The Health And Soul Boosts Of Stuffed Animals

By Karen Salkin

The 2021 holidays are just around the corner, and I know many of you are still in need of gift ideas. Combine that with keeping all kinds of health in mind right now, (not just the dental health that our ClearClub night guards are so beneficial for,) and we've arrived at the perfect time for the topic of this post. 

There's also another reason I wanted to discuss it now. In recent months, there have been a plethora of fires not very far from where I live. As Mr. X and I watched the many news stories about them, he asked me what we should grab in the case of an emergency evacuation, and my very first word was, “Froggy!!!”

Yes, over money, meds, and valuable work, my first thought was of my treasured best friend. Oh, have I mentioned that he’s a stuffed animal?! Well, maybe to the rest of the world he is, but not to me. Froggy has been my loyal companion ever since I first moved out to Los Angeles as a teenager. It’s a long story, but we first locked eyes in a store in my hallowed Westwood Village and he’s been by my side ever since. I’ve even given Froggy three or four new bodies over the many years we’ve been together, and did an eye “surgery” too!  Now I just need to add a colorful ClearClub night guard! In our “Lucky Green,” of course!

I know there are many other stuffed animal fans out there, as well, who are wise enough to realize the health value of having even a non-living entity to love. Grown-ups usually don’t want to admit it, but many have their own version of Froggy. I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are! (And I’m proud of you.)

Actually, stuffed animals can be of great benefit to people who can't have their own live pets due to allergies, not having enough access to taking them out all the time, or any other reason. Just holding onto a beloved stuffed animal can calm you down, help you sleep, or just boost your mood, in general.

It doesn’t even have to be one from your childhood, or any other long-term one, as Froggy is to me. They can help anyone. Even my “mature” mother was no stranger to stuffed pals. She had quite the collection.

And they really did keep her company and cheer her up. I even heard her talking to them occasionally, which I totally understood because I converse with Froggy quite often myself. Again, it’s comforting. (Okay, she might have gone a bit overboard by making me find panties for the “naked” animals! But she didn’t want them to be cold!)

I gave her a very small, very soft little stuffed dog when she was having a hard time sleeping once my father was gone, and she told me that holding onto “Beauvoir,” (the crazy name she immediately gave him,) in bed made her feel better, and she finally started getting her fifty winks again.

So if you or your children or anyone you know is having a little bit of a hard time with loneliness, anxiety, depression, or the like, maybe you should really consider giving them, or yourself, a little stuffed animal friend.  And this is the time to do it--they're perfect gifts for the holidays, no matter which one(s) you celebrate.

The point of all this is—no, not that my mother and I are crazy—that the right stuffed animal(s) can really help your health and soul. I believe their positive effects have been proven by studies more scientific than my observations. Just having someone to cuddle with, and possibly have actual love for, can soothe a broken psyche, if even for the night. And you can always vent to them, with no judgment rendered.  How often does that happen with human confidantes?!

Now, to completely help your health and soul, especially around the stressful holidays, when you get into bed with or without your stuffed animal buddy, remember to don your ClearClub night guard. A stuffed animal, or even a real animal, can do only so much to help with the teeth-grinding that often comes from the tension many of us are prone to throughout the night. And days, as well, actually.

Curling up in bed with your new stuffed buddy, while wearing your ClearClub night guard, is the perfect health-boosting combo!


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