The HSP World Podcast Ep. 30: Self-Care Rituals for Highly Sensitives

This podcast is brought to you by The HSP World Mastery Program dedicated to inspiring and empowering HSPs. 

Thomas:  Hi and welcome to The HSP World podcast. With each episode, we invite a guest with the HSP Trait to have a conversation about a burning HSP-related question they have. We’re not coaches or therapists, we’re HSPs holding space with you. I’m one of your hosts, Thomas and my co-host today is Rayne. Hello Rayne.

Rayne:  Hey, how are you?

Thomas:  I’m doing well. Robyn is away today. I’d like to introduce our guest, Daisy. Hello, Daisy. How are you doing?

Daisy:  Hello, Thomas. Hi, I’m very well. Thank you.

Thomas: Daisy, I’d like to get started by asking you the question that we always ask, and that is about your HSP story. How did you find out about the Trait?

Daisy:  Yeah, well, I sort of, um, I did come to realize it in my teens. And it’s when I first started realizing that I was a bit, maybe a bit more sensitive than other people around me. In terms I obviously have more emotional reaction to say like, violent films. I find sometimes crowds a bit too much. Social situations, a bit too much.

I’ve always had a great sensitivity towards say nature and appreciation for art. And I just sort of realized, I felt everything a bit more deeply. And struggled to connect with people, especially my teen years on that level and realize that, hey, maybe not everyone’s as sensitive as me.  But I think in hindsight, I did get used to researching this sort of Trait. I actually came across the sort of phrase, empath.

And I, it was almost like a checklist. I was like, yep. That’s me. Yep. Yep. Yep. Getting more comfortable with myself as a person and realizing, yeah, just getting to know myself a bit better really. I think in my twenties now, I’m more comfortable within my own skin, and I’m more comfortable looking at the good and bad side of life and how I approach life.

So, I say my story is probably now looking in hindsight, even at work, I do you sort of tend to attract people with a lot of problems or people that would want to talk about their problems a lot with me.  If that makes sense, kind of like, um, I said I kind of labeled as like a unpaid therapist at work, basically. Yeah, it was, it became a theme and it became a pattern and it wasn’t even at the time, like, of course I’d help anyone. I don’t mind listening. I think everyone should be able to have someone to talk to.

But it was sort of noticing how drained I got after these interactions and then notice the sort of importance of having a boundary there and having a way that you can help, but you also have to help yourself in the process and, and be mindful of your barriers and on your boundaries.

So I think that that really sort of hit the spot lately on my HSP Trait, is sort of protecting my boundaries really and helping others, of course, but being mindful of getting drained and, and how I can thrive with this Trait.

Thomas: Right. Yeah. A Thank you for that. A lot of times, well, people will pick up, especially if you’re a compassionate person and they’ll start opening up to you. But you do have to respect your own boundaries so that you don’t get drained. That’s a very good point.

Rayne: Mm, really good point. And you had a really good question too, Daisy.

Daisy:  Yeah. So, um, my question was actually, and this is again, tying in with boundaries.  My question to you was what self-care rituals does one have that helps them in life? And ritual means like practice you may do or hobbies that you may do or fill your day with that that actually helps you as a highly sensitive person.

Thomas: That’s a really good question. And, and I like the way you pointed out that it is related to boundaries.  I think that rituals are a form of boundary setting, but it goes even further. It’s, it’s something that really does help you achieve self care.

You know, I, I’m going to start by saying  that I have a lot of rituals built in.  And I certainly have built these over the last  five years or so.  You know, one of the things that I found tremendously helpful for myself is just something as simple as having a regular schedule. So my wife uh gets a very early, she gets up at six o’clock in the morning because her work starts at 6:30.

And she is now working from home and her home office is in our bedroom. So I have to get out. I have to get out of there by, by 6:s30. But having that daily, like just, you know, waking up every day at six o’clock and conversely in the evening falling asleep at 10:30 is I’m finding very helpful.

Daisy: Yeah, that really just helped to have. I think it’s, I find particularly obviously like throughout the day, it’s good to have fillers and have like little pockets of calm. But I find, especially in the morning routine and the nighttime routine, I think that’s so crucial. I found personally let’s say rising in the right way.

I think it sets the pace and it sets the whole money for the day and winding down at night, it’s obviously a good light, reflective time. It’s a good time to sort of embrace that sort of calm state. I found those two  obviously times of the day, very important,  throughout the pandemic especially, when everything is so heightened and everything could be so triggering for some people.

Rayne: Yeah. And it’s also true,  you know, every HSP person who has the Trait is different.  So their sensitivities are different as well. This is what I’ve noticed. And with myself, I might have different sensitivities than say Thomas, or you, you know?

Daisy: Yeah.

Rayne: So I think a lot of it does depend too, on what your sensitivities are.

So say, you know, like if you have a light sensitivity or a temperature sensitivities, or sound, you know, smells, all kinds of things.  I think it’s one of those things that, it’s a really interesting, exploration to find out and figure out what, what your own sensitivities are so that you can modify things within your day that accommodate your sensitivities.

Daisy: Yeah. Completely agree. Yeah, I think obviously it’s, as you said, though you’ve worded it a bit different and it’s kind of that thing even just being highly sensitive.  It’s not like a one shoe fits all situation. So you have to like find what works for you personally. You say there could be one highly sensitive person who who’s doing all these self care routines, and it may not work for them to the next highly sensitive person.

As you say it doesn’t meet their needs because maybe they’ve got more light sensitivity than say like a social sensitivity, if you will.

Rayne: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think, I think it’s great once you learn, you have the Trait, then it’s, then it’s kind of fun to delve into it, to look at, okay, well, what are my sensitivities?  Which senses of mine are, are the strongest type of thing, and then with that information. So, okay, now let me look at my days, how I set my days up. Okay, how can I set my days up so that I can use those sensitivities to my benefit? As opposed to them working against me kind of thing. Right?

Daisy: Yeah, yeah, it makes sense.

Rayne: But it’s kinda, it’s usually first it’s such a relief to find out you have the trait and then, and then it’s more, and then it’s more, I don’t know. I went through a phase of then going, oh, so that’s why this, is so that’s why that, and there’s so many things made sense. And then, and then it  came to the stage for me, where I was like, okay.

So then I started getting curious.  Because basically we just have a heightened nervous system, you know, and so there’s things we pick up on that, you know, we, we don’t even really realize we are.  But it’s mostly because we’ve never been taught to pay attention to it.

Daisy: Completely.

Thomas:  So Daisy, there was one thing you, you mentioned pockets. And I love this idea that you are designing pockets of time during the day. Cause that’s something that I definitely do myself. And, uh, as an example, one of the pockets that I design for myself is, is early in the morning, I do a 10 minute  breathing meditation. And I’ve discovered now if I miss that meditation,  the day just feels off for me.

Another thing that I actually have just started. I forget where I got this idea, but the suggestion was  to sit down and just spend five minutes visioning the day.  So for me, it’s, especially for work days, you know, I have a big checklist of things that I’m doing for my clients, and I’m finding it very helpful to take five minutes and just vision how the day’s going to go with each task that I’m going to be doing and all the other things that I want to put in between in terms of those pockets  as you mentioned.

And I’m finding that’s really good because sometimes I have tasks or, or meetings or whatever that might be a little bit stressful and one of the things that I’ve been doing in my visioning exercising is to just imagine them going very well, being very positive about it and that it ends up then actually happening that way. It ends up being more positive because I’m sort of priming myself, priming my mind to think, oh, this is going to be a positive thing. Even though it could have been, you know, a little bit more stressful. So that’s something that I’m doing as well.

Daisy: I really love the idea. I think that’s beautiful. Similar actually, it’s a sort of routine that I developed over lock down and it’s really set in. And obviously I think that’s really helped me through this like chaos and it’s still helping me now. It’s so I start the day with  meditation.

And like yourself, if, if obviously like we’re human, sometimes we can miss it and sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t sort it out, but I’ve tried to be quite militant, and stay close to it, because I’ve noticed the benefits and how good it makes me feel. But I am, say the days that I have missed it, I just feel that there’s been a lot more disharmony to the day.

Like nothing sort of seems to go as smoothly as, as if I meditated actually. And, um, and I love the idea of you sort of envisioning your day. It’s nice. As you’re saying that, I just sort of started to think about, say like intention setting.  Cause I know that’s kind of like say similar to that. Because if you write a list of intentions in the morning so I, I intend to do this, or I tend to do this say, I intend to go for a walk in nature and it’s going to be really beneficial for me.  Even if you write down a list of five things, I think I did that over lock down, and that was really helpful for me.

And I got all the lists done. So it was really. As you said, like, say like yourself, use, envision it, and prime yourself for the day.  Yeah. Think that’s really helpful.  I find that really interesting. I’d love to like research more about that and sort of see different techniques to do that as well.

Rayne: I thought that that is, that’s a really good one. I’m trying to think of something, I know for me, stopping multitasking has helped me a lot.

Thomas: Yeah.

Rayne: That’s been a big one. Just allocating  certain things, in the day and there’s no switching, you know, back and forth, back and forth or anything like that.

It’s staying focused on the one thing, finishing it and then moving on to the next one and being able to just focus on one thing at a time that I like that, that helps me.

Daisy: I love that I think slowing down and just being mindful of one activity.

Thomas: I kind of, I kind of think that multitasking is almost like a myth.  I think we’ve talked ourselves into this idea that we can multitask. And it’s actually not, not the case. At least that’s my opinion.

Daisy: Yeah, totally. I think it could probably lead to sort of too much going on too much stimulation too much to take on maybe in some situations.

Rayne: Yeah. And also too, for me, self care is also, how much extroverting. I, I pay attention to, to the amount of time I’m extroverting. And knowing when, okay, I’ve had enough of this, you know. It’s time for this to end, kind the thing, you know?  Just to be more aware of my energy level when I’m, when I’m extroverting.

Daisy:  It is. So, um, when I look back say, like heavy social situations, say like parties and stuff, especially if there was alcohol involved, which I’ve recently kind of, um, well to tape over the pandemic, I just sort of didn’t really feel the need to sort of have alcohol as we’ve seen a party. So I just didn’t drink for a while.

Not that was like heavy drinker before, but say I’m talking about like extroverting and over extroverting. I find out I was in such a pattern of feeling the needle-like guilt to stay at social situations. And Yeah.

And, and because everyone’s drinking, there’s like, oh, you know, another beer, another one, another drink.

And of course you, you want to be social, but also you’re like, oh, just I’m getting really tired. Even if it’s like nine o’clock I was like wish I was in that in my pajamas or having a tea, or it’s that internal battle, isn’t it? Of being like, not having to stand up for yourself or maybe I’m sort of take a stand for yourself. Guys I’m tired actually. Um, Not like you have to ask permission to go home, but like wanting people to understand around you maybe, and for it not to be a big deal, if that makes sense for you to go home and, and say missed the grand party or the last few hours of it.

I found that really interesting actually. And I think probably going forward after the pandemic, I think I will prioritize that more and listen to that inner voice that says Daisy, come on, I think you’re a bit tired now. I think you should go home.

Thomas: I’ve mentioned on this podcast before that when my wife and I go to parties or go dancing or whatever. That before we even go I’ll say something like, look, you know, about an hour and a half or two hours into it, let’s check in and see how I’m doing. See if, you know, so I, I sort of think ahead and say, you know, I’m going to check in and, and just give myself the opportunity to say, yeah, maybe it’s time to go or something like that.

And it’s really wonderful and helpful to have a partner who will actually ask you this, Hey, how’s it going? It’s like, well, you know, I’m kinda, kinda getting there. I’m kind of getting, getting to overwhelm or you know, I’m doing great. Let’s continue. You know, it all depends on the situation. All depends on how much extroverting I’m asked to do.

I thought of something, too, that is sort of in the realm of self-care and  is something that I’m slowly turning into ritual. And that is decluttering. I’m doing a little bit of decluttering every day.

I’m the type of person that likes to, you know, make things and do things and create and all that kind of stuff.

And as a result, my workshop bench fills up and the garage fills up, and the room fills up and I like to read books and there’s books everywhere. So I’ve, I’ve sort of learned that it’s necessary to do the opposite as well, which is to I’m thinking of, of decluttering is unmaking, you know, taking things and, and like last night it was just a simple matter of taking a whole bunch of cardboard boxes and compressing them so that I can put them in recycling.  But that’s one thing that I, that I am finding that is, is helping me feel good inside is to know that every day I’m doing a little bit of decluttering, even if it’s only just a 10 minute or 15 minute thing, just go and declutter something.

Yeah. And so that way there’s more space, more physical space. It’s again, it’s like these, like you were talking about creating pockets, it’s creating space and it’s not just about creating mental space, which is a lot of what these rituals are doing, but also physical space. That’s what I wanted to mention.

Daisy: Yeah, no, that’s amazing you said that today because I’ve been doing that exactly today. I sort of, almost tidying around, and that’s the sort of same, I sort of have books everywhere or that I’m a bit of a hoarder really, but, yeah, I, I just collect everything and like, I just, I just can’t throw anything away and I get very attached to things and quite sentimental.

I think that’s lovely to like declutter. I’ve also found like quite a lot of joy and peace in sort of shedding. Like today as a metaphor say, I was cleaning up my wardrobe and sort of going through old clothes being like, I don’t need this anymore. Sort of getting posed to donate to charity.

And it made me feel good, being like I’m just shedding old layers of myself. Is that sounds weird, but it’s sort of like getting rid of that old energy and I’m sort of, it feels good to do that because I’ve sort of had this coat in the wardrobe for years, but I’ve just been too attached to have worn it in years, if that makes.

So that really helped me and I felt so good after that actually. And it was just such a whole like cleansing process to be like, yeah, just describe it more minimal. Just you don’t use it, give it away. Yeah, that really helped me actually. And even today I was thinking, oh, could I actually try and embrace like a more minimal lifestyle?

Um, I don’t know if it happen easily. Cause as I say, I like to collect everything, but it just. I did pay attention to the way it made me feel. And I think I was  Kind of uplifted after that and just sort of, Yeah. Easy after that, it was, it was quite a nice activity.  Yeah. Decluttering. That is one to  think about actually. Yeah.

Rayne: You know, what I find so amazing is when you declutter, it seems like it’s a week later and three people have given me things that I have to look at  and go, do I need to declutter again? It’s a constant thing. It seems.

Thomas: Okay. That’s, that’s why I think it’s actually worth building into a ritual. Right? Because unless we do it a little bit every day or a little bit every so often, then it becomes a big, big, big job, a big chore, and then we don’t want to do it. Right? But if we do a little bit, I mean, again, we’re talking about self-care and how rituals build self-care.  So I think  that’s the important part. At least for me, it’s, it’s important to just keep doing it,  a little bit every day. Then it just becomes a part  you. And  you know, this nice balance of creating and cleansing and I dunno how else to put it.

Thomas: After the break, we continue the conversation, on creating space in the day for what’s important. We’ll be right back, after this.

Our podcast is brought to you by The HSP World Mastery Program with a mission of inspiring and empowering Highly Sensitives, so you can use your natural creative abilities to co-create an amazing and hope-filled future.

The HSP World Mastery Program uses data driven, positive tools and methods supporting your growth in a way that’s gentle, thoughtful, and caring with an emphasis on positive impacts and results on your daily life.  You can learn more about the HSP World Mastery Program by visiting hsp.world forward slash mastery. Now let’s return to our podcast.

Thomas: I wanted to expand it a little bit  again about creating space and creating these little pockets. I’ve been creating space every day now in the morning, early morning for my creative practice and why I like that is because it’s something that’s important to me.

So I think it’s well worth asking yourself what is really important to me. And is it something that I want to create space for every day? Because if you can do that, that’s another ritual. And in this case, you’ve made space those things that are really important. And oftentimes we don’t ask ourselves. Or we don’t allow ourselves.

Rayne: Give ourselves permission.

Thomas: Yeah. We don’t give ourselves permission to give space to those things that are important. Like, one of the things that I like to do is daydream, which for me is about calling in inspiration and giving space  to finding new ideas, new creative ideas.

And I mean, we all daydream, but this is actually sort of a ritual that I do now. And I’m doing it because it’s important to me. That’s I guess what I’m trying to say here is that by making that space, I have given something important to myself and that’s self-care. Right?

Rayne: Yeah, You’re recognizing it feeds you.

Thomas: Yeah.

Rayne: Yeah, I like that Thomas.

Thomas: Daisy. Is there anything else that you can think of  that sort of falls in this idea of self-care and rituals?

Daisy: Yeah. So, well for myself, it kind of helped me to sort of break it down. The more I sort of thought about building like a self-care ritual. Or just not to overthink it, obviously just stay close to what makes me feel good and what makes me feel more empowered and more energetic throughout the day.

So I sort of put it in categories and this really helped me. So I made a list of mind, things I can do for the mind, and things I can do for the body, and things for like say the soul, like spiritual practices, anyone’s into that as well. And that really helped me to get it out on paper and see what I do for those elements of my being and, and how they make me feel. So I rotate them. It’s strange.

So, say for the mind, like, I might go on like a nature walk or I might go to the local park and just to spend some time in nature being mindful of my environment. Say I could sort of do a social media detox, so don’t scroll, turn notifications off. I think all of the things for the mind. And of course, like I said, are there different things for different people.

For the body, obviously, it’s kind of like, I’m thinking about, like exercise movement, walking, eating foods that will make me feel better and less sort of, like groggy.  In terms of, see, we covered it in, in terms of spirituality, like sort of meditation that helps the mind a lot and yeah. Cleansings, I’ll do smoke cleanses and stuff like Palo Santo cleanses. And that will help me. Yeah. So I’ve made a list of those three things. And as I said, like I’ll rotate them or I’ll discover new things.

If I feel inspired to like explore a topic or, or try something new. So say like a new exercise class or, a new sort of  spiritual healing modality or something I’ll, I’ll, I’ll switch it around. But that helps me personally to kind of categorize it and see like, how can I feed and nurture like every element and if I’m tending to them all, hopefully that’ll help me free a bit more and be mindful of when I come out with like disharmony with maybe say like my mind, isn’t so great. I was a bit stressed, I think. Oh, well, I’ll, I’ll go to one of those practices that have helped me before in stressful situations.

Thomas: Yeah, I love how you’ve made all these different categories and then you’re following up. Do you have these written down and do you review them  or is it just something you keep in your mind?

Daisy: Well actually, um, something that I keep in my mind, like, but like, like yourself would say the daydreaming. There’s something that has become a solid in my, in my routine, which was nature walks, which I think, like I said, like my mind, but also like my spiritual nature. I love being out there. It’s making me feel so much more energetic. I feel it refuels me to say, like, I’ll be mindful of that. That’s kind of like a permanent one up there. That’s I keep that for  practically, nearly every day to go on a nature walk.

So theses other things that, that have helped me. I have made lists, but they tend to be, as I say, I just I’d stay close to what makes me feel good day by day.

And I have sort of routines that say meditation in the morning and nature walk, being mindful of the food I eat. I’m quite sensitive to say that sugar and stuff that I have a lot of that I’m like it headaches. I might get, like stomach issues. So, so it was just like, I don’t know, like, it’s not like I’m so regimented with it, but it’s like sort of day-to-day life for me now. Like, uh, but I felt a lot better, um, from following it. But, um, so I say there’s something that I’ve written down. Even my general knowledge I haven’t done for a long time, but one day I might need to,  or I feel drawn to it. So say like,  I’ve written here, Epsom salt bath.

Thomas: Mm. Hmm. Yeah.

Daisy: I’ve written it here. So maybe, maybe I needed that back in the day or maybe, you know, one day I might be drawn to do that again, but that’s under my body and energy list. So, so yeah, I, I do sort of discover the more I can say, get inspired online or, or reach out to other Highly Sensitives and see what works for them.

And, um, yeah, take it on board and say, Hey, I’m I might try that one day and it might resonate strongly with me. It might not, but, I’m open to try anything that will,  you know, empower me to live better and have a lovely life experience. The best I can.

Rayne: I love that. Absolutely. You know, I think this would be a great Saturday question to ask on our social media and find out what everybody does for self-care. I think that’d be really cool.

Thomas: Yeah, I agree.

Rayne: Yeah, those are great ones, Daisy.

Daisy: Thank you. Thank you Rayne.

Thomas: Daisy. I want to thank you for today’s conversation. I love how you, I have all these different categories and the way you think about your self-care  and the rituals that you’ve built around it.  How did you feel about today’s conversation?

Daisy: Yeah, it was lovely. It’s been lovely to connect guys. And, yeah, just sort of to, to find like-minded individuals and Highly Sensitives who understand it and we can trade,  tips or most stories, you know? And, um, I think it’s, it’s that saying that sharing is caring as cheesy as it is. It’s it’s, you know, the more we can learn about these practices and what works for others, it might, might help us. So I think it’s important to have these conversations.

Thomas: Yeah. Well, thank you for joining us today.

Daisy: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Rayne: It was really nice chatting with you, Daisy.

Thomas:  And thank you to our listeners. Please join us for our next episode, where we will be having another interesting HSP conversation.

To any highly sensitives who have a burning HSP-related question, big or small, we invite you to ask it on The HSP World podcast, just email [email protected] And a friendly reminder to visit the HSP World website at HSP.world.

Our thanks to the HSP World Mastery Program and to all of you who support our show by subscribing and listening to our podcast, reading the blog posts on our website at hsp.world and chatting with us on our social media channels.

Your support is contributing to the upliftment of HSPs around the world. We’re very grateful.

Music credit: Intro and Outro music from the YouTube Music Library. Song is Clover 3.

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