HSP’s in Relationships: the Arduous, the Agonizing, and the Amazing
When: April 8, 2017
Where: Connected Life Christian Church*
2500 NW 5th Ave.
Boca Raton, Florida
*this is not a faith based event. All backgrounds welcome
Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm (registration begins at 8:30 am)
Snacks, coffee, and tea will be provided.
Candy Crawford, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. has a private practice in the western suburbs of Chicago and specializes in high sensitivity. Candy has co led workshops with Elaine Aron and Ted Zeff, both pioneers in the field of high sensitivity. She is a passionate, wise and compelling speaker who cherishes her roles as clinician, advocate, and educator for the highly sensitive population.
At the close of this workshop you will:
– Have gained a deeper knowledge base of high sensitivity (sensory processing sensitivity)
– Learned specific tasks you can apply to your personal journey of integrating your sensitivity
– Discovered concrete ways to enrich your relationships
Please enclose your name, home address, and email when you register. Click the button below to pay. Once payment is received you will be notified and your registration will be complete. Unfortunately, there will be no refunds if you need to cancel due to the limited number of spaces.
Coping Corner: HSPs in a Winter Wonderland (Not)
When we created and validated the self-test in our 1997 study (the reference for it is at the bottom of my home page) we reported a number of items that we did not use on the self-test that could have been used because they were as predictable of sensitivity as the ones we did use. One of these was, “Are you sensitive to seasonal or weather-related changes in the amount of daylight?” “Yes,” many of us would say, according to that research.
This response does not necessarily mean that an HSP has “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” which applies only to those who are impaired by their emotional reaction to dark days. (If you are, there are special lights that you can use every day that will help, along with appropriate medications.)
Our more sensitive reaction to dark days simply means that we notice what’s going on outside more than others. It affects us. Some of us may even like it, or like it for awhile. When I’m writing, I prefer a foggy or rainy day–it keeps me from being bothered that I’ve shut myself in. A good snow or rain can make everything snug and cozy, even romantic. As Fred (Astair) sang to Ginger, “Isn’t it a lovely day to be caught in the rain?”
But it can also get you down after awhile, as one more storm sweeps in. Or if you live in the very northern latitudes, it’s tough when you not only arise in the dark but stand on the street corner for the bus in the dark. Then it’s dark again at four or even three in the afternoon. If you work indoors you can miss the day’s light entirely.
What can you do to cope, besides moving to the equator? Here are a few tips.
Pay attention to lighting. Have enough lights on in a room to make you feel good, even in day time. Of course turn them off when you leave a room for long and use energy efficient bulbs, but the light does help. Look around for dark spots in a room and get them lit. Buy yourself a new lamp. Light candles at night.
Go outside in the early mid day, no matter what the weather. Don’t wait until the sun is past its high point–that time of day can be, well, a downer.
Go out every day no matter how bad the weather. Get your exercise out of doors when possible. Enjoy nature, whatever it is doing during this season. I knew an HSP who loved more than anything to stay outside during major storms even at night, and revel in every moment of it. As soon as the sky darkened with storm clouds, he would drop everything to go out. You just have to have the clothes for it, he explained. And remember, indoors everything is so overheated that a few wet spots on your clothes will not lead to pneumonia, but rather to improved humidity.
If you live far enough north to have short days, try spending more time in bed. Sleep as much as you can. When I lived in northern B.C. with no electricity, rather than trying to read by kerosene lamps, we found ourselves sleeping much more in winter, and then much less in summer. It seemed to work.
Think of the time you are not spending doing summer activities as a savings you can invest in winter activities. Maybe have more company over. Read something entirely new. My choice this year is geology–I anticipate knowing more about it when I am out hiking again. Or you might choose botany for the same reason, or the histories of places you might visit this summer.
Use that time to be more creative–to write long letters and emails or to make longer entries in your journal. Again, it’s just the right sort of thing when shut indoors. Or maybe you’d rather be working on a new craft project.
Stay warm. HSPs are more affected by being too hot or too cold. Pay attention to this during the day, and no heroics. If you want to keep the thermostat set low, buy silk long underwear and cashmere sweaters. Keep everything fresh and clean. Pamper yourself.
Keep up with the latest on cold and flu prevention. For one thing, it reduces your fears about getting chilled so you can be outside more. There is quite a bit new in this area, beyond Vitamin C and flu shots. Different things work for different people, but I rarely get sick now, only because of the things that have been recommended to me by my “integrative medicine” doc (MDs who combine western and alternative medicine).
I hope all of this proves useless because spring has already sprung when you read this. But perhaps save it for next year, because we really are prone to be “sensitive to seasonal or weather-related changes in the amount of daylight.”
-Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
People Who Travel Alone All Share This Characteristic
THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE OF TRAVELING ALONE
One of the biggest attractions of travel is the power it holds to trigger psychological growth. When you return from a major trip, you will have changed. This is especially true if you have been traveling alone. Whatever your age, sex, or background, solo travel will change you for the better. Not only will you return with new memories and possibly new friends, but solo travel holds the power to seriously increase your mental strength.
So…Solo travelers of all demographics have one thing in one common – they are mentally strong. Why?
Read on to find out why people who travel alone possess great mental strength.
1. Traveling alone proves that you can enjoy yourself even when no one else is around.
Once you realize that you are capable of having fun without relying on someone else to either generate activity ideas or to approve of your choices, you will be tremendously empowered. You may even find that you prefer to spend significant amounts of time by yourself, rather than be enslaved to someone else’s choices. People who travel alone depend on no-one else for a good time.
2. Taking solo trips means that you know you can trust yourself.
It is down to you and you alone to choose where you will go, what you will do, how you will finance the trip, where you will stay, and so on. Traveling entails making many choices, so having the freedom to make them all by yourself will force you to develop a self-image as a trustworthy, competent individual.
3. People who travel alone are adaptable.
If you have spent time exploring a number of new countries and cultures, this means that you are adaptable. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is always a risk, and if you are to fully enjoy the experience then you need to remain flexible when encountering new ways of life. Such experiences will mean you are less likely to fear change in other areas of your life, and makes you more likely to take risks.
4. Traveling alone also means that you learn to communicate well with other people.
Sometimes you will have to face language barriers and cultural differences that have to be overcome with a bit of ingenuity and patience. This has the positive effect of making you more willing to meet other people halfway, whether at home or abroad. You may even end up with new friends as a result.
5. People who travel alone are self-reliant.
Being solely responsible for your own well being and enjoyment encourages you to develop self-reliance. If you go traveling for any significant length of time, you will run into difficulties and obstacles. What matters isn’t so much whether you face these challenges, but how you overcome them. When there is no one there to bail you out, you will find yourself digging deep to access inner resources you may never have even known you possessed.
If you are to successfully make it from one place to another, lining up trains and planes as necessary, you need to be able to organize yourself. Traveling alone gives you plenty of opportunities to practice this important skill. Obviously this can only yield positive returns in other areas of your life, such as maintaining a clean house and meeting deadlines at work.
6. If you travel alone, you gain the valuable opportunity for self-reflection.
Taking trips alone also gives you the time and space to engage in meaningful self-reflection. Without a travel partner by your side, it is up to you to make create your own sense of meaning from every trip. Self-reflection can be painful at times, but also fulfilling. Time alone whilst traveling affords you the chance to take a careful look at yourself, your life, and your experiences.
So the next time you travel solo, congratulate yourself. With every trip, you are increasing your mental resilience and building a useful psychological skill set that will help you grow in all areas of your life.
An Unusual Way to Soothe Your Nervous System
When the strains of life feel unbearable and you feel that the end of your proverbial (or literal) rope has been reached, here’s a simple way to tap into your internal calm.
You’ve likely heard of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system, and even if you don’t know their names, you could recognize them in a heartbeat. These reactive forces within us are either on high alert, or deeply restorative. One of the challenges we face in modern times is learning to manage them.
We are surrounded by potential triggers that light up our protective instincts: multiple dings, bells, global information, instant responses, the list goes on and on. One of the ways that we begin to protect our energy and our health is by learning how to activate our rejuvenating nervous system; the oh-so-lovely sounding rest and relax response. In our drive for forward progress, our culture as a whole has not placed much importance on it.
We now know that it is this place of deep rest where healing happens. Where we find restoration, we find health; inflammation decreases, and many diseases are able to resolve.
Guru Jagat, a Kundalini Teacher and author of Invincible Living, (HarperElixir, 2017), offers a full chapter on strategies for being ‘stress free’, some you are familiar with; spending time in nature to find your rhythm, eating foods that are grounding in nature, and developing a breath practice.
One practice that made me smile for its simplicity, and also because I’m a little ticklish, is the practice of “massaging, stretching, and putting cold water on your armpits’. “The armpits don’t get the attention they deserve” Jagat writes. She offers these tips for using this practice to realign yourself with an activated rest and relax response.
Every morning. Begin strengthening your parasympathetic nervous system by starting each day with a cold shower. When that’s not possible, she says that you can splash cold water on each armpit for 15 seconds. This will help tonify the nervous system.
During the day. When stressful moments emerge, excuse yourself to the bathroom or somewhere private, and gently massage the inside of your armpits with your thumbs for up to three minutes. This can offer a quick and dramatic shift in how you feel.
Daily practice. A great antidote for the stagnant position of working at a desk or driving, is to hold onto your elbows above your head and stretch your armpits for one to three minutes. Your armpits are home to many lymph nodes; by stretching them, you offer support not just to your nervous system, but also to your immune system.
We get caught in the idea that the practices that will help calm us are lengthy and serious. Paying attention to your armpits feels a little silly, and maybe that’s one of the best things about it. Loosening our grip on being overly serious is another path to relaxation and rest.