A guide to surviving the uncozy everyday rush, for sensitive souls.
These days a single thought dominated my mind: i want to be a kitty curled up in a cozy hidey-hole.
Noise, light, people, everything stressed me out beyond measure, so much that i constantly regretted getting out of bed. Eventually i found myself regressing into these destructive cycles:
- Wallowing in anxieties and depressive thoughts that have little to zero base in reality until i felt, well, really really depressed.
- Feeling extremely sorry for myself, and also dumping these feelings on people close to me.
- Scrolling around on the internet, wasting time, procrastinating and looking for something, but not knowing what that was (and not finding it).
- Becoming deeply enraged at myself for not being able to accomplish anything except for continuous disappointment.
I am extremely greatful that as I recently came home one day from lectures (totally stressed out from the crowd, and sleep deprived because lectures started early), I suddenly received very clear and accurate guidance on what I can do to get better, and since then these problems seem to have solved themselves.
I thought that perhaps there are others out there like me, so i have compiled a list of what i was guided to do. I sincerely hope it will be of use to someone who needs this at the moment. Also, please feel free to add suggestions in the comments.
Turn your home into a sanctuary.
Your home is where you will return after the day’s activities, and it is wonderful to be welcomed by a place of comfort and cozyness. It should be a place where we can relax and breathe, feel safe, and where there are no stressors. Keep some level of tidyness, but only as much that it does not cause too much effort and stress. Avoid cluttering and piling up stuff you don’t need because that just causes extra logistics issues. A cluttered space also often results in a cluttered mind. You may want to remove ticking clocks, I find that they always sound like they are trying to rush us.
Its alright to say “no”.
In order to avoid being swamped by things we “have to do” we need to be able to decline requests by other people. This can be difficult, out of fear that we will be seen as unreliable or unsociable, or out of a strong desire to be there for everyone. However, we need to leave some time for ourself as well. I have often heard people complaining that the “have to go to this and this party” when they feel they actually desperately wanted some time to rest and do things they like. The key is to prioritise, and ask ourselves “what is more important now?” If something does not feel important to you, or if it would hinder something that is important to you then simply leave it.
If people around you start to pressure you to “be more sociable” or are constantly asking for favours while not giving back, have a (gentle, friendly) discussion with them. If they refuse to listen, you need to start thinking about distancing yourself from those people, and seeking out a community which is ready to accept you as yourself.
You may be, like me, sensitive to lots of light, noise or crowds. Therefore it may be a good idea to avoid loud, crowded places and events. Also, make sure to create gentle environments for yourself whenever you can. For example, natural light whenever possible, or use gentle, warm lighting at home. Candlelight works best. I have stopped using the regular room lighting alltogether. If you want to listen to music, play soothing music on a low volume.
Listen to your body and give it what it needs.
It is important to eat healthy, as what you eat will be the fuel you run on. This does not mean we must embark on a calories counting crusade. This simply means to listen to our bodies to find out our needs. It means to learn to distinguish between cravings and actual needs. This was surprisingly easy for me: one day I made a very determined and conscious decision to feed myself in a way that is actually good for me, because I no longer wanted to engage in any self harming tendencies, and the cravings decreased immediately. It is also a good idea to decrease pace: waiting a few minutes after the signal of hunger, and eating slowly will give the body enough time to process what is going on and give the appropriate messages, and so we can avoid overeating.
It is important to understand that eating healthy does not need to be a difficult, challenging regime that requires a huge amount of discipline. That will just make us unhappy and even increases the probability of falling back into destructive tendencies. Keep eating foods you enjoy, and make sure to give your body what it needs.
Exercise…but be gentle to yourself!
The body was designed to move around. It has many hundreds of muscles and joints that want to be used! If the body does not get enough movement, it can result in restlessness and anxiety and trouble relaxing and sleeping. Plus, movement activities can be fun! So if you don’t have anything yet, think about what you would enjoy doing and go for it! And don’t be afraid to try new things! You may discover something awesome!
What you should avoid is making a stressful situation out of this. Instead of a performance and results-oriented attitude, go with an experience-oriented attitude! Whatever you do, do it because it feels good! This also means to be gentle with yourself and listen to your body. Do not overexert yourself, do only what makes you feel good and energised.
Also, regularly spend some time outside, in fresh air. This can be difficult if you live in a big city. But being outside in nature is one of the most soothing things. Not only is it great opportunity for movement, but also to disconnect from the rush and noise and requirements, and be one with Mother Earth.
Make enough time for yourself to rest and recharge in a nurturing, quiet environment. This first and foremost means to get enough sleep. The amount of sleep we need differs from person to person but I think everybody should have at least 7h of sleep every night. In my case I need 8-9h. Sleep deprivation accumulates over time and can cause increasing fatigue and depression. Eventually it becomes an almost impossible challenge to get out of bed every morning, and even if we succeed, it is an endless struggle to maintain a will to stay alive during the day. Sleep is very important, so make sure to keep it a priority! If you had to wake up very in the morning and feel very tired, have a short nap of ~1-2h during the afternoon if you have an opportunity.
Before sleeping, it is a good idea to have some quiet time where we allow our mind and emotions to settle down after the day. Do some gentle stretches or yoga to relax tension in your body, have a nice warm shower or bath, and then go to sleep. Stay away from checking your phone or messages or such during and after this evening routine. Do so before, then decide to finish the day and move into the night.
~Allow yourself to be cozy in your life, allow yourself as a soul on earth to feel at home. Even though today’s society often pushes other values, be sure to care for yourself. There is no need for you to become a machine or a slave. You are here, in this world, in this life, as a child of the universe. So, soul, listen to your inner voice, listen to yourself. Become *you* and allow yourself to ~be~.
kitty hugs to all,