Check out the first part of this post here.
6. Connect with other like-minded people
Connecting with others who just GET you is extremely helpful for learning to love yourself more and honour your needs. If you’re highly sensitive and you spend your time with people who are constantly blasting music (an old friend of mine in high school, for example!) and who don’t care or get snarly when you ask them to turn it down, this adds extra unnecessary stress to your nervous system. And it doesn’t feel good when we don’t feel understood or seen by others, right?
When you start to really understand yourself, your desires and your needs, you become aligned with who you are and you attract others who are aligned with you, too! It’s beautiful. These people are your allies, your cheerleaders, your support team. Find them and love them hard.
There are all kinds of online communities out there and in-person events you can attend to meet like-minded people. I recommend signing up for offerings that call to you and you’ll very likely meet people there that you resonate with.
7. Put yourself first
So often, as sensitives who have big, loving hearts and care so much about others, we can unconsciously (or consciously) choose to always put others first. You know how on the plane, they always tell you to put your mask on FIRST before putting on the mask of another in emergency situations? Well it’s like that. You need to take care of your needs first, to fill up your own cup and to make that a priority in your life.
There’s always time to integrate at least some self-care. Spend less time on social media and choose movement or meditation instead, go outside during your workbreaks, find a sitter for your kids, do a swap with another family for child-care so you can have some “me” time, etc.
We’ve been programmed to believe that we’re only worthy if we’re giving, and that’s just plain not true! You are worthy just because you’re you, and you deserve to live a damn good life. Know that, so you can begin to make the choice to put yourself first.
Keep in mind that there’s always a balance with this one. For example, if you’re a parent, it would be very challenging or almost impossible to always put yourself first. But some people become parents and literally give all they have to their spouse and their children – that’s not healthy either. Seek to find the right balance that works for you in your life situation.
8. Know that it’s okay to say NO
Saying no is an opportunity to say yes to what you really desire or feel aligned with in your life. It can feel scary to say no to others because we don’t want to hurt them or feel unloved as a consequence, but it’s much more detrimental to ourselves when we say yes to things we actually don’t want. It actually doesn’t really serve the person/people on the receiving end either because your heart is likely not in what you’re doing.
Boundaries are extremely important for sensitives. Start noticing where you need to say no more in your life so that you can create more space for your yesses.
9. Know that it’s okay if you’re different or you have different needs than the majority
According to Elaine Aron, author of the Highly Sensitive Person, only 20% of the population is highly sensitive, and 45% is not sensitive at all. That means that most people will be able to tolerate a much higher level of stimulation than you and so will automatically experience the world in a different way than you. That’s okay. If you have strong needs to spend more time alone in silence, gift that to yourself. If you can’t watch scary movies, share that with the people you’re with, lovingly stand up for yourself instead of suffering through it. If you can’t change situations/environments that are too much for you, find ways to leave, if you can.
Your wellbeing matters.
When I haven’t listened to my needs in the past, I’ve ended up getting sick, feeling anxious or extremely fatigued for days sometimes. Your sensitivity is a superpower and you want to be in a place of feeling good so you can use it to enjoy life rather than just get by or even struggle through it.
What shifts can you make in your life right now to better nurture your sensitivity? What has stood out to you from reading this?
Many blessings, love! Keep on showing up for yourself, you’re worth it!