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Highly Sensitive People and Seasonal Change

HSPs feel deeply. We notice subtleties. We love quiet time. We experience our senses intensely. We Highly Sensitive People notice and feel everything, including the subltle changes in the seasons. I can sense the change in the seasons well before others seem to notice, and I love the way autumn feels. The way the quality of the light gets brighter and cleaner, becoming more intense and clear as if any and every particle of dust has been removed so the the sun radiates its broad spectrum fully and without any interference. And the breeze wafting through the trees rustling and highlighting each leaf creating a great sensory symphony of sight, sound and scents that clue me into the seasonal shifts. It's as though the light and air have purged the heavy debris that set in during the summer and perhaps that's what excites me so much.

All my senses are engaged with the intensity of fall and it makes me so happy. But that may not be the case of all HSPs. Some of us may struggle a bit with it. We're all unique and each of us are having a different experience, so we need to attune in more specifically to our inner selves to learn what we need to adjust to better suit us.

Fall is my favorite because my body relaxes and is rejuvinated simultaneously by the cooler weather, colors, scents, tastes, and snuggly clothes. I want to be in nature to feel it in all the ways. I find I'm ready for bed earlier, am more hungry for savory foods than eaten during summer or spring, and find myself wanting to hunker in and prepare for the winter. If I were a bear I'd be finding a lovely cave somewhere and setting it up with nesting materials, but since I'm a human I'll get out my soft comfy cozy sweaters, blankets, and furry boots. What about you?

I think though that it's that magical light I mentioned earlier, the fragrances that fill the air, the spicey earthy tastes of fall, and the sounds of the busy critters that fill me with wonder that I love so much. I am awestruck by the beauty of the colors all around, and quality of that light. All of that evidence of fall and the wonder of what I don't see or sense that is happening underground and above in the atmosphere that is the mystery of earth and hums in the cosmic cycles of life.

For me, fall is a time of reflection, taking stock, preparation of the harvest, and for going inward as I head into winter. Fall may find me feeling energized and ready to bake and make art, and you may feel otherwise. Here are some ideas that may feel good to you and me during the changing of the seasons, and please add to them:

Here's a few ideas to help get acclimated to fall:

  1. Attune to your own body: Slow down, breathe more slowly and for a longer period of time than you usually would. Do this for about 5 minutes while noticing all the sensations, thoughts, & feelings without judgement. Be with your feelings, thoughts, sensations without needing to change them as you're comforting your own inner child.

  2. Turn off your phone or at least set it on airplane mode. Tune into the sensory masterpiece of nature. Go for a walk. Sit outside with a cup of coffee or tea. Listen.

  3. Intentionally attune to your environment: What colors do you see? What textures? What is the temperature outside? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste?

  4. Attune to your needs: Are you hungry? Eat. Are you thirsty? Drink. Are you tired? Rest. Are you anxious? Dance...You are the one who knows what you need.

  5. Journal: Set time aside every day to write for 10 to 20 minutes (or longer) about your feelings. Resist editing. Let your judge and editor take some time off and just write it all out. It's meant to be private so just write. It's up to you if you want to share it.

  6. Attune to your desires: Are you feeling creative? Do some art, crafts, bake, write a letter, sing a song, play some music, rearrange your living might be surprised by how this changes your energy.

  7. Feeling stuck: Open the drapes and windows, put some music on, clean your house, clean under and behind furniture, vacuum the cushions and your mattress, and keep going if it feels good. (Do one task a day if it's too much in one day.)

  8. Energy still blocked: Clean out your closet: Rearrange your clothes by category & color, organize your shoes, scarves, t-shirts...make a throw away box, and a give away box for all the usable things you're not wearing anymore. You'll be clearing space and energy for yourself and helping someone else with your giveaways.

  9. Needing a change: Make your office space cozy and inviting. Bring in art, a throw, some spice tea, essential oils, flowers....

  10. Feeling energized: Go for a hike and gather leaves, pinecones, seeds, sticks, and other nature's bounty to make art and crafts. Wrap yourself in a warm blanket and sit outside to stargaze.

  11. Create a ritual to mark the season. You can create one yourself, or find one at the library or online. The basic formula is setting your intention of marking the season, moving into an action to symbolize that, and integrating this action into your daily life.

These things will help you tune into your own needs and desires. The purpose of becoming attuned to your own needs and desires instead of trying to fit into someone else's idea of who you should be is to help you become more authentically you. You are unique and wonderful in your own way and the world needs you! We need your sensitivity. Only you can authentically empower your own choices to find value and meaning in your world. Sometimes the programming we've received throughout our lives is so ingrained and loud that is hard to know what's ours and what's programming without the help of a guide. I'm here to be that guide and help you find your own voice and empowerment. You're not too sensitive, you do belong, and you have so much to offer. You're highly sensitive and it's time to claim it dear one. I'd be honored to talk with you about how we might work together toward your authentic empowerment.

Take the step toward your heart's desire.

I'd be honored to help you navigate your path toward your truest self. I will help you find your center as we calm your nervous system, quiet the static noise of shoulds and have tos, strengthen your sense of self, and navigate this insensitive world in a way that is sensitive to yourself and feels authentic and empowering to you.

I'm Janis McKinstry, MA Transpersonal/Somatic Counseling Psychology: Psychospiritual Counselor and Authentic Empowerment Counselor for Highly Sensitive People. Please visit my website and sign up for my free gift of a simple mindfulness meditation to relax, release, and renew. You will also receive my monthly blog when you sign up for my gift.

I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to call me at 925-302-9900 to set up a free consultation to see if we're a good fit for your healing journey and authentic empowerment. I look forward to talking with you soon.



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