If there's a gap between what you want to do and what you can do, that's okay.
Everyone's grappling with something extra right now:
Each one of these takes up mental and emotional bandwidth, and bandwidth is finite; at some point, we reach our max.
Additionally, Highly Sensitive People use more energy processing our complex feelings and thoughts.
It's not because you "think too much" or are "too sensitive"; your brain and nervous system process more than non-HSPs do.
Despite all that, HSPs are resilient.
Most of us are used to pushing through tough circumstances, used to "getting it done" despite stressors.
We've done it our whole lives.
Yet right now, many of us don't have the bandwidth to keep pushing through.
Personally, I see a huge discrepancy between the amount of learning, reading, working and engaging I want to do and the amount which I'm able to do.
Quite frequently I have intentions and desires that get pushed off to the next week, month, or indefinitely(!) because I just need to rest.
If you have ways you want to grow that feel stuck or SLOW moving, if you're losing your cool or wish you could be a better partner, parent or friend than you feel able to be, know that you're not alone.
Three keys helping me right now:
1. Surrender. The more I surrender to what IS, my angst falls away and I experience peace that strengthens my heart and rebuilds my energy.
This doesn't mean accepting the unacceptable. It means owning my capacity; accepting the reality of "what is" vs. forcing "what isn't".
2. Baby steps count. Maybe you can't spend an hour a day right now working on what's important to you. Can you spend 5 minutes? Read 5 pages? Take 5 breaths? It all counts.
3. Prioritize rest and pleasure. Many of us have internalized the message that if it's not "productive", it's a waste of time.
Taking the time to notice what makes you smile and your body relax is powerful. Creating space for those things is radical. Want to join me in this?
I hope this message resonates and you can give yourself permission to be exactly who you are, exactly where you are.
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT has dedicated over 10,000 hours to supporting Highly Sensitive People as a psychotherapist and global HSP consultant. She practices psychotherapy in Boulder, CO and specializes in working with sensitivity and healing of trauma (EMDR). She's also the founder of Intuitive Warrior, an online platform offering resources and support to Highly Sensitive People worldwide. An HSP herself, Brooke went years feeling overwhelmed and anxious before learning how to support her nervous system. She considers it an honor to get to share that knowledge with fellow HSPs.
You are a gift to the world. You aren't alone. We need you here.