It is easier for some of us to get caught up in worrying, overthinking, and overprocessing (which I kindly abbreviated as W.O. O.).
When I’m exceptionally tired, my state of woo-ness influences and amplifies nearly every nuance from the minute the sun taps the sky, with its colors, until nighttime deepens the queries. Lately, my insomnia has been triggering my sensitive woo trilogy, into overdrive.
Dr. Elain Aron, researcher, and psychologist for highly sensitive people (HSPs), refers to this as D.O.E.S.
D: Depth of processing. Highly sensitive people, go deep and do so naturally with just about everything.
O: Overstimulation. Too much of a good or not-so-good situation can really create havoc on sensitive souls.
E: Emotional reactivity and empathy. We feel others' emotions as well as our own. Therefore, we need daily doses of extra quiet.
S: Sensing the subtle. Sensitive people live inside the sensing world of the subtle. Every flicker, undertone, overreaction, every critical, or not critical word, (said or unsaid) is felt. Nature is part of our being.
“Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me, too.” ― L.R. Knost
Healing takes time, and so does learning how to give ourselves the self-care we need. Over the decades, my idea of self-care has transformed. For me, self-care includes respecting my personal boundaries. Self-care is multidimensional too.
The difficulty with self-care, especially as a female, is how society perpetuates and abuses women as the caretakers of just about everyone. We genuflect to this role as quickly as the sky holds the sun and moon. We feel it is almost a righteous passage to give and give until there’s nothing left to give. At least, this is my take and what I was taught.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."