Life as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is full of ups and downs. If you’re an HSP, then you know that’s the understatement of the year. Are you an HSP or do you know someone who is? Let’s explore what the day to day looks like as an HSP.
Planning life around your sensitivities
Do you plan your day around not getting overwhelmed? For me, this involves:
- not booking too many meetings in a day or even too many activities in a week
- not setting up phone calls too early in the morning
- setting aside extra time to pick out clothes to ensure I don’t get uncomfortable during the day
- planning an outfit around shoes because too much walking is painful
- packing every essential item possible in my purse to avoid being uncomfortable
This is just to name a few. I am always protecting myself from becoming overwhelmed. Up until a few years ago, I didn’t realize how much my life revolved around staying “safe.” Some people would comment that I was neurotic and I painfully couldn’t defend myself. I was just incredibly aware of everything around me and it was simply overwhelming.
When life gives you lemons, make a new outfit…
I’ve learned to pivot and adjust instead of letting the overwhelm become too much. On numerous occasions, I have actually gone to the mall during a work lunch break to buy a new outfit because I was so uncomfortable. Whether it’s a waistline too tight, a shirt that bunches in the wrong places, or a sock that won’t line up correctly. These are all things that could send me into a panic attack if the circumstances are just right. I’ve learned that these are not things the “put up with.” As an HSP, you simply can’t. AND THAT’S OK! In time, you can learn to condition yourself to have a higher tolerance but don’t push yourself into more panic. Let it go.
Sounds, sounds, sounds
It’s hard to understand unless you’ve been there. You’re in a crowded restaurant… You can hear the banging of dishes in the kitchen, a person chewing next to you, the radio playing in the background, a shoe tapping on the floor, a door swishing open and close, a baby crying across the room and then someone tries to engage you in conversation. It can be a recipe for disaster and panic.
Growing up as a highly sensitive child
If you’re an HSP, it’s incredibly likely that you didn’t get the support you needed as a child. Highly sensitive children aren’t often understood. I believe that is changing with the millennial generation. As a child, I was told repeatedly (repeatedly!) that I was too sensitive. I began to hate this part of myself and I desperately wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to fit in. Part of the growth I’ve experienced as an adult has been forgiving myself and others. For the hurt and pain inflicted.
Coping with all the chaos of life
The first step to overcoming and thriving as an HSP is to accept your sensitivities. So much beauty lies in being an HSP. Just as I mentioned, life as a highly sensitive person is full of ups and down. Embrace both and learn from them. You are not less of a person because you are overwhelmed easily. You can learn to cope and even thrive.
I have ethereal experiences so often it amazes me. I watch the sunrise and can feel the beauty that surrounds me. In the moments of overwhelm: Stop. Breathe. Let Go.