We all lead such busy lives these days.

We're busy working long hours at our workpace, busy ferrying children to & from school & then to after-school activities, busy taking care of pets, our homes, our relatives, busy trying to decrease the K2 of a laundry-pile. Busy, busy, busy!

Photo credit: chooyutshing via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: chooyutshing via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

It often gets to the point where we feel as if we're spinning a hundred plates, except we know they're all about to come crashing down on us because we just aren't as good at it as the performers in the Chinese State Circus.

As a Highly Sensitive Person, this plate spinning & feeling as if we're being pulled in a hundred different directions is our cue to STOP IMMEDIATELY, because we're going into HSP Overwhelm. Our nervous systems can't take as much plate spinning as other non-HSPs, as they're designed to be highly reactive.

In the days when a highly reactive nervous system was the difference between being eaten by the sabre-toothed tiger or escaping to live another day, that was a great thing. These days, however, our nervous systems get triggered umpteen times a day by traffic, overcrowding, noise, demands on our time, social media, environmental polution & the list goes on.

We all know that constant stress on our bodies can lead to all sorts of nasty illnesses, but what do we do when we feel like a ship tossed about in the storm, in imminent danger of capsizing?

Try these 9 SOS Steps:

  1. STOP. Call time out.
  2. Breathe - put your hands on your belly & take a deep breath in through your nose & out through your mouth. Do this at least 3 times.
  3. Ground yourself - whether you're standing up or sitting down, plant your feet solidly on the ground & imagine strong roots growing from the bottom of your feet, deep into the centre of the earth. Carry on with this visualisation for as long as it takes you to feel solid & stable.
  4. Write a list - get pen & paper & write out every single thing that's stressing you out. Include things you need to do, & situations that are causing you stress. Keep writing until you've got it all out. Often just getting things down onto paper helps to relieve the stress.
  5. Go through your list:
    • cross out any items that aren't urgent or that now they're down in writing seem insignificant
    • prioritise the remaining items - things to do today, tomorrow, by the end of the week, things that are really upsetting you
    • delegate any tasks you can -  to your spouse, children, relatives, neighbours, friends
    • for the things that you're upset about, consider what you need to happen to take the emotion out of them - do you need to practice forgiveness for the other person, yourself, the situation? Think about the problem & imagine breathing out the emotion. If it's something you feel really strongly about, have a go at journalling - write out everything you feel about it, be honest about your feelings however ugly
  6. Refocus on the Big Picture - what's the most important thing in your life right now? Your family? Your health?
  7. Reward yourself! Take time to make a cup of tea, go for a walk outside, take a bath, dance around the kitchen.
  8. By now you should be feeling clearer & more grounded - so, go back to your list & start working through the urgent items.
  9. If none of the items are that urgent, put the list away until tomorrow & do something relaxing instead!

The real trick of course, is to build your ship so that it's so strong & steady that it's able to weather any storm. Yes it may get tossed around in the waters a little, but you know it's unsinkable. More on how to do that in another blog!


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