7-Step Survival Guide for Highly Sensitive People

Survival Guide for Highly Sensitive People

Being a Highly Sensitive Person means that you have a highly sensitive nervous system and that you often connect with things on a deeper and emotional level, but that can also mean that you get overwhelmed and stressed out pretty quickly as your nervous system gets bombarded and overloaded with the chaos of the external world.

If you are coming from my other article on 11 Signs of Highly Sensitive People, you already must’ve gone through all the signs and traits that make you an HSP. If not then I recommend that you check out that guide as well.

As an HSP myself, here are 7 things I’ve incorporated into my daily routine that help me cope with all the extra stimulation and stress we have to deal with as Highly Sensitive People.

1. Set Boundaries with Your Phone

Our phone is one of the biggest sources of stress, anxiety, and overstimulation, especially as a highly sensitive person.

Have a set time of the day when you switch your phone off completely or at least put it on airplane mode.

Avoid checking your phone first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

Getting rid of all social media apps proved to be a blessing for me. Recently, I had been having an intuition to get rid of WhatsApp as well, so I deleted it to see how it would benefit me, and I instantly felt relief as soon as I deleted it.

I must say that it wasn’t easy to decide to delete it.

It took me a couple of months before I finally got rid of it for the time being, but once I did it, I felt much more true to myself, and not playing into the societal pressures of keeping up with the world and being available to people all the time.

2. Have Some Me-Time Before Starting Your Day

Allow yourself some time in the morning to get in touch with yourself and set the tone for the day. Arrange your sleep schedule in a way that gives you that extra couple of hours before you engage in the frenzy of the world.

For me, waking up at dawn or even a bit before dawn is ideal as it gives me a few hours to myself during which I pray, meditate, exercise at home or go for a walk in the park, have a relaxed breakfast with no rush and probably do some reading.

Having this extra buffer between waking up and engaging with the world also helps avoid the rush and the anxiety caused by it, which we all know doesn’t set a very good tone for the day.

3. Have a place to Retreat to

Make sure you have a place you can escape to whenever you need to.

A cave where you can detach yourself from the world, decompress, and have some time by yourself.

Have a room or at least some quiet corner of the house where you can retreat to reconnect with yourself regularly. A place where you feel grounded and safe. A place where you enjoy your own company and dive into your creative, thoughtful, and reflective side.

4. Give Yourself Some Time to Recharge

After you indulge in draining activities such as going to a social gathering, being in a loud environment, being stuck in traffic, having a hectic day at work, or after talking too much, make sure you allow yourself to have a break so that you can momentarily go into your cave and rejuvenate yourself.

survival tips for highly sensitive person

You can even have mini escapes from the frenzy of the world in the middle of those activities.

If you’re at work, go to the bathroom to freshen up a bit. If you’re in a social gathering, leave for a few minutes and go sit in your car.

We often feel the need to get in touch with ourselves and take a breather. Don’t feel awkward or ashamed when you have to.

5. Plan Your Daily Tasks Around Times When No One’s Around

A really smart way to conserve your mental energy as an HSP is to schedule most of your outdoor tasks around times when it’s peaceful and quiet. No traffic, no crowds, no noise.

Early morning or a bit later in the evening is usually the ideal time to avoid crowds and traffic.

The added benefits of getting stuff done at these times are that you won’t be stuck in traffic, you won’t have to wait in queues, and you can take your time exploring the stores at your pace without having the anxiety of being in a crowded and busy place.

You also get to park wherever you want, and you get to breathe some fresh air when there’s no traffic to pollute it!

Personally, I also try to plan such tasks in a way that is most efficient and least energy-consuming. I usually do that by getting things in bulk (e.g. groceries) or combining multiple outdoor tasks so I could get them done in a single trip and not have to go separately for every single one of them every other day.

6. Have Hobbies That Help You Refill Your Cup

This is interconnected with the rest of the survival tips. Having certain hobbies that allow you to connect with your true self and help you ground your energy will fulfill your need to retreat to your cave. 

These hobbies will, in fact, act as a cave itself because when you’re immersed in them, you’re on top of the world, feeling absolutely great mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It allows you to access that special part of you that is creative, relaxed, productive, and free from the shackles of worldly pressures.

7. Respect Your Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Health

The generic advice of “take care of your mind, body, and soul” which applies to everybody is especially important if you’re an HSP since highly sensitive people are more prone to be affected by the wear and tear of life and usually suffer more than anyone else if they don’t take care of themselves.

You might look at other people around you and see how rough and tough they are mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and you expect that same capacity from yourself, sometimes by being harsh and neglectful towards yourself. 

But soon you find out that your capacity is quite different from many other people. The things that don’t bother or matter at all to other people, affect you strongly.

You see other people being careless and neglectful towards themselves, but when you try to do that, you face negative consequences almost immediately.

The truth is, being an HSP we operate quite differently than most people, and if we don’t respect our nature we’re going to wear ourselves down and become miserable. When insensitive people become miserable, they grow bitter, but when sensitive people encounter misery, they tend to go into depression and feel lost.

This all could be easily avoided by developing certain habits that facilitate our mental, physical, and spiritual health regularly. 

Habits such as:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Having a good healthy diet
  • Having self-care routine
  • Connecting with like-minded people
  • Reading good books that either help you grow or help you wind down
  • Having a routine to access your spiritual side such as daily prayers, charity, random acts of kindness, and participating in things have a positive impact on other people’s lives and the world in general
  • Avoiding things that have a negative influence on your mind, body, and soul is equally as important as developing positive habits.

Feel free to let me know about your experiences in the comments section below and what you generally do to cope with stress and feelings of overwhelm and overstimulation.

Make sure to take good care of yourself. I’ll talk to you soon!

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