Valerie Stunning

Purveyor of Glamorous Raunch and All Things BROAD

Self Care? Who Has Time For That Shit?

How do you take care of your body and skin when you’re doing very physical work in heavy make-up 5-6 nights a week?
I work a day job and Domme at night and on weekends, and I feel like I’m run ragged and don’t have the time to really take care of myself.
— MS. STRESS
Photo: Sophia Phan

Photo: Sophia Phan

MS. STRESS, 

Show me a Bo$$ who's never identified with your feelings of being "run ragged" and/or "don't have the time to really take care of myself", 

and I will show you a liar. 

Let's be real. I know y'all feel MS. STRESS on this one.  

Photo: Sophia Phan

Photo: Sophia Phan

If prioritizing self-care isn't one of the trickiest work/life dilemmas when ruling our Queendoms, 

then I don't know what is?! 

 

It wasn't until I burnt the fuck out a few months back that I finally learned-

Just because I know I can do it all, doesn't mean I should. 

Especially when "doing it all" almost always comes at the price of compromising ourselves in ways that inevitably leave us feeling,  at best "run ragged" and at worst depressed af. 

Gahhhhh. It blows my mind how easily we can convince ourselves that self sabotage is a necessary ingredient to success. 

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What I should of been doing was, 

Setting firm boundaries,

Saying no, 

AND

Respecting my mind, body and soul's limitations.

But hindsight is 20/20, right? 

It sure is...

It sure is...

After a 3 week hiatus, during which I reevaluated how my time was REALLY being spent,

I was forced to take a painfully honest look at what I was committing myself to and why. 

OH GIRL, can it really mess your head up when you reassess your life goals and decide to cut ties with the things that no longer serve you, 

Especially when you've allowed yourself to be defined by them for so long. 

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HOWEVER!

The day I finally identified the things I needed in order to feel my best and began to prioritize them, 

It completely changed my life for the better. 

It also caused some people to throw shade at my apparent "high maintenance" or "selfishness." 

But I quickly decided that if people are hell bent on my loyalty being solely measured in self sabotage, 

They can fuck off.  

And? 

And? 

 

MY 2 CENTS

 

ESTABLISH WHAT SELF CARE IS TO YOU. 

One size does not fit all. 

Though I will say, it's crucial to give back to our bodies what we take out of them. Especially because of the very "physical work in heavy make-up" and 6+ inch heels we do several nights a week.

If taking care of your body and skin ranks high on your priority list and contributes to you feeling powerful, sexy, (or what ever adjectives you feel embody you,) 

Then drinking a fuck ton of water, eating clean, regularly exercising and getting a solid night's rest will lay the foundation for that. 

Mother Nature's rules, not mine.

 

PRIORITIZE THAT SHIT

Above all else.

Working a day job and Domming at night/weekends is A LOT. 

To create space in your life for self-care rituals and routines you'll have to critically evaluate how your time is spent. 

Then you'll need to set firmer boundaries and say no more. 

As a Domme, I imagine you're familiar with the glorious feeling of power that comes with both. 

Let that guide you.

...and remember, self care is not measured in dollars spent

I find the detoxifying/restorative health benefits of regular facials and massages indispensable to our well being- and I highly recommend them. 

Still I understand that monthly visits to an esthéticienne and massage therapist don't work for everyone's budget. 

But lest we forget, there's hardly a tired body that a solid YouTube tutorial, some Epsom Salt and a foam roller can't work out. 

 

DON'T "TRY TO FIND TIME FOR IT", SERIOUSLY PRIORITIZE THAT SHIT.

After all is said and done if you can't find at the very least 30 minutes a day for yourself, 

You're either a masochist or you're doing it wrong.

Just sayin.

 

Take my mother for example. 

My mother raised 4 kids on her own while holding down 2-4 minimum wage jobs at any given time. 

Everyday she would take the phone and lock herself in the bathroom for 30-60 minutes after dinner and before bed.

It was understood that unless you were in need of an emergency room, or you wanted to be-

You did not fuck with mom's bath time. 

As a kid I couldn't believe the nerve of our own mother denying us access to the only bathroom in the house for what felt like an insufferable amount of time, just so she could have "some god-damn peace and quiet." 

 

But as a woman I admire the no fucks it took to demand that time for herself. 

My mother knew the only way her Queendom would thrive was if her one self care ritual that greatly attributed to her last thread of sanity (and our survival) was non-negotiable.

That being said,

Honor your mind, body and soul's limitations and what they require because the relationships you have and the work that you do will inevitably reflect your respect and dedication to self-love and awareness. 

Be Well & Happy Hustling.

Xxo Val 

Prioritizing When Holding Down Your Queendom

I know, it's been a minute...

Photo: Chris Vongsawat

Photo: Chris Vongsawat

But sometimes a girl needs a break. 

Part of me is dying to share with you the adventuresome details about where I've been and what I've been up to over the past 3 weeks,

AND

Part of me feels that doing so would defeat the point of my hiatus...

Which was to have guilt free, off duty, ME time.

To reconnect with a self I had slowly been disengaging from over the course of working hard and holding shit down. 

You know- the self that many of us women stop prioritizing when in the throes of self improvement, hustling a career, managing a family & household, and maintaining healthy platonic & sexual relationships.

The self, if you're like me, you only catch glimpses of during moments of mindfulness i.e. when not preoccupied with how to win at life. 
And girl are those moments fleeting! 

 

I frequently chat with kindred boss-babes about this. 

About how we cram the absolute maximum we can manage in to the too few hours of the day. Then stress ourselves to sleep about what we didn't accomplish or what needs to be accomplished as soon as we wake up. 

We do this because we want to make the most of opportunities our mothers and grandmothers didn't have, 

We want to be proud of the lives we live, 

We want the financial security to protect the little autonomy we're granted, 

We want to be happy. 

 

I'll be the first to admit,

Ambition is fucking glorious.

It's because of ambition, modern day opportunity and savvy resourcefulness* that I was able to be the first in my family to earn more than minimum wage and travel outside of our small industrial NJ town and it's immediate surroundings. Thus causing me to learn and expand in ways I may never have had. 

I will never hate on being ambitious. 

* Though I am not ignorant to the fact that being born white and cis-gendered has also helped me maximize the potential of said ambition, modern day opportunity, and savvy resourcefulness.

 

I also recognize, 

Ambition has an ugly side. 

 It entrances us and we become fixated on constantly striving for the bigger and better. 

Which isn't the worst, until you factor in the bombardment of everyone's passionate opinions and curated lives that we willingly (and at times, obsessively) subscribe to.

Hello internet! 

And then it results in this lurking fear. A fear that if we take necessary time for self care (time we're convinced could always be spent more productively) it will result in someone knocking us off our thrones and the world immediately forgetting about us.

 Finally culminating in perpetual self imposed pressure and burning the fuck out.

I know. I've lived this burn out.  

And I'll be honest, I've yet to master how to completely avoid them.

Hello 3 week hiatus! 

Though I will say through various life experiences and guidance from my amazing support system I am now able to better identify an oncoming one and efficiently remedy it. 

WIN. 

 

May I suggest that if you identify with any of this to do yourself a solid and prioritize some guilt free, off duty, ME time. 

Stat.

Hustle hard and hold your Queendom down, but for Christ's sake- please stop undervaluing self care and shaming it's necessity as a weakness. 

No one is overthrowing you if you take 30 minutes to yourself every day to fucking breathe. Though, that 30 minutes has incredible potential to drastically benefit your piece of mind and energy, hence positively reshaping your reality. 

You are the sun of your universe and frequently dedicating time to checking in with your mental, emotional and physical well being is essential to continually burning strong and bright.

 

Be well <3

Xxo, Val  

 ©2017 Valerie Stunning, All Rights Reserved