I firmly believe that empaths and highly sensitive people (HSP) are critical in shaping the next phase of human evolution. Making up only 20% of the total human population, we are biologically wired to intuitively sense subtleties like energy and emotions in others 1.
This sense is a natural, unconscious skill resulting from a finely tuned physiological makeup and, more than likely, is also influenced by early childhood trauma 2. If we aren’t careful (or aware), our sensitivity and empathic perception can and will work against us. Therefore, central to creating wellness for empaths and highly sensitive people, is consciously understanding the implications of being highly sensitive and empathic, learning emotional self-regulation skills, and developing meaningful, impactful self-care rituals and routines for managing one’s energy.
This guide, in particular, seeks to strengthen and validate your sensitive nature, not change it.
On the spectrum of sensitivity, I’m personally on the extreme end— something called a “highly sensitive, hyper empath”.
“A ‘hyper-empath’ is “someone who is aware that he or she reads emotions, nuance, subtexts, undercurrents, intentions, thoughts, social pace, interactions, relationship behaviours, body language, and gestural language to a greater degree than is deemed normal.” -Karla Mclaren
This reality has largely shaped my life, my health, my work, and how I chose to interact with the world. Over the years I have developed habits and go to self-care rituals that are non-negotiable.
I don’t believe in doing anything, every day (except eating and sleeping).
Hence the reason why the tools and techniques listed in this guide are categorized as “almost daily’. More and more, I have come to understand that sensitivity is a gift that must be respected.
This guide will help you make peace with your sensitive nature.
My vision is that all healers, helpers, and heart-centered humans will recognize their sensitivity, learn how to care for themselves (without apology), and tap into the incredible power of their intuition.
The cost of not doing this is grave. Unmanaged sensitivity can be crippling. For me it looks like one bizarre, acute medical condition after another, from chronic pain to anxiety and depression.
In general our physical and mental health is greatly impacted by a wide variety of factors, including the environment and people you encounter. This isn’t true for everyone. It’s a unique life construct for empaths and highly sensitive people.
By implementing regular self-care routines and rituals you can better command how your energy flows and responds to life. I highly encourage you to steal my ideas and make them your own. Use them in combination with self inquiry, reflection, and awareness of your emotional ranges to change the way you handle your sensitivity.
Inspiration and concepts primarily draw upon shamanic practices, energy medicine techniques, and nature-based spiritual practices and do not in any way replace medical treatment or therapy from a clinical licensed professional.
I’ve spent the better part of my professional and personal life studying and experimenting with alternative therapies and tools.
Also of importance is that I value accessibility and never ever want my work to speak to only those with privilege, therefore 17 of the 20 rituals require very little to no cost. If money is a limited resource, like it is for many, you can count on this guide to creatively inspire you.
Lastly, while the primary perspective of this guide assumes you are reasonably able-bodied. In some instances I have offered alternatives for function limitations. However, I defer to YOU as the expert of your own body to create and adapt any ritual to suit your needs and able-bodiedness.
Consider this guide your cliff notes on energy medicine practices on how to unwind, recharge your internal battery and reconnect with your intuitive wisdom.
This guide is not meant to be an exhaustive list of self-care rituals and practices, but a creative and helpful resource in your own personal exploration. I’ve found that having something in writing is particularly helpful for those times when you’re steeped in feelings and unable to grasp onto tools. It happens!
If you’re looking for more special occassion type rituals, peruse on over this page.
1 Elaine Aron http://hsperson.com/
2 Imi Lo http://www.eggshelltherapy.com/sensitivity-and-childhood-trauma/
3 Diana Dubrow of Emerald Temple @ www.emeraldtemple.com
4 Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D., Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/urban-survival/201604/six-aromatherapy-essential-oils-stress-relief-and-sleep
6 Thich Nhat Hanh on Walking Meditation https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate-thich-nhat-hanh-on-walking-meditation