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Tips for Highly Sensitive People in Quarantine

Wondering what I mean by "Highly Sensitive Person" or HSP? Click here for more information.


This is a unique time for the highly sensitive person who lives with others and is struggling in quarantine. Whether you are working an essential job and getting out of the house or stuck at home, recognizing the importance of self-care in a time like this is crucial for the highly sensitive person.


A few suggestions for the struggling HSP in quarantine:


1. Create a Space that is YOURS. If you are in a household with other people who are all home from work and school, this is new territory for you. It is more important now more than ever to find time where you can be alone to recharge. If your household is small, it may be a good idea to discuss options of space for you to make your own. Outdoor space is also a good option. Noise-canceling headphones may be your best friend during this time.



2. Create A Self-Care List. Keeping up with your self-care may be hard to do when the days all blend together during quarantine. Creating a list will help you when you're in the midst of a struggle and need something to help you feel better.


  • Create a list of 20 self-care items you can do in any given day. These can be big or small (take a shower, brush your teeth, draw a picture, watch your favorite show, do your hair, eat your favorite food, phone call with a friend, teach the dog a trick, do 10 jumping jacks.)

  • Keep it in a space that is easy to access

  • On days where you are feeling low, try to mark off a few more self-care activities to see if that helps you to feel better.




3. Gather Comfort Items. HSPs tend to be very much in tune with each of the five senses.

This also means that there are different ways for each HSP to find comfort and calm. Create a space in your home where you keep some "comfort" items for easy access for times when you start to feel overwhelmed or irritable.


Some suggestions for each sense:


  • Sight: An eye mask if you need darkness. Computer or tablet for watching a show or browsing the internet. Using the outdoors on a nice day to look at the nature.

  • Touch: A soft blanket. A fidget toy. Comfy clothes.

  • Sound: Noise-cancelling headphones. A calming playlist. A meditation app.

  • Smell: Candles. Diffuser with different essential oils. Baking or cooking your favorite dish.

  • Taste: Drinking water. Eating a comforting food. Gum. Brushing your teeth.


4. Maintain a Routine. For those of you who are working from home, it's important to take breaks and find ways to keep work separate from home. This is a real challenge when you are working in the space where you used to relax. Mindfulness comes into play here. A few suggestions for keeping things separate:

  • Put work clothes on when you're working and change into comfortable clothes when you are done for the day. This creates a physical cue to your body that work is over and it's now time to relax.

  • Don't work in your bedroom. Working and filling a space with work energy may make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Try your best to keep that space sacred and full of calm energy. If you take a break for a nap, try to nap in a separate area from where you work.

  • Take a true lunch break. Make sure you maintain a routine similar to the routine you have when you go to the office. Taking a break for lunch means disconnecting from work completely. If you normally prefer to take lunch breaks alone when in the office, make sure to do that at home, despite sharing a household with others.

  • Establish an ending to your day. Without the normal commute to and from work, it may be hard to shift your mindset into "relax" mode. Try to create a routine that signifies the work day is done. If you can choose something physical, that usually works best. A few suggestions:

  1. Take a shower

  2. Exercise

  3. Wash your face with cold water

  4. Choose one or more of your 5 senses and heighten it (light a candle, eat a snack, step outside, listen to music)

  5. Meditate, using your breathing to calm the mind and body





Give yourself permission to take care of you. This may also be an important time to practice clear communication with your loved ones. You can practice sharing your needs and asking them for theirs. Remember to take things one day at a time. Keep track of what is working for you and what is not. You can do this!


Shira


Wondering what I mean by "Highly Sensitive Person" or HSP? Click here for more information.



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Austin Counseling Center

1000 Westbank Drive Ste 6-250

Austin, Texas 78746

Email: shira@shiraklazmer.com

Phone: 512-364-0167

Shira Klazmer, LPC Intern

Texas License #83430

Supervised by Jill Praisner, LPC-S

Texas License #66202

© 2020 Shira Klazmer. 

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