A common characteristic of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is that we feel deeply; our own feelings and the feelings of others. With Covid-19, there are so many feelings being expressed.
We also can feel the emotions not being expressed. I can often sense tension when everyone is acting like everything is fine. This can make being a HSP tricky at times. I often talk to my clients about how they are a ‘Seeer” meaning they are seeing and experiencing things that people around them don’t see.
Before Covid-19, it was difficult to be a HSP in a world that encourages being avoidant of your feelings. Now that Covid-19 has arrived, it’s near impossible to escape feelings. The consequences that I see in myself and others is being completely exhausted emotionally and mentally drained.
Part of this exhaustion is that we can feel deeply sad by reading or hearing about the multiple deaths in another country, feeling the pain of other people that we are ever unlikely to meet. This takes energy to feel a connection like this. It takes emotional work.
As HSP’s we often feel pulled to help others. When we see someone struggling emotionally or physically, we feel this inner pull to go and help. This is a great quality but with Covid-19, there are so many people struggling. This can feel really depleting and a sense of hopelessness can show up. With so many people struggling in so many ways, we end up feeling too much- too much sadness, too much worry, to much of other people’s feelings.
We are everyone’s ‘therapist’
The last point I will make on this is how other people in our lives rely on us to support them emotionally. We are often the ‘therapist’ in our family, friend group, and at work. This adds an extra burden when life is regular but even more so during Covid-19. We are hearing stories of worry, anger, sadness, and helplessness. And because, at least for right now, we don’t know what the answers are. So we can’t offer solutions that will immediately improve things.
Tips for HSP’s during Covid-19:
- I’m sure you have already heard this but it’s so important for HSP’s to reduce the amount of news we consume. Decide how often you will check out news on Covid-19 and stick with that. I check once a day and seems to keep my worry at bay.
- Once a day do an activity that brings you calmness- walking, meditation, art, writing. This will help you keep connected to yourself
- Take some time to reflect on the people in your life that drain you and allow yourself to take some space from them. I know this is a hard one for HSP’s but so important to reduce the amount of toxic energy in your life.