Self-care for Sensitive Souls
Reconnect with your inner resources
You’re highly intelligent, creative and accomplished, yet you’re easily overwhelmed and stressed.
Thanks to our culture’s bias towards being controlled and logical, you may have learned to see that sensitivity as weakness.
Sensitivity is out of our rational control. It can make us feel vulnerable, and because it’s not encouraged, we don’t learn how to be with it.
As a result we judge our sensitivity and try to suppress it, instead of celebrating it as the gift of caring, empathy and awareness that it is.
So the first step to thriving as a sensitive soul is to embrace our sensitive qualities.
1. Understand and accept your gift
Right now, your sensitivity may not feel like much of a gift. You might wish you could toughen up and not suffer so much. But from the moment you acknowledge and say ‘yes’ to your sensitivity, you can begin to deepen and expand that quality into its beautiful purpose.
Compassion, kindness, open-heartedness and empathy are the most profound expressions of our human nature. The world needs these qualities, now more than ever, and we can nourish them in our own communities.
You may be the voice of the heart in a business meeting, helping to make sure everyone wins. You may be the one your friends come to when they just need someone to listen without judgment.
2. Practise regular self-care
As a sensitive person you need more self-care than most. You are a lot more use to yourself, your family and the world if you’re in good shape physically and emotionally.
Honour your own needs
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or overdone, honour yourself by taking a bit of time for yourself. Just half an hour of ‘me time’ can recharge you, and make you more productive, not to mention more fun to be with.
Move, create, express
Move your body with simple, mindful walking, or practices that refresh your mind and spirit, like yoga, tai chi, aikido, Nia and 5-Rhythms.
Enjoy any creative activity that draws you into a relaxed, enlivened or meditative state. Use your hands to do the work of your heart ... raise flowers that smile in the sun and the rain, make your guitar sing, immortalise the light on the landscape with your camera or paints, make magic with words on a page.
Connect with nature whenever you can
You are already wired to receive the energy of the earth, so all you need to do is step outside and experience it: the scent of dawn, the whimsical poetry of clouds, a familiar landscape softened in mist. Walk to the park when it’s quiet, lean against a tree and feel its generous energy, or lose yourself in the dancing reflections on the lake.
Create sacred space to connect with yourself
You need somewhere to return to when the world gets overwhelming. Transform a small space at home into a sanctuary, with inspiring pictures, candles, stones and beautiful objects that speak to your soul. Here you can read, meditate, pray, write or just sit in blissful silence.
Seek out energy healing
Energetic approaches take account of the more subtle levels of our physical being, which get neglected in mainstream medicine. There are all kinds of energy-based therapies that support sensitive people, including craniosacral therapy.
The trick is to find the combination of an approach that suits you and a practitioner who you trust and feel comfortable with. Make it a regular part of your well-being plan and it will pay rich dividends for your day-to-day health.
If you suspect that your sensitivity is connected with difficult or traumatic experiences in your past, seek help from a qualified and experienced practitioner.
Choose carefully how you keep up with the news
Most of us feel a responsibility to know what is going on in the world. But news is often presented in a way that’s designed to elicit an emotional response, which is wearing for sensitive people.
Too much news can leave us sitting at home feeling hopeless about the world. It feels better to choose one thing we can help to change and put our energy into that.
Maintain positive energetic boundaries
Follow the promptings of your inner guiding system that knows what’s best for you, by walking away or saying ‘no’ when necessary to take care of yourself.
If you have to go into a challenging situation, try this practice before you leave home: close your eyes and visualise golden or divine light coming into the crown of your head and out through your heart, surrounding your whole body. Keep your awareness of this sense of being protected, as you go through your day.
2. Surround yourself with supportive people
Spending time with others who are aligned with who we are is deeply healing and fulfilling.
Make a conscious point of nurturing your connections with people who see your light, and allow yourself to receive their support, whether that means opening up to a friend, seeing a sensitive healing professional, going for a long walk in nature with a loving companion, or anything that gives you the deep peace of being seen and understood.
Seek out role models who are gentle yet powerful, to inspire you. These could be well-known people, friends, or figures from myth or literature.
3. Nurture your spirituality
Discovering the heart’s calling is a spiritual journey that the sensitive soul feels drawn to take. We draw strength and staying power from this inner knowledge of what we are here to do.
Sustain a spiritual practice
A spiritual practice is the act of getting in touch with a realm beyond your everyday self. This isn’t your mind, your feelings or your body, but rather the sense of presence or being behind them. You may already be aware of your affinity for certain wisdom traditions and practices, or you may need to follow your intuition to guide you to a community, teacher, activity or other gateway to deeper spiritual ground.
Do meaningful work
As sensitive people, we want to do work with purpose. Work that shares our gifts, makes a difference to others and gives us the quality of life we wish for. This could mean working as part of an organisation that is aligned with our values, making a social impact as an entrepreneur, or simply finding more fulfillment in our current work. Our purpose constantly evolves, so see this as a journey, one that starts with being curious about who you are.
4. Develop your sensitive gifts
The ultimate expression of a sensitive soul is a beautiful way of being. When we are deeply grounded in our personal truth, aware of our boundaries and in touch with our inner guidance, we are free. We are free to be compassionate, open and understanding. Our strength wells up from within. We don’t need to toughen up because our power isn’t the brittle power of holding on tight against the world. We have the gentle, peaceful power that comes from love.
A final word
If what you’ve read here resonates with you, there’s a good chance you are a sensitive soul. But be wary of letting that become a label that freeze-frames you. Instead, allow your understanding of your inherent qualities to be a springboard to a fulfilling life where you share your gifts with the world.