Monday, November 20, 2006

HSPs and Holiday Stress

The Holiday season is upon us.

My experience tells me that the Holidays are as often a source of stress for HSPs, as they are a source of joy and celebration. From the whole "party atmosphere" to dealing with family members we'd just as well never see again, the holidays do seem to offer many opportunities for HSPs to become overstimulated... sometimes with resulting admonishions from friends and family members to "get a grip" and to "not be so antisocial."

As the world ramps up into a celebratory frenzy, many HSPs would just as well crawl into a small hole and not come out till the whole wretched thing is over.

When I was dealing with in-laws and my own family, and juggling multiple Thanksgiving celebrations followed by multiple Christmas celebrations, I found the most effective thing for me to do-- in the interests of maintaining my sanity-- was to go for long walks. Interestingly enough, my tradition of Thanksgiving/Christmas walks started in 1985, more than ten years before I learned about the HSP trait, and how to deal with holiday stress.

Most HSPs respond positively to being in nature-- it's one of the ways many of us recharge our batteries. I certainly know this to me true for me.

So whereas I can't possibly know the particular stresses you face during the upcoming holidays, here's a single suggestion: Take a long walk. If you feel like you must "make an excuse," just say you want to "walk off some of the big meal." If you are going somewhere outside your home, remember to bring a change of shoes (comfortable!) and a coat, scarf and hat, if you're spending the holidays in a cold place.

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