stroll with a buddy, even making some small talk with a stranger – most types of social interaction will help to alleviate loneliness.
Having an emotional support animal is another of the best ways to cure winter loneliness. To many Americans, their ESA best friend is an invaluable lifeline during the lonely winter months.
How Can An ESA Help Combat Winter Loneliness?
An emotional support animal will help to combat winter loneliness in several ways. ESAs provide:
- Loyal companionship
- Unconditional love
- A reason to get out of bed and start your day
- A source of fun and play
- Plenty of exercise
- A sense of responsibility for something outside of yourself
- A meaningful project and sense of purpose (your ESA depends on you for its wellbeing)
Can Getting A Dog Help With Loneliness?
Getting an emotional support dog can absolutely help with loneliness. ESA dogs are the most popular type of emotional support pet for dealing with loneliness. They are loyal, loving, playful, intelligent, supportive, and great company.
What Is The Best Pet For A Lonely Person?
An ESA dog is probably the best pet for a lonely person. However, there are plenty of other species of emotional support pet that are great at alleviating loneliness.
Some of the other best ESAs for a lonely person include:
- Domesticated rats
- Pot-bellied pigs
- Miniature horses
These ESAs are usually very social, intelligent, and playful, so they make excellent companions.
How Can You Get An ESA Letter?
The best way to get an emotional support animal letter is to arrange an online consultation with a state-licensed mental health professional through Moosh. Moosh is compliant with HIPPA, which means that your data and privacy will be completely protected.
Through Moosh you will have a video call with a mental health professional who is licensed in your state. Once your mental health condition has been verified and it has been decided that you will benefit from treatment with an ESA, an emotional support animal letter will be emailed to you immediately. It is a very quick and easy process!