Good Evening Friends,
Tonight I sat for a while sipping my tea slowly. My mind drifted back to a post I wrote about suicide, as suicide and mental health issues can sometimes go hand in hand. It was one of the more difficult posts that I’ve written on here. Tonight, we’re going to discuss mental health issues as a whole, and just touch upon the basics of how to care for your Little if they are struggling with a mental illness. In truth, one blog post can barely break the tip of this iceberg. There is so much to know and understand about each and every mental health illness. Each one is unique and each individual suffering has their own set of tricks and tips that works for them. Tonight, all I can do is to share with you my personal truth about the things that has worked for me and hope that they benefit you in some way. That said, let’s dive in. ❤
I . Alter Your Environment to Meet Their Needs:
I am an adult Little who has been battling with anxiety and depression on and off for almost a decade now. I have a good grasp on what works for me and what doesn’t. Part of my little space, and those who I form connections with, is knowing that my little space has to be adapted for my anxiety. I keep my environment calm as loud noises startle and bother me greatly. I like an organized space since clutter makes me feel anxious, so my little space is a minimal environment.
As you’re helping your Little establish their little play space, think about their needs. Keep a kit of items that will help them feel mentally grounded and centered. If your little is taking medication, buy them a cute medicine organizer to not only remind them of their daily medication… but it will make them smile too. When I was taking SSRI medication I used this rainbow organizer and it always lifted my spirits just a bit when I looked at it. Another suggestion that I recommend is to have a code word with your Little for when they are having a rough day mentally. Long ago the Captain and I established the phrase “dark thoughts” or “downer day” for when I’m just having an anxiety-ridden or depressed kind of day. While I don’t use the code words much anymore, it’s great to have it for when those days do creep up here and there.
Consider bringing the outside inside and purchase a house plant for your Little. Caring for a house plant is a great way to lift their spirits, clean the air, and aesthetically it looks great! Keep items on hand to help reduce stress with your Little. Some excellent items to have on hand include:
- A heating pad
- A pregnancy C-shaped pillow (It’s like a super comfortable hug!)
- A weighted blanket
- Squishes or stress balls to put in your pocket
- A shawl or scarf
- Calming tea (non-caffeinated)
II. Learn to Cook and Eat Healthy:
Okay, y’all know that I’m a bit of a foodie so I had to include a section about healthy eating. We all know that power greens help lift your mood along with foods rich with omega 3’s… blah blah blah. 😉 And that’s all well and good, but people don’t actually stop to tell you how to use that spinach, or the best way to cook that fillet of salmon. Tonight I want to share with you some recipes that are extremely healthy, budget-friendly, and that I cook regularly. I put my paw-print stamp of approval on all of these, and I know you will too! ❤
My Favorite Snacks:
III. Focus on What You Can Do Instead of What You Can’t:
Friends, you know, having a mental illness is one of those complicated things in life that just takes time. It takes time, patience, understanding, and a team of supportive people. Some things can be healed while others are a life long battle. Regardless of what your Little may be struggling with, the best advice I can give to you is to be there and stay kind. Know that there will be good days and bad days. Take time for yourself, as the Caregiver, to recharge your batteries when need be. (Care-giving for anyone with a mental illness can be draining sometimes). And know that you’re not alone. Keep your Little talking.
I wrote that post on suicide and my own experiences with fighting my way out of that dark time in my life, because suicide is such a taboo subject. Everyone grieves when a life is lost. We mourn and post hotline numbers and that’s great, but I think that the stigma needs to be stripped away from suicide altogether. Before a person reaches the point of considering suicide they need to be able to talk about their issues and feelings. They need a safe outlet where they can get help without judgement. They need to be able to say, “Yes! I’m having these intrusive thoughts!” without fear of being locked up involuntarily. They need to be able to seek professional help and treatment without fear of breaking the bank. So many things need to change in the American healthcare system, but until they do… for what it’s worth…. this is just my little corner of the internet where I can write about tiny steps you can make to help your Little who is struggling. I guess this is my small way of saying, “I’ve been there. At times I’m still there, but you can have a happy, healthy, thriving D/s relationship and life, and still battle those demons”. Just take it one step at a time.
Focus on what you can do with your Little, versus the limitations that they have. Enjoy the activities that they feel comfortable doing and make that a regular part of their life. Serve up those food dishes that they enjoy. There will be plenty of time to gently try and push them outside of their comfort zone, but sometimes with mental health issues you need to move slowly. So, enjoy what you have and where you are at this moment in the journey and just soak it up. Give thanks for your relationship and be present in the moment. The rest will take care of itself. 🙂
IV. Daily Gentle Guidance Exercise: Animal Therapy
I can’t tell you to get your Little professional help, (even though I do encourage it when you have a mental health issue). However, tonight I challenge you to take your Little to a local petting zoo, cat cafe, or other animal sanctuary where they can connect with animals as a form of therapy. Even if the location isn’t specifically “animal therapy”, take them! One of my very favorite spots here on the coast is a petting farm. I can feed goats, Abby the cow, bananas the goat, two emus who kinda creep me out, and even sheep! Yes, just petting and connecting with animals has been proven to lower your heart rate, boost your mood…. and it definitely makes you happy in little space! 🙂 So, check out a local place near you and head out for some fun!
Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, hit that like button and let me know. Smash that follow button if you’re new around here and I will see you back here for the next topic!