Do you find yourself distracted by simple annoyances when you’re out and about? In this article, I share my top four easy HSP self-care options to always be prepared. A few tips that didn’t make the top four (but can be equally important): Sensitive to sunlight? Always keep your sunglasses close. Frustrated by loud music in stores? Always keep your Loop earplugs close at hand. What additional self-care options would you add to the list?
Table of Contents
#1 – Easy HSP Self-Care Option – Always Carry Water
When my middle school kids started singing the praises of the Hydro Flask water bottle, I scoffed. It didn’t seem like a water bottle could be that life-changing. But when my high school teacher husband brought home a large 32-ounce Hydro Flask and suggested I try it out, I suddenly realized that having perfectly chilled ice water at my fingertips throughout the day was life-changing. I’ve always been an ice lover – wanting more in my tea, soda, or water than the average joe. The Hydro Flask’s magic lies in that it keeps your water cold and your ice icy for HOURS and the design of the bottle means it doesn’t sweat. I try to drink 64-96 ounces of water a day, so refilling it several times (and adding more ice, of course) is easy enough. I take it everywhere with me almost like a security blanket. Being stuck somewhere and thirsty makes me cranky, so I take it with me wherever I go. It’s a small step toward self-care that has a huge impact.
#2 – Easy HSP Self-Care Option – Always Carry a Snack (or Two)
Have you heard of the HALT protocol? HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired and is used by coaches and therapists to figure out what is wrong. You can easily use the acronym on yourself, your kids, or your partner to identify what is actually going on inside. For this reason, I ALWAYS keep a few snacks in my purse and car. You could keep an emergency snack in your gym bag, your school backpack, or your work bag, too. I like to extend this rule of mine to keep a granola bar, nuts, AND a piece or two of dark chocolate nearby at all times. Who wants to be stuck waiting in the school pickup line HANGRY when you don’t have to? Keep sustenance close so you can remain your normal, cheerful, lovely self. (Don’t turn into a diva! See the funny commercial for Snickers below.)
#3 – Easy HSP Self-Care Option – Keep Essentials Close
Maybe it’s the mom of four in me speaking here, but keep things you need close at all times. I keep a small container (okay, it’s a repurposed Altoids tin) of Motrin in my car (and sometimes my purse) at all times. I keep a travel pack of Kleenex in my purse and close to my driver’s seat. I keep baby wipes in my car just in case. I also make sure I have a Carmex lip balm in my purse, my car, my desk, and my hip pack for when I’m walking. You might be laughing at me, but as an HSP, I hate my lips feeling dried out. If you still have a menstrual cycle, you know the drill. Always keep a pad and/or tampon in your purse, your car’s glovebox, and your backpack. So many of life’s annoying situations can be remedied when you plan and do easy HSP self-care.
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#4 – Easy HSP Self-Care Option – Keep Your Journal, Note-Taking App, or Book Close
I can’t stand being bored. My mind races and I tend to stick my nose into other people’s business because I can’t help but overhear conversations, get irritated by the loud music in public restaurants and coffee shops, or find myself nibbling my nails to pass away the time. Because of these nervous habits (I know you have a few as well), I like to carry my journal in my purse to make notes or jot down ideas. I also use Evernote to capture article ideas, book ideas, song lyrics, poetry that comes to mind, and more. Finally, I often use the Kindle app on my phone to read a book while standing in line. You could throw your current paperback into your bag if you prefer to read an actual book.
These are just my top four easy HSP self-care tips from one HSP to another.
How do I know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
This is a great question. Many people who are highly sensitive feel that they were not understood as children. They were frequently told they were too sensitive or cried too often. You can reference our list of HSP quizzes to see how you score and this can inform whether or not you are a Highly Sensitive Person.
Why do highly sensitive people need more self-care?
Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) require heightened self-care due to their increased responsiveness to internal and external stimuli. Coined by Dr. Elaine N. Aron in the 1990s, the term describes individuals with a distinctive trait involving deep cognitive processing, high empathy, and susceptibility to overstimulation.
Several reasons necessitate increased self-care for HSPs:
Firstly, overstimulation from loud noises, strong smells, or chaotic environments can lead to stress and exhaustion, making regular self-care vital for restoring equilibrium. Additionally, emotional intensity often results in absorbing others’ emotions, leading to emotional fatigue. Downtime is crucial for HSPs to relax and recharge due to their sensitivity to stimulation, preventing burnout.
Moreover, HSPs reflect deeply on experiences, requiring more time for introspection. Self-care practices promoting mindfulness aid in processing emotions and preventing overthinking or anxiety. Empathy and compassion fatigue, common in HSPs, necessitate self-care for emotional health and prevention of depletion.
Sensitivity to subtleties, such as minor changes in mood or ambiance, can be mentally taxing. Self-care helps manage this extra sensory and emotional input. Seeking meaningful connections, HSPs balance relationships with personal well-being through self-care.
Strategies include regular quiet time, meditation, nature exposure, mindfulness, creative activities, a soothing living environment, and setting healthy boundaries. These practices enable HSPs to navigate their heightened sensitivities and maintain overall well-being.
Be sensitive, be free
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