In case you haven’t heard the term, highly sensitive people, or HSPs, are people who are especially sensitive, just as the name implies. They also are known to have a high sensory processing sensitivity. This means HSPs can be very sensitive to all sorts of things such as textures, loud noises, & bright lights. They also are very in tune with other people, & are often easily stressed by tense situations & violence. Due to their sensitivity, highly sensitive people can become overwhelmed very easily. There are very good parts of being a highly sensitive person though. They tend to be very creative & empathic people with good quality relationships & a deep appreciation for beauty in all its forms.
In my experience of talking with many people who have been abused by narcissists, many victims of narcissistic abuse are highly sensitive people, which is why I have chosen to discuss this topic.
Due to the nature of being highly sensitive, life easily can become overwhelming sometimes. Highly sensitive people need to develop healthy routines to maintain good mental health & prevent burn out.
I firmly believe a close relationship with God to be vital. The closer you are to Him, the more peaceful you naturally feel because you know He is in charge. He also will help you figure out ways you can avoid burn out.
Getting rest is essential. HSPs need more rest than most people, due to their senses working so hard. While it may not sound it, that really can be exhausting. It’s important to get good sleep, so investing in a comfortable bed with good quality linens is money well spent. You also may want to listen to soft music or nature sounds to help you fall asleep. Pillow speakers can be a great investment for those who sleep with a partner.
Part of getting rest is prioritizing down time. After a long day, it’s very important to take time to relax & decompress. What can you do to enjoy your down time? Pray? Read? Listen to music? Knit? Think about what helps you feel calm & participate in that often, preferably daily.
Reevaluate your schedule. While being busy is valued in today’s culture, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Being too busy reduces the ability to enjoy down time, can interfere with sleep & cause a plethora of mental & physical health problems. What can you eliminate from your schedule? Are there ways you can at least cut back on certain activities? Is there anything you do that you can get help with doing from your spouse, kids or coworkers?
Reevaluate your boundaries. Many highly sensitive people are so in tune with the needs of those around them, they ignore their own needs. This clearly is an unhealthy habit! While it’s great to be there for those you love, it’s also important to take care of yourself. There is nothing wrong with limiting what you do for other people. In fact, doing so is a very loving thing to do for you as well as them.
Consider your home. Home should be your sanctuary, away from all cares of the world, where you can relax & be at peace. Does that describe your home? Clutter can create anxiety so if you have clutter, clear it out & your anxiety should diminish greatly. If you aren’t happy with how it looks, make changes to turn your home into your personal sanctuary. Those changes may be as simple as decluttering or as drastic as repainting every room.
Start journaling. Journaling is a wonderful thing. There are no hard & fast rules to it. Your journal can be as fancy or as plain as you like. It can be online only or a physical book. You can write as much or as little as you like, as often as you like & in whatever style you like. Some people write as if they are writing a letter to a friend when they journal or they write out their prayers. Others draw pictures or cut out pictures from magazines & such then paste in the pages of their journals. There are also countless journaling prompts available online to help if you get stuck.
If these suggestions seem too much, then don’t try to do them all at once. Start by doing one. Add another when you feel ready. The changes you make will help you physically & mentally.