Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? I’ve just learnt that I am and that many of my clients and the women in my community are too!
Winning Women Essex, the business network I run is also designed for sensitive women. I keep the numbers down so we can have an unhurried meeting and we don’t have sixty second presentations with timers as these create so many nerves and sensitive women don’t need extra worries like beating the clock!
My late sister Heather was Highly Sensitive Person. I remember her at age 16, unable to face going into school as she felt literally sick with worry. She ate Rennies, the indigestion medication all the time then. She was acutely sensitive to other people’s opinions and easily overwhelmed, avoided all family occasions like weddings. There was a seat for her and she didn’t show up. Much as she loved teaching, she was totally overwhelmed by the system and gave up after just a couple of terms, despite being a really competent teacher. On the other hand she was a strong, spiritual woman, gained her confidence enough to lead folk dancing and eventually became a gardener.
Twenty percent of the population are HSP’s . There’s a lot to this subject and Dr Aron’s book will be a big help if you want to explore more.
In her book on Highly Sensitive People, Dr Aron identifies four main characteristics of HSP’s:
- Depth of processing so we are deep thinkers.
- Prone to over stimulation
- Emotional responsiveness & empathy
- Sensitive to subtleties
Here are some tips that I’ve used to cope with being highly sensitive and running my therapy and coaching business.
- Keeping Good Boundaries. Don’t be too available.
Allowing clients to contact you anytime, checking email., messages etc and replying at all hours is exhausting and counterproductive. Tell your clients how you work. Put it in writing in your terms if necessary so they know how to work best with you. Stick to these. No-one is indispensable and life will go on without you!
- An end of day routine to clean away the energy of work.
When I was working as a complementary therapist, seeing up to thirty clients a week, I learnt to protect my energy. Without fail I would have a relaxing bath after my last client left and really felt their energy leave me. This marked the end of my working day and then I relaxed and slept well, free of their worries.
- Essential oils, flower essences and rituals can be great supports. Find your own.
A dab of Frankincense oil on my collar when I was nursing, especially on days when I was feeling nervous. It stopped the little voice in my head from worrying too much.
Fringed violet, the Australian Bush Flower essence mends and protects a frayed aura and helps boost you to cope with a daily onslaught.
- Don’t overbook yourself. Have days when you don’t see anyone or are obliged to speak to anyone.
Leave gaps in between clients. Allow yourself at least one day off a week. I hardly ever work on Sundays. Everything waits until Monday.
Rosemary is a Money and Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs, especially therapists, coaches and artists. She works with lots of nurses too! Book your 30 Minute Discovery Call here.