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Brighton HSP News

Issue #7 - Winter Downtime

For many years winter has been my least favourite season and I have noticed a change about this lately. What I notice most is the willingness to embrace what winter brings now instead of mourning the loss of summer days. Some of this came with the discovery of being highly sensitive and learning about the natural need for a lot of downtime, as part of this trait. Learning about this gave me permission to stop fighting my need for rest and start taking the time out that felt right. The funny thing is, as I stopped begrudging resting and sleeping more, I realised that I actually love taking time out! My struggle to keep up with people, who can pack a lot more into their days, turned into a relief about not having to do so much. And now I even manage to feel slightly smug about this, thinking how lucky I am that I can enjoy simply wrapping up warm and snuggle up with a good book. I don't need to organise something exciting to do every weekend to keep myself entertained - just the thought of having time to sleep in and lounge about makes my day these days :)

As I enjoyed more my time of rest and turning inward, I started to dread less and less the idea of winter too. Winter is the natural time for slowing down and staying in. Just as nature takes a bit of time off in the winter months - we are also encouraged to do less by the shortening days and the colder temperatures. A cosy warm room or bed feels more inviting when the alternative is to brave the damp, cold and barren world outside. It's a lot easier to feel in the winter that I am not missing much by staying in and focus on recharging, taking stock and making plans for the year ahead.

Taking joy in downtime will be 
easier for the majority of HSPs, who are introverted and not High Sensation Seekers. If you happen to be an HSP, who is also an extrovert and/or High Sensation Seeker, it helps to imagine that you have two or three aspects to your personality that has conflicting needs at times, which you need to balance. Your extroverted side will need more contact with people, your High Sensation Seeker side will need more novelty / new experiences and your HSP side will need a lot of time to rest and process your experiences to feel well. The extra stimulation that comes with more contact with people or new experiences will need to be balanced with more rest and processing time. What makes this balancing act easier is to fully embrace all your needs essential to your well-being, including the extra downtime your HSP trait requires. If you learn to savour your recovery time, it'll be easier to have enough of it to fully recharge and have plenty of energy for enjoying as much of the the party season, as you want to.

Wishing you all to have a good time this winter, with just the right balance for you between festive cheer and downtime!
HSP Meetup at the Friend's Meeting House

Brighton HSP Meetup

If you would like information on Sensory Processing Sensitivity and meet other HSPs, do come along to this gently facilitated Meetup supported by the National Centre for High Sensitivity. 
Our next Meetup will be on the 14th of December 1:30-3pm. Read more about it on our Facebook page and do join our on-line community at Meetup.com, where you can RSVP and pay in advance (£10), if you'd like to attend. Looking forward to meeting you!

Brighton HSP Meetup

Our First Meetup next year will be on the 11th of January 1:30-3pm. Read more about it on our Facebook page and do join our on-line community at Meetup.com, where you can RSVP and pay in advance (£10), if you'd like to attend. Looking forward to meeting you!
HSP Meetup at the Friend's Meeting House

Christmas Survival Tips

Coming up to Christmas is not the highlight of the year for many HSPs, myself included. Even the thought of facing stressed out crowds in shops and  preparing for Christmas and the party season seems to be overstimulating enough for us to want to skip the whole thing at times. What works for me is avoiding following traditions that don't suit well highly sensitive people and creating my own customs for the Holidays that fit better. Elaine Aron thinks along similar lines, as she sums up wonderfully her tips of surviving well the Christmas Season for HSPs. Should you feel that you need some extra ammunition to prepare you for the Holidays, here is a link to Peter Messerschmidt in-depth exploration about what can make a difference for HSPs.

Discussing High Sensitivity with Therapists

Following writing about how to introduce the concept of High Sensitivity to others in our #3 Issue, here is another excellent article from Elain Aron about how to talk about High Sensitivity (also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity) with Therapists. Highly recommended if you are in therapy or thinking about addressing your issues in counselling! This writing will become a regular link in our Basics Corner too, as an important aid for communicating about our trait.

7 Ways to Protect Your Energy & Create Healthy Boundaries

Perhaps one way to imagine what it's like being an HSP is to think about having a thinner skin than usual. The skin is a natural boundary that separates us from the external world  - and ours just seem to let a lot more of the outside in. Perhaps this is why having healthy boundaries is such a big topic for HSPs. Dr. Susan Biali writes about ways we can protect our energy by having healthier boundaries in relationships.
 

HSP Professionals Training Day

Friday 10 Jan 2014, 10 - 4pm
Longparish, Hampshire 


workshop by Barbara Allen-Williams in the beautiful Hampshire countryside with information on the HSP trait - including important details for professionals on identifying and working with sensory processing sensitivity. The day is suitable for therapists, coaches, educators, social workers, health care professionals and others who work with highly sensitive clients. I can safely say that this workshop changed my life - I hope you may benefit just as greatly from this day of deepening your understanding about SPS.
 

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