How to find balance as a Highly Sensitive Person

Being a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) can present many challenges. Moving from one over stimulating experience to another can be overwhelming and exhausting on the best of days. It is important to learn tools to help you navigate through life with more ease, feeling empowered and confidence with your ability to cope no matter what the situation presents.

Since I can remember I also struggled with loud noises, crowds of people, smells and an over abundance of stimulation often overwhelmed me. As a child I knew no different and thought everyone experienced life in such a loud and intense manner. It was in my 30’s I discovered how different I am from others. I notice the smallest shifts in energy and experience everything at high frequency. This awareness has helped me to work towards finding ways to release my anxiety and find balance. Instead of losing myself in these experiences I learned to empower myself into embracing this unique and beauty gifts of sensitivity. There are many tools I have utalized to help me in this journey. I hope in sharing this it may help someone else change their perception from seeing these sensitivities as gifts instead of a burden.

1: Self care practices. Practicing some form of self care every single day, is so important to help you stay balanced so that you can handle the world around you more easily. “We can’t pour from an empty cup.” -as the saying goes. Finding those self care practices are important in preventing anxiety as well as helping you ground back down when feeling drained from the outside world. Find something that you enjoy that feels comforting and grounding. Whether that is physical activity like biking, hiking or yoga, reading, journaling, creative art, or meditation, find what you love do it as often as you need.

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2: Pick your circle of friends carefully. Surround yourself with supportive people. People that understand your needs and will not take offence to you bowing out of an event because you are feeling overwhelmed. These are the people that will lift you up and encourage you to embrace your unique gift instead of criticizing it as a weakness.

3: Do things that make you happy. Go on an adventure hiking, or travelling. Try something new and exciting. It can be exhausting living in a world that wasn’t made for sensitive souls so taking time to find the joy in the chaos is a great way to see the silver lining on those more difficult days.

4: Time alone. This is an important way for a HSPs to rebalance. If you are feeling overwhelmed and the world is closing in on you, the best things to do is to sneak away somewhere quiet. Close the door, bury yourself in your covers and block out any stimulation. Take as long as you need to breath and calm the nervous system by shutting out the outside world. This isn’t running away from life, but a way of pressing the pause  to refocus your energy.

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5: Cleansing your space. Keeping you energetic space cleansed is very important. Unlike empaths a HSP do not tend to take on energies from others but if you are like me and you are both a HSP and an empath this is a must to staying healthy. You can cleanse your space by burning sacred smoke like sage, palo santo or sweet grass. You can cleanse your space with selenite or rock salt. Finding what works best for you, and do it as much as you need to.

6: Setting energetic boundaries. This can be done in many different ways. Before you go out into the world, you can visualize that you have roots growing deep into the earth that helps ground you. Or imagine that you are in a bubble and you have created this safe space that is calming that no amount of stimulation can break through. Taking some of these visualizations with you as means to create a space of control and safety to help you better navigate through all the stimuli.

7: Holistic tools. You can use grounding crystals to carry with you, or practice breathing techniques and mini meditations if you find yourself in overwhelming situations. Make sure that you not only utilize these tools when you are out in the world but also as a way of grounding back down when you come home. Having a salt bath, burning sage or listening to calming music are just a few ideas that can help bring you back into balance after a long and overwhelming day.

8: Boundaries. This is the most important things to understand and set straight especially as a HSP. Saying “no” is not only o.k it is NECESSARY for a healthy mind, and emotional state. Learning where you need to draw the line will depend on what you are  comfortable with. Best advice is to listen to your intuition, if you feel resistance in any way it most likely is a sign that you need to set up a boundary.

9: Connect to your needs regularly and honour them. Spending time throughout the day to connect to yourself and your needs. Honour what ever comes to the surface as your intuition guiding you back to equilibrium. Make sure to follow through taking the necessary actions to treat and prevent feelings of anxiety and exhaustion.

10: Spending time in nature. Fill your soul up by spending time in nature. When we escape the busyness of the city and get away from the noise, the electronics, and the pollutants we can rebalance ourselves faster then doing anything else. Nature is the only place free of all of that buzzing that can effortlessly put you into the parasympathetic nervous system. Slowing everything down and allowing a safe space to just be and breathe.

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These practices are not only beneficial for HSPs but anyone looking to find more balance in life. Pick the things that speak to your needs and adjust them accordingly. We are all different so take time find what works best for you so you can begin to embrace your unique gifts and beautiful sensitivities.

Yoga postures for SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder)

This time of year many of us struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This can bring on feelings of depression, anxiety, insomina to name a few. With darker and colder days it can be a really hard to find motivation to much of anything. These are a few restorative postures that bring benefits of relaxation into your life when you are feeling overwhelming, anxious or a little under the weather.

1.First pose is a supported child’s pose (Balasana). Here I am using a bolster but you can use pillows or rolled up blanket. Knees are wide, belly relaxed on to bolster, arms can be next to you or extended forward.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Release the tension in the shoulders, and lower back.
-Hip opener
-Helps the digestive system
-Quiets the mind
-Calms the nervous system

Take this posture for as long as you’d like, making sure to switch your head from side to side half way through.

2.Second posture is a forward fold (Uttanasana). In this posture you have a deep bend in your knees, connecting the chest to thighs, allowing your head and shoulders to release, you can grab on to wrists or elbows, and sway from side to side releasing tension in your neck and shoulders or find stillness.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Stretches the backs of the legs
-Lengthens the back side of the body
-Releases tension that we carry in shoulders and neck.
-Calms the nervous system
-Excellent to do when having moments of high anxiety
-Relieves stress

Remember to always roll up SLOWLY from a forward fold to avoid any dizziness.

3.Third pose is Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani). This pose is exactly how it sounds, legs up the wall. You can take variations by bringing your legs out to the side and make it wide-legged, or bring soles of feet together, making it baddha konasana against the wall.

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Benefits of this posture:
-Helps with swollen legs
-Stretches the hamstrings
-Relieves tension in lower back
-Calms the nervous system
-Helps to relieve anxiety, stress and insomnia

Do this pose after a long stressful day, place a warm aromatherapy cloth on your eyes, play some relaxing music and allow yourself to let the stresses of the day melt away into your mat.

I hope these posture help you find comfort during these harder months and anytime you feel overwhelmed .
Take care of yourself, Your worth it.

The Ebb and Flow. The Highs and Lows.

So there you are flying high and everything is going perfectly. You are on top of your game taking care of every aspect of your life and everything is falling into place beautifully. And then it happens. You hit a wall; a brick wall. Struggling as that awesome wave you were just surfing swallows you up and pulls you out to sea with no life savour insight. Wave after wave crashes down on you and you wonder how could everything go  sideways so quickly when you did everything seamlessly right?

When you are embracing the “flow” periods in life you feel invincible, like you will never again hit rock bottom. You have mastered this thing called life and found the holy grail to all your answers. It is incredibly disappointing when you lose that connection. When it becomes challenging to find the beauty and positivity in situations that life has thrown your way and you fall hard. This is what many people refer to as the “ebb” or  “falling off the wagon” and in some situations it is when you experience a “relapse.”

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And so it begins, the internal dialogue of self criticism. “If only I was more present, more mindful this wouldn’t happen.” “Maybe if I was smarter I could see this coming.” I think it’s safe to say we have all been there. I personally have experienced this many times throughout my life. Last year, Mr. Ebb was very present and didn’t seem to want to go anywhere anytime soon. When it happened it was exactly like being side swiped by a semi-truck. In shock I couldn’t make sense of why this was all happening. I used all my holistic tools daily in helping me stay grounded in my mind and body, yet there I was far from feeling healed, balance or healthy. How did this happen? Why did I fall so hard, so fast?

When life is coming at you all at once it is difficult to see the bigger picture. These seasons of ebb are usually accompanied by moments of crisis. Job loss, illness, relationship problems to name a few. These stressors can lead to anxiety and uncontrollable feelings of panic and stress that can throw you off your feet into a “flight or fight” response.  When you hit that wall it very quickly becomes apparent that there is a lesson to be learned, a time for self-reflection. You realize that no amount of Band-Aids will cover up the pain that needs to be faced in order to move to the next chapter.  It’s in these incredible hard times that we fall to the bottom and have no choice but to re-evualte pieces of ourselves and the path we are on. The ebb is the reminder of the lessons we need to learn. As we conquer these lessons we build strength to get back up and surf the next wave. It’s when we experience these moments we strip away everything that no longer serves us on our journey and we face our vulnerabilities. Without the strength that is gained in these ebb periods we can not fully experience moments of flow with gratitude in our hearts.

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As hard as it is to do, surrender. Surrender to the experience and let go of control. Allowing your emotions and  your intuition to guide you through your healing journey. Trust yourself. Embrace the waves as you move through the pain finding the flow within the ebb. Feel it, experience it and then begin to release it. It’s o.k to be not o.k. When you are living in the ebb, it is so important to allow yourself space to just “be”. Be angry, sad, confused or frustrated. Be these things fully heartedly and without personal judgment. Rest and continue to take care of yourself. Sleep if your tired, cry if you are sad, have a bath if you need to relax. Lower your expectations and take a break from your daily superhero activities. Be patient and kind to yourself and accept that this too is apart of the journey.

Everything in life functions in cycles. From the moon to the seasonal changes, we are no different. There is always going to be the light to the darkness, the yin to the yang, the ups to the downs, you can not have one without the other. So the next time you are riding that perfect wave, enjoy every moment experiencing it in all it’s glory. Breathe in the beauty and bliss to the core of your being and hold on to it. It’s those perfect waves and sunny days that will help push you through those cloudy and stormy times.

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