Self-care is necessary for all of us and not an indulgence, especially for highly sensitive people. HSP’s process stimuli deeply because of a more sensitive nervous system. Therefore, highly sensitive people’s body, mind, spirit, and soul system get overstimulated faster than others and is on the increased risk for feeling stressed, physically exhausted, and emotionally depleted.
If you’re a highly sensitive person who feels guilty about caring for yourself, remember that taking responsibility for yourself and life makes you ultimately a healthier and less stressed person. Thus, you can show up better for others and the work you do!
What is high sensitivity?
The term high sensitivity (HS) or highly sensitive person (HSP) was characterized in the 1990s by American psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Elaine N. Aron. High sensitivity is a personal characteristic expressed by increased sensitivity and perception. Furthermore, they perceive information significantly more intensely.
Overall, it is assumed that 15–20 percent of the population is highly sensitive.
It is a misunderstanding that being highly sensitive is a personal characteristic and not a disease or disorder because only 15 to 20 percent of the population are HSPs. Also, 20 percent of children are highly sensitive. Therefore, Dr. Elaine Aron considers this an evolutionary development.
Being an HSP has nothing to do with being an introvert or extrovert. This information has confused some of my clients. In the end, they are two different pair of shoes. In the population, 15 to 20 percent are HSP’s, and 30 percent of those HSP’s are extroverts. Introversion or extroversion can overlap.
As HSP’s notice everything, they often feel exhausted and run out of balance. They even pick up on stress levels of others and feel it. It is not only people that trigger them, but also an overload from environmental stimuli, food stimuli, negative thought patterns, stuckness in false emotions, and all the excess information. Consequently, it may show up in their body as chronic pain, stress, restlessness, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, burnout and depletion, traumatic stress disorders, migraines, and psychosomatic symptoms.
If you want to find out more about how to be with stress, check out my blog “What every person ought to know about stress“.
As an HSP, it is crucial to explore how much “in” and “out” time you need to stay healthy and balanced.
How can highly sensitive people take self-care?
Here are 16 self-care tips for highly sensitive people.
Take a walk in nature and visit nature regularly to clean your system, gain clarity, reconnect with yourself, and become centered and refreshed. I, for example, walk almost every day. Thus, I clear my mind and open my creativity. Why not take a walk every day? It doesn’t need to be endless long every time you go out into nature!
Get nutrient-dense and whole, real food (if possible organic). Your body needs healthy food to support your subtle body and stay balanced because it is susceptible to food.
Meditation helps to soothe the nervous system and calms our mind. It cleanses, empowers, and helps to focuses on what is essential in life.
4. Emotional Detox
Meditation, Yoga, and Breath Awareness help to move our emotions through our body without getting stuck in emotional patterns. It helps to feel them, be into them in the present moment, and become our own observer of our process. Bring your emotions into balance. Because the more you’re feeling your feelings, the more you are emotionally available, present, and centered.
Get enough sleep. You might need more sleep than others because your nervous system is continuously on, and you’re more likely to feel emotionally depleted. Therefore, sleep is crucial to revitalize your nervous system, de-stress, and recharge your soul. Before you go to bed, you can close the day with a routine of drinking a good night and sleep tea such as lavender or lavender and rose petals. Furthermore, it smells delightful and tastes delicious.
Get lost in a good book and let you carry away. The power of a good book takes you away from reality for a while and helps to recharge.
7. Epsom Salt Bath
Take an Epsom salt bath frequently, surround yourself with some candles and put some beautiful smelling and relaxing medicinal grade essential oils into it such as Lavender, Frankincense, Geranium – reach out if you want to learn more about medicinal grade essential oils and how to use them for greater health and well-being.
8. Writing/ Journaling
Writing and journaling help to understand yourself, others, and the world. It is an option to recognize and acknowledge your feelings and connects you with yourself, others, and the world. For me, it helps to navigate through discomfortable emotions, release negative emotions, and let them pass through to feel alive and recharged.
9. Breath Awareness
Learn how to breathe consciously, concentrate, and meditate. Listen to your body’s sensation and your breathing. Be mindful with yourself and inhale and exhale with awareness.
Listen to music. It is a source of healing and well-being. Evidence shows that music reduces anxiety and offers pain relief.
11. Set Healthy Boundaries
Remove yourself from toxic people and situations. I used to please others too often and forgot myself, especially when I wasn’t feeling strong what isn’t uncommon for harmony-loving HSP’s. There were times when I was walking along with people even when they were very negative loaded, toxic, and not nurturing. I still learn to set my healthy boundaries not to let people walk over me and to remove myself from toxic people and situations. Each time I do, I feel free and see it as an act of self-care!
12. Exercise/ Movement
I love moving my body and exercising. Body awareness and frequent movement is necessary for me. I’m probably one of the rare people who can say that I love exercising. Exercising is part of my Me time and time out. I don’t always exercise hard -sometimes it’s just a few minutes home exercises. On other days it is Yoga, swimming, hiking….
13. Take a break from Social Media
Social media can lead to negative feelings sometimes – watching everyone’s life, reading hard breaking or heartbeat raising news…. A social media detox can be another form of self-care!
Live authenticity and be true to yourself. Be aware of your core values and honor them. Don’t look for approval from others and find it within you. Stop pleasing others and accept yourself as who you are! Don’t be perfect and love yourself with your imperfection!
Do what works for you, what is important to you, what you’re passionate about, and what’s fun. Treat yourself with patience, compassion, forgiveness, love, and kindness. Use the mantra peace, harmony, laughter, and love.
15. Daily Routines and Rituals
Create your daily rituals and routines. I love starting my day with a morning ritual such applying therapeutic grade essential oils, Yoga, meditation and breath awareness, a powerful, healthy breakfast and good morning tea or mushroom coffee, a 6 minutes gratitude journal….It’s the best to complete my day with a ritual like watching a sunset or a forgiveness ritual, or gratitude or powerful, reflective questions, essential oil diffuser, and applying essential oils topically, a good night sleep tea….There are many ideas for rituals and routines. Find your rituals that ground and center you every day.
16. Find other HSP’s to share your self-care tips
Finding people who can understand, emphasize, and support your needs is a gift! Especially for HSP’s who may feel misunderstood because of their sensitivity and unique way of viewing the world.
Do you have any favorite self-care tips and practices? Please share them in the comment below.
Beyond Naturopathic Consultation, Yoga & Meditation and Functional Nutrition Counselling, I also offer different kinds of Coaching Programs. If you’re ready to change your lifestyle and need support to explore your gifts and vulnerability, your strengths and weaknesses as an HSP and/or Empath to thrive from a place beyond feeling overwhelmed, stressed or depleted contact me and we can schedule a consultation.