The theme for the first round of the Summer 100 sex bloggers’ challenge is Masturbation, Self-Pleasure and Self-Care.
I’ve written about masturbation, and penned a review of a favourite sex toy, so that leaves self-care to cover. Following the theme isn’t compulsory, and it’s more of a prompt to get the creative juices flowing. However, I like to be thorough, and this is a topic I have never previously written about, so self-care it is.
Self-care is a term that I only became aware of within the last couple of years.It seems quite a broad expression, and a quick internet search revealed a wide range of definitions. I like this definition from www.fgwrc.ca:
‘Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.’
When I look back over my life, I realise I haven’t been very kind to myself, and self-care has been somewhat lacking. I used to have a tendency to deliberately not do activities that I enjoyed, or to deny myself any form of pleasure. Usually, this happened if I felt I had been unproductive, didn’t deserve to enjoy myself, or I felt guilty for not doing something I thought I should be doing. For example, if a piece of work has not gone as well as it should, the sensible thing is to leave it and return when your mind has cleared. Forcing yourself to keep staring blankly at a screen hoping for inspiration,or waiting for a light bulb moment to occur is not the right thing to do. Another example is housework. I wouldn’t allow myself to be frivolous and enjoy something if I thought I should be doing chores around the home.
I am prone to fretting and being anxious – conditions where a bout of self-care works wonders. Yet, I allow my mind to freewheel though all kinds of catastrophic thoughts because I feel I have to be anxious rather than relax and do something nice.
I’m slowly getting better at allowing myself to do stuff I enjoy, without feeling guilty. But, it’s not always easy. Below are a few simple acts of self-care that I can, and do, enjoy without guilt.
A nice cup of tea made in my pretty white teapot
A piece of cake
Reading a book in the day-time when I should be doing something else
Random and pointless internet searches
A hotel sex date
A walk in pleasant surroundings
The last point – a walk in pleasant surroundings – is a very important form of self-care for me. I live less than ten minutes’ walk from abeautiful nature park. The park is located alongside a river, and is packed with numerous paths and trails – many of which I’ve still to explore. Anyone who follows me on Twitter, and takes an interest in my tweets will know I have posted several images from my riverside walks. Some of the wildlife I’ve had the pleasure in seeing includes: geese, ducks, herons, squirrels, foxes, water rats, pheasants and numerous other varieties of bird. And, of course, lots of friendly dogs.
I try to walk along the rivermost days and tend to go very early in the morning, usually anywhere between 6.00 am and 7.30 am.The reason I go so early is because I naturally wake at around 5.00 am each day. I often wake feeling agitated and anxious, even if I’ve gone to sleep feeling calm and relaxed. I decided that rather than lie in bed feeling anxious, I may as well get up and enjoy the early morning beauty by the river. I adore inhaling the fresh morning air, and feeling my sleepy leg muscles stretch out as I walk. Sometimes, it’s an effort to drag myself out of bed , but making the effort certainly has a positive effect on my mind, and gives me a great start to the day. Walking early on in the day also means I get a good proportion of my daily 10,000 steps done. Some days, I do a shorter route, just because I may not feel like doing my usual 3.5 miles, or I may be constrained by time or work commitments. If, by Sunday, I am over my target number of steps, I stay in bed a bit longer, with a book and a cup of tea, and go for a shorter walk later in the day, allowing myself to enjoy the feeling of indulgence.
I’ve enjoyed reading other posts about self-care, and was fascinated to read about the herbal vaginal steam that Krystle regularly treats herself to. Another interesting insight into self-care is he art of masterdating from My Messy Room.