Tag Archives: living with social media

A Sensitive Year: Take Care

One of the most important lessons to learn as an HSP is to take care of ourselves.  It is a must, for our physical health and for our mental health.

Today’s world is complicated, messy and wholly unforgiving – which makes living in modern times especially challenging for some of us. Just reading through one’s Facebook feed can produce enough stress to send an HSP into flight or fight mode.  The daily grind of clocking in and clocking out while navigating corporate rules or office gossip means that each night after work we ruminate endlessly and conjure ten different ways to adjust in order to be ready for another day of the same.  When tragedies happen such as a mass shooting, HSP’s can feel the impact physically, and travail for the lost and their families, on top of going about their normal day.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, and make that a constant priority, we risk the probability of becoming depressed or shutting down.  Self-care is imperative for HSP’s.

I’ll share with you a few of my techniques.  Take them or leave them, or maybe you do them all now anyway, perhaps you have one or two to share with me, you’re invited!  However you do it, make it an absolute priority to take good care of your self.

Meditate.   I cannot stress this enough.  It’s the reason this is very first on my personal list of ways to stay healthy.   I’ve been fairly consistent at this for the past four months, and have noticed impressive results even in this short time.  For people who are prone to dissect each thought ten different ways, training the mind is especially important.  I’ve noticed I don’t let myself go down some of those familiar dark rabbit holes any longer.  I’ve begun to recognize quite soon when my mind begins the route and have the ability now to gently pull it back to a resting place in tune with my breath.  During an acute period of stress I experienced during work, my blood pressure was still within normal range – I attribute this to meditation. Even my husband has noticed that I’m able to recover much quicker from moments of anger or overreaction.  At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I do highly recommend the Headspace App.   I previewed three other options before committing to this particular brand and haven’t regretted my decision in any aspect.  In fact it’s one of the best investments I make in myself.  (the app is $12.99 US / mo.).  I appreciated that the ten day free trial got right to meditation and what you get in that trial is exactly what you get in the app.  There are a variety of ‘packs’ to meditate with and they’re broken out into some neat categories: Sports, Health, and  Brave for example, with sub categories that are equally helpful. Mini meditations are available for a quick re-balance and Andy just began a daily meditation that I’ve included in my routine, it’s a great way to unwind from work.  I now meditate twice a day, it’s the most empowering thing I do for myself, my family, and my writing career.

Alone time.  We crave it inherently as HSP’s but sometimes we become wrapped up in life and forget to sequester ourselves for recharging.   This is one area where I believe we need to give ourselves permission to be selfish.  If we don’t remember to consciously take time out, when we can be fully aware that we are resting from yesterday’s schedule and gearing up for tomorrow night’s meeting, then we’ll crash and burn.  At that point we do take the down time but we’re so depleted we rarely get filled completely, increasing the chances of another burnout.

Take baths.  Epsom salt baths to be specific.  The sweat produced from sitting in the hot water is healthy in itself.  It gets some of the toxins out of our system.  The minerals a salt bath aid in keeping inflammation down as well providing other health benefits. HSP’s endure a lot of stress, baths address some of the physical manifestations of stress, with the added bonus of giving us some down time.

Exercise/nature time.  The benefits of exercise are well known and perfect for HSP’s as a means of keeping stress hormones such as cortisol at minimums.   I’m a big believer in touching base with nature as helpful to HSP’s.  It allows us to take a step back and understand we’re only part of a much bigger picture.  Hike, walk, ride, whatever…make sure to include some nature in your self-care routine.

Therapy.  Just do it. There’s a lot to be said for talking with someone who’s entirely objective and has no stake in your social/personal life.  There are tools to be gained from grinding out some of our weaker points and allowing a soft counsel to help us accept them.  There is strength to be gleaned from understanding that most of our inner self is normal.  If therapy isn’t an option due to budgets, then check for a local support group.  It doesn’t have to be forever, but taking a few months to learn to understand how you perceive the HSP trait is advantageous.

Observe.  Watch your habits and see if you can adjust some things to help reduce anxiety and stress.  If I’m engaged in a vigorous Facebook conversation, I’ll sometimes avoid reading someone’s rebuttal right away.  If I’m not in the right frame of mind, their words might bring a reaction that’s more knee jerk than thoughtful, or I’ll take it more personally than intended.  I’ve learned that my day is much smoother when I meditate first thing in the morning instead of later.  I function much better when I have a protein breakfast rather than a carb breakfast.  These are just a few things I’ve learned about myself as I’ve simply watched and observed how certain habits interact with my moods and productivity.  I challenge you to take a neutral, third person view of your behaviors and their relationship to your feelings. You’ll find it’s fun to explore ways to improve your day and quality of life.

Taking care of ourselves as HSP’s is a priority.  However you do it, make sure to do it. We owe it to ourselves, those around us, and the world for which we care.

Yours,

Frankie

NB  Here are Dr. Elaine Aron’s tips on self-care.

 

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Beginning Notes: For My Niece on Her Graduation

 

madgrad        Graduation is a ceremony celebrating your academic accomplishment, but it also marks the beginning of adulthood and entrance into a world where second chances and do-overs are rare.  I humbly offer a few notes to you upon this beginning – born of my own observations, mistakes, and experiences – in order that you might have some tools to help along the way.

 

  • Nurture yourself, starting now.  We girls are really great at supporting everyone around us; our friends, family, significant others, the stranger who needed a hand with her groceries.  What we don’t realize is that we must also take care and nurture ourselves – mind, body, and soul.  Neglecting to do so will result in depression, burn out, and unhappiness.   So right now, I hereby give you permission to be selfish to the extent that you claim time to do this.  Maybe it’s a solitary walk, or a night in with just you and your favorite movie, or an afternoon alone in the park, make time for your self.   This note is first and foremost for a reason.  It is imperative.

 

  • In our digital age the pressure to be ‘like’ someone is immense, and burdensome. Be ‘like’ yourself.  This is your life after all.  Concentrate on figuring yourself out, and own your strengths and weaknesses.  Put your experiences and truths into action instead of someone else’s.   It is the only way to live a full life.

 

  • Do these things every day:

Wash your face before you go to bed.

Shave your legs and use lotion.

Do a set of squats before you get in the shower and another when you get out.

Meditate.

 

  • Know that there is a difference between sex and sexuality.   One is about the act, the other about how you express yourself.    Be free.  Embrace your likings and disliking’s, communicate with your partner, enjoy the intimacy, use birth control.

 

  • Choosing someone with whom to share your life is much like choosing the right pair of shoes.   They have to fit just right, and look good with the rest of the outfit as well.   They have to last a while; a girl must be economical above all things

Build a solid foundation of friendship…

Chemistry is everything…

 

  • Take time to be with nature.   Admire a sunset.  Smell a flower.  Watch children play.  Listen to a bird’s song.   These moments will keep you grounded.

 

  • Therapy/counseling is useful sometimes.   Life is messy and rarely turns out the way we imagined – an objective opinion, a neutral voice, and a sympathetic ear help immensely to sort out the chaos.

 

  • You are accountable only to yourself, with the exception of a few loved ones around you.  You owe no one an explanation.   However, this is a heavy burden.  It means acting with reason as much as possible and taking the hits when you haven’t.  Learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same mistake twice.  Know that others make their own mistakes; therefore we should dish out grace as generously as we dish out homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July.

 

  • We live in a competitive world and in a most competitive time, but we must support each other as women.   Be kind to each of your sisters.  Be a good leader by finding ways to cooperate and opportunities to congratulate.

 

  • Setting up a house means more than just buying furniture.  You will also need curtains, towels, silverware, cleaning supplies, mops, and a thousand little other things for which you never knew your mom went shopping.

 

  • Recycle and Repurpose.  Use a credit union instead of a bank.  Hire someone to do your taxes.  Check the oil, water, and tire pressure of your car regularly.  Pay your bills on time.

 

  • Love.   Love yourself first or you’ll have nothing to give.  Love your family next because they are blood and support you no matter what.  Love your friends with reckless abandon, they enrich your life.  Love your work or find a different job, time is short.  Love romantically – give your heart over entirely at least once to someone else – the pain is worth it and you’ll learn things about yourself you’d never learn otherwise.  Love every sunrise, it means you have another day of life.

 

  • Reflect the beauty you see around you, and you will be beautiful.

 

I am excited for you to begin your life.  There’s a fresh paved road ahead of you, you are the very first to make footprints upon it.  But there is no end in sight, there are no helpful markers along the way, and there are people who are watching you to follow your example.  As much as I’d like to be there for every stumble, fall, or broken bone, I cannot. So take these notes with you, they might help from time to time, and remember that you are loved dear girl, there are people that have confidence in you.    Auntie.