Self-Care is serious business. Are you giving yourself yours?
Well, the weekend is finally here; time to catch my breath a bit from being run ragged all week. Today was a glorious Saturday filled with lots and lots of Doing Nothing™—you know the stuff. The kind of Nothing where a friend asks you “what are you doing today?” and you say “I am Doing Nothing” and they say “great, do you wanna go out and—” and you interrupt them and say “No no, you misheard me. I did not say ‘I’m not doing anything’. I said I am Doing Nothing. If I were to go out with you and do anything, then I would not be able to get Nothing done, and that’s my primary objective.”
I remember a huge epiphany I had earlier this year; I’m only sad it took me over 40 years to figure it out. It is this: mental health is simply keeping your cup of emotional energy filled. When you exert yourself on a challenge, you pour out some of that energy. When you rest and recuperate, you put some back. When a difficult coworker gets in your face, you spill. When you crank the stereo in the car and sing along to your favorite tunes on the way home, you trickle some back in.
In this analogy, mental illness is when you have a hole in the bottom of your cup. You fill and fill and fill but it won’t stay full. If you’re lucky, it’s a small hole and as long as you consistently work at keeping it filled, you can maintain a semblance of sanity.
But what most of us deal with on a regular basis is just simply forgetting to top that sucker up. We get into negative thinking patterns (drip, drip) or we revisit old hurts and linger on them (trickle, trickle) or we obsess and worry about things over which we have no control (pour, pour).
Mental health is just remembering to keep that cup full.
Mine ran low, and then out, this week. I’ve started topping it back up. I can’t tell you when it will be full again, though. First off, I just don’t know. One time I bounced back in less than 24 hours. Another time I stayed down for three months. So I really just have no idea. But secondly, I’ve found that nothing makes bouncing back harder than promising someone you’ll bounce back on a schedule. It makes me stress out (pour! pour!) about making sure I’m going to feel better by that deadline. It’s a self-jinxing prophecy.
So today I did nothing. Oh, I puttered and did a few things, but all of them enjoyable relaxing things. I worked on a computer program to play chess. I tinkered with a website. And, of course, I wrote in my blog. But all of these were things I could have said “ah, screw it, I’ll do it tomorrow” and things would have been fine.
Self Care is serious business, and it’s something that’s far too easy to forget in D/s. See, in D/s, you have a partner who takes care of you. That is literally the whole point of the dynamic. But don’t let that be your only care! Subs, do rely on your Dom to take care of you, but be sure to mix in things that make you happy for yourself. If it helps, think about doing things that delight you just so your Daddy will be pleased. Doms, do lean on your subs for attending your needs and whims, but don’t get so caught up in maintaining the veneer of invulnerability that you suffer and crumble inside.
The beauty of D/s is that it’s also well-equipped to help you find self-care. I’ll ask the subs to sound off in the comments: what D/s things can you seek out and enjoy when you need them? As for the Doms, one of my favorite tricks is to grab my sub and give myself self care using her body. Beth is hands-down my favorite sex toy. Or hands-up. Or hands-on.
Take care of yourself. If you don’t, who will?