Super Sensitive Guide to Thriving During the Holidays

The holidays can be hard for everyone. But especially for Highly Sensitive People. Emotions are running high, there is so much going on; parties, events, family obligations, etc.... It’s so easy to lose track of self care. Yet self care is essential to us HSPs feeling grounded and centered- especially during such a loaded time. So in this vlog, I share with you my top 4 tips for how you can not only survive, but THRIVE during the holiday season.

Tip #1: Schedule it in. Let’s face it- we are all busy. Our calendars can fill up crazy fast if we aren’t intentional about how we are budgeting our time. Before we know it, our planners are jam packed and we have no time for self care. To avoid this happening, I schedule my self care in advance. Pick 2-3 self care practices that you know work well for you. For me it is journaling and quiet time. I’m a paper planner girl, so I literally write them as a to-do on my daily list. No matter what calendar system you use, start making these practices non-negotiables. And I’m not talking an hour a day (although that would be great if you can swing it!). I’m talking 5-10 minutes daily. Another great trick is to schedule in what I call “white space”. This means blocks of time where you have absolutely nothing planned. So that in the moment- you can check in with yourself and what you need or what you want to do during that time. Trust me- it’s so great and SO refreshing!!

Tip #2: Say no. The holidays are full of invites and obligations. As HSPs, we really pick up on the pressure and expectation from our friends, families, co-workers to show up at all these occasions. Well, I hereby give you permission to start saying NO! Only you know how much you can handle in any given day, week, month. Stop forcing yourself to do things that don’t feel good to you out of obligation. Look at it this way- will it cause you more stress to go to the event or not to go? Are you going there but you know you will be resentful and exhausted the whole time? Start prioritizing which events are most important to you and let the rest go. It’s OK. You have the right to say no!!

Tip #3: Have an out. For the events that you DO choose to attend, be sure to set yourself up for success. There is nothing wrong with having a hard out. For example, “Mom, I can come but I have to be out by 4:00”.... That way, if you’re enjoying yourself you can stay longer, but you have set the expectation that you will only be there for a certain period of time. This is especially important if it is a family event you know will be stressful. While you’re there, you can also find ways to make it work for you- maybe volunteer to help out in the kitchen so you’re not out in the thick of things. Or slip out and take a walk if you need. You can even duck in a bathroom or back room and take a few minutes to yourself it that helps. If you have a significant other, friend, or sibling there with you who understands, perhaps tell them in advance that you might need a minute, and could they support you in that? All these things will allow you to relax knowing that you are taking care of your needs so that you can actually enjoy yourself!

Tip #4: Check in often. It is so common as HSPs for us to let the whole day go by before we check in on our energy. Then by the end of the day we are completely depleted and overwhelmed. A good trick, especially during the holidays is to do what I call “taking your emotional pulse” at regular intervals throughout the day. I recommend setting an alarm on your phone for maybe 4 times that says “how am I feeling” or “emotional check-in” or whatever resonates with you. This will be a gentle reminder throughout your day to check in periodically and see how you are feeling, how is your energy, what is coming up for you, what do you need, etc. This allows you to address those needs in the moment instead waiting until the end of the day when the pressure is all built up. So for example, if you check in during the afternoon and realize “you know what, I really don’t think I can handle that party tonight”, then it is totally OK for you to opt-out. You know what you can handle at any given time. I encourage you to start being unapologetic about your needs. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. It’s ok if they don’t understand- remember Highly Sensitive People make up only 20% of the population so there will be people who just don’t get why we need space. But it is YOUR responsibility to show up for you first! All you have so say is “I really need this (space, time, support, etc) to feel okay right now.” That’s it.

So this holiday season I invite you to make this your gift to yourself! If you want to show up fully as your bright, joyful, authentic self you have to start honoring your needs and make sure you are not depleted, resentful and exhausted. You are no good to anyone when you are in that state. So make a promise to yourself- “I am unapologetic about my needs”. You have permission to put yourself first and to give yourself a chance to really enjoy the holidays- because really, isn’t that what they are supposed to be all about? If you want to continue the conversation and connect with other Super Sensitive souls, you can find me and my community here:

Amber RochelleComment