It took me a long time to accept that stress looked different for me than for most people.
I was often ashamed and embarrassed because of my “failure to function” in situations where it seemed others had no problem.
And then the feeling of failure, of not being enough, just compounded the stress.
For a long time I didn’t realize how it important it was to get my needs met (solitude, time in nature, moving my body…) to be able show up as the best version of myself.
Here are a few examples:
I didn’t go to a childhood friend’s wedding that I’d RSVP’d yes for because I was so burned out from caring for my one-year-old. When the babysitter came I stayed in my regular clothes and went out for comfort food and a quiet evening in a bookstore. There was no way I could deal with a big, noisy gathering and hours of conversation in a large group.
Twice in my life before becoming a solopreneur I worked in an open office under fluorescent lights with zero control of my environment. In addition, for many months in both jobs, they didn’t actually have room for me and so I used whatever desk was available at the moment, having to switch spots multiple times every day.
Instead of scheduling a meeting with my boss to talk about how hard this was and to solve the issue right away, I just sucked it up and tried to make it work until one day I lost it and broke down in tears. Finally people got it and things changed, but I felt like an idiot for not being proactive AND for being “such a wimp”.
There were days back when my three kids were 4-14 or so that I couldn’t fully engage with them. We were homeschooling at that time and together all day every day—exhausting for an introvert. I spent large chunks of time online playing word games until my girls had some fracas or emergency that pulled me away from the numbing screen.
For many decades I didn’t know or understand the impact that being an introverted highly sensitive person had on my neurological system.
I wasn’t taught skills that would help me to navigate the world with Sensory Processing Sensitivity. And since who even knew that was a thing, I just figured it was because I was weird, defective, or not trying hard enough.
Also, I didn’t learn that it was okay to arrange my life to suit my temperament because I thought I had to take care of everyone else first and make do with whatever dregs of energy and organizational capabilities were left over.
Can you relate?
Stress has been called the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization and its effect on our emotional and physical health can be devastating.
For those of us who are HSPs, and who pick up on all kinds of things that others don’t, the toll of feeling wrong, deficient, or weak just adds to the weight of the stress. Add a little anxiety, fear, and worry and you've got the perfect storm.
And frankly, every year we live with extreme stress shortens our lives.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
How would it feel to find out you’re not wrong or crazy?
What if you could learn skills that would help you navigate situations that are currently stressful, worrisome, or frustrating?
How about if you mastered some subtle shifts in the way you think so you can have some breathing space to approach daily life with more joy and ease?
And what if I told you these changes have worked for scores of women I’ve worked with in the past several years, my three highly sensitive daughters, and many friends?
It's all true.
And you don’t need to wait any longer.
Just use the contact page and let me know you want to know more.
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