When our dog was a few years old we came across AbsoluteDogs training videos and fell in love. What really resonated with us was the bucket theory they discuss. It's basically the opposite of the 'fill your cup' idea.
Filling your cup is basically doing things that give you energy and make you feel good things.
The bucket idea basically says when your bucket is full you need a break. As someone who suffers from sensory overload this really stuck with me.
Anything can fill your bucket.
Good things, not so good things.
But when your bucket is full or overflowing you're not performing at your best.
For our dog this looks like zoomies; nibbling, not listening etc. For me I get irritable, I cant focus, I struggle to listen when others talk. And it can take days to come down.
What fills my cup sometimes also fills my bucket. Which can be hard. Socialising with specific people for example. There's a handful of people that energise And lift me when I see them. But it's a fine line between that and too much. I like music, it makes me feel good. But sometimes it gives me sensory overload. Spending time playing with my children 100% fills my cup. But it also fills my bucket and by the end of the day, if I haven't been able to incorporate some active rest I need a release.
What they suggest is called active rest. Soothing activities. For our dog this is time away from the toddler, time with a chew toy or bully stick, not playing with other dogs.
The more you incorporate these things into daily life the more your bucket is able to drain.
And everyone has a different sized bucket. I also use this when trying to empathise with my toddler. If they're having a hard time I can look back over the day and see if maybe their bucket is full. And then what do they need to drain it? 1 on 1 time, a breastfeed, playing rough, cuddles.
What are some 'active rest' activities you can incorporate into your day?