An ode to Brispets and the positive effect on mental health

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By Mary Hollamby, Second Year Psychology

Mary Hollamby discusses the new emergence of Brispets and its effect on student mental health.

First we were thrilled by the scandalous confessions of Bristruths, next came the sordid love affairs on Briscrush, but now the students of Bristol have well and truly outdone themselves with Brispets. Not only is the page hilarious and adorable, but the posts epitomize UoB student’s commitment to spreading positivity across campus, at a time of arguable pessimism and pressure. There is nothing better than a fluffy face to escape the endless political, mum-gloating or sponsored posts that seem to dominate Facebook.

Whilst it seems extreme to say the page helps boost mental health, surely everyone has experienced how social media can become an all-too-serious, negative force in our lives. With that in mind, there is nothing better than a wholesome post of a puppy, with no ulterior motive, popping up on your timeline.

In a strange way, the simple positive posts stop you from focusing on the surrounding people posting their fake perfection. It is refreshing to see posts from fellow students that are not anonymously bitchy or complaining, as, as much as I love Bristruths, it can often fuel the fire of a negative mindset about University, work or other people.

Seeing the animals also, ironically, adds a more human element to the anonymous posts and reminds us that behind each post is a real life. All in all, there is no harm in seeing an agenda-free picture of a bunny to remind you to stop taking things too seriously.

There is nothing better than a wholesome post of a puppy, with no ulterior motive, popping up on your timeline.

Where can you pet animals while at Uni?

The positive effect of animals on your mental state is no secret. Not only do pets provide unconditional love and something to care for and a distraction from day-to-day stresses but recent studies have even suggested they may help you live longer and boost immunity.

So, if just seeing pets isn't enough, I have got you covered. For any cat-lovers amongst us, I highly recommend the cat-cafe which provides tea and cake in the presence of rescue cats from £5 for an hour, located right by Park Street! Whilst the concept is strange, the reality is brilliant, you also get to hear the stories of where the cats came from and how being there is paying for their better care. Here is a candid shot of me experiencing the magic healing powers of fluffy friends. Wow so powerful.

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Image by / Mary Hollamby

For a larger price, both Noah's Ark Zoo just west of Bristol and Bristol Zoo offer hands-on experiences with a variety of exotic or farmyard animals. Equally, there are many owners and charities in and around Bristol that need volunteers or will pay you to play with their sheltered animals or walk their pets. However, I do think we need to take the page one step further and get the people whose pets had the most likes to come and do a primary school style show and tell session – essentially, I just want to hold a micro-pig.

Featured Image: Epigram / Jasmine Burke


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