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3 Ways I'm Honouring My Sensitivity This Holiday Season

As a Highly Sensitive Social Worker and Therapist, I've come to recognize the importance of honouring my sensitivity, especially during the bustling holiday season. This year, I'm embracing my sensitivity more than ever, and I want to share with you the three ways I'm taking care of myself this year. I hope my insights resonate with you, and provide you with that much needed permission slip to do what feels right for you this holiday season.

a social worker is enjoying her holiday by reading a book, cuddled in a cozy blanket, in front of a fireplace

1) Taking Time Off From Seeing Clients

This holiday season, I've decided to give myself the gift of time. As the year comes to a close, I've noticed a real desire to slow down, rest, and reflect. 

As a social worker and therapist, I’ve spent the past year prioritizing the well-being of my clients, and although I deeply love doing this work, the emotional labour involved in supporting others can be draining on my sensitive nervous system. That's why it’s so important for me to take breaks and recharge. 

Taking this time off allows me to disconnect from my professional responsibilities and reconnect with my inner self. It's not just about physical rest, but also about mental and emotional rejuvenation. During this period, I indulge in activities that refill my emotional cup – be it reading, meditating, playing with my dog, or simply enjoying the quiet of my own space. 

Taking time off over the holidays has not always been an option, I recognize it for the privilege that it is. I’m no stranger to feelings of guilt about taking time off and fear about how it will impact my clients. But I also know that this break is my way of practicing self-care, ensuring that I return to my clients in the new year refreshed and more attuned to their needs.

2) Scheduling Buffer Days In Between Social Visits

As a highly sensitive person, I find that too much social interaction can leave me feeling overwhelmed and drained. This is particularly true during the holidays when social obligations tend to pile up. My solution? Scheduling buffer days.

Buffer days are those quiet, unscheduled days between social events. They're my sanctuary for solitude and introspection. During these days, I engage in low-stimulation activities like gentle yoga, long walks in nature, painting, and journaling. These practices help me process the stimuli and emotions that come with social interactions, allowing me to approach each event with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

Scheduling this downtime requires me to set boundaries and say “no” to some engagements and invitations. In the past, turning down an invitation would leave me riddled with guilt. However, now I’d rather be able to show up really present and attentive to a few events, than burn myself out trying to attend everything. 

Buffer days are a testament to the fact that it's okay to step back and take a breather. They remind us that in the whirlwind of social obligations, our mental health deserves a spot on our priority list.

a grey mug sits on a window sill, snuggle inside a cozy sweater beside a journal and cell phone. out side the window it is snowing.

3) Prioritizing What I Love Most About This Time of Year

Lastly, I'm choosing to focus on what I truly love about the holiday season. To do this, I have to let go of the pressure of trying to “do it all”. 

It's easy to get caught up in the commercialism and the hustle of it all. This year, I'm tuning into the aspects of the season that bring me the most joy and peace, and letting go of the rest. 

For me, this means cozy evenings by the fireplace reading my favourite fantasy book, baking cookies, and the simple joy of decorating my home with twinkle lights. It's about embracing those small, quiet moments that fill my heart with warmth. I'm also prioritizing connecting with close friends and family, choosing quality over quantity in my interactions.

Focusing on what I love most allows me to experience the holidays in a way that's meaningful and fulfilling for me as a highly sensitive person. It's about creating a season that feels authentic and aligned with my inner needs and values.

How Can You Honour Your Sensitivity This Holiday Season?

As you navigate this holiday season, don’t forget to honour your sensitivity. This might look a little different for you than it does for me. I encourage you to reflect on what an enjoyable and nourishing holiday season would look like for you.

Take this as your permission slip to slow down and honour your sensitivity this holiday season.

Here's to a season filled with peace, joy, and self-compassion.


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