Trading Push for Pull: What I Learned About Vacation

gkerinaEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development4 Comments

A funny thing happened on the way to the alarm clock. After three non-stop years of making my way through several major life events, including the death of a parent and moving abroad, I have decision fatigue. This is turning out to be a good thing. A Line In The Sand At the beginning of November, after a year of struggling to calm my overwhelmed HSP sensibilities and find a more stable foothold amid all the changes in the realms of home, finances, work, and family, I snapped. It was like my psyche drew a line in the sand and said, “Take one more step and I won’t be responsible for the results.” I’d been pushing myself and my life improvement agendas hard in order to make my life better as soon as possible, but it was backfiring. The line drawn by my psyche took the form of an insistence that I go on vacation, immediately and lengthily. Creating Vacation I live in southwestern Germany, within easy reach of loads of wonderful places to get away to, but an extended away-from-home vacation was not feasible considering the transitional state of my work and finances. So, to appease my psyche, and because I recognized a mental health red flag when I saw it, I decided to go on vacation in a different way. Late one night, I sat at my desk and drew up an “Official Vacation Declaration” consisting of three lists: things I commit to doing during my vacation, things I excuse myself from during my vacation, and things I’m allowed to do during my vacation. I tuned in to what my sensitive body and over-taxed mind needed and considered how the practicalities of my life could bend toward a vacation. I thought deeply about what to put on each … Read More

Highly Self-Employed

gkerinaPersonal Development18 Comments

For much of my working life (and I’m in my 50s, so it’s been a while), I struggled with the demands of the “normal” 40-hour work week. Working the way our society seemed to insist I work in order make a living made me feel like I was dying. I needed more peace, more depth, more meaning, more self-direction, and more time off than any of the jobs I found seemed to offer. I would do my best, but over and over again, after a few weeks or months, I’d become so sick and tired that the only way I saw to choose life over death was to quit the job. I’d rest up a while, then be back at square one, frustrated by the outlook. The Path To Becoming Self-Employed As a way to avoid that unhealthy pattern, I began flirting with becoming self-employed, at first trying it out in addition to part-time jobs and in spite of not knowing how to do it. Whenever I achieved some success at being self-employed, even if only temporarily, I was much happier. So I took workshops and read books about self-employment and I experimented. Over the years, I tried different self-employment activities, searching for ones that would succeed for me and my particular needs and HSP traits, ones that would give me enough money to live on and feel like making a living (vs. a dying). I tried consulting about different things. I tried making and selling art. I tried collaborations and self-employment systems others had pioneered. A major shift occurred when I changed my perspective from asking myself, What can I do that will make me money as a self-employed person? to asking, What am I already good at that helps the people in my life? I started paying attention … Read More

Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career

Tracy CooperPersonal Development0 Comments

The new book, Thrive by Dr. Tracy Cooper, with a foreword by Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and originator of the Sensory Processing Sensitivity personality trait is available now. Dr. Cooper is introducing his book through a blog tour. His first stop is HSP Health. He has written an article below to tell you in his own words his thinking and why he decided to write this book.  Thrive Through Self Care In chapter four of my new book, Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career, I cover a number of important aspects of self-care.  What I’d like to do in this stop on the blog tour is offer a framework within which we can consider self-care in the working environment.  The workplace has certainly changed over the past decade, along with the overall society, with more emphasis in many cases on offering a better balance between work and home time, along with greater autonomy in how and when we carry out our work.  This isn’t true in all cases, but in order to attract the top talent, even the top third perhaps, companies and organizations have had to reexamine the needs of younger workers and restructure the way they do business to recruit and retain the best individuals.  This shift in the structure of work is a potential boon for us all as we seek working conditions that are more suited to our individual needs. What do I mean when I say self-care?   Isn’t self-care just a tired, old phrase that’s largely lost any meaning in the rough and tumble world of work where one’s needs are many times subordinate to the needs of the job?  Self-care for highly sensitive people, or HSPs, implies a broader set of considerations of necessity because HSPs are more … Read More

The New World Of Work for HSP’s

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Personal Development0 Comments

Work is a challenge for highly sensitive people. At least it has been under the capitalistic economic system. As the center of gravity in our society shifts from an individualistic to a communitarian approach to life and work, a new world of work is opening up for HSP’s.  The Age of Accumulation is giving way to the Age of Sharing. For HSP’s, it cannot come soon enough. The Evolution View Of Work For centuries, we humans have created different societal structural models to support each step of our development. This process has been documented in the book, Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan, based on the research of Dr. Clare Graves into psychological identity. Dr. Graves was a psychology professor at Utica College, who conducted numerous surveys into how people perceived themselves. He found that people tended to define themselves in similar ways and that these identities correlated to distinct ages of human development: The Tribal Age, the Age of Empires, The Age of Religious Dominance, The Capitalistic Age, etc. One of Dr. Graves findings is that the psychological identities of each age were created to serve the societal model not the other way around. Dr. Graves also found that we have tended to alternate a communitarian age with an individualistic age. Recently we have been living in an individualistic age.  It has brought us indoor plumbing – nice –  and lots of pollution – not so nice.  It has enabled us to grow from a marginal species to a group of 7 billion.  Natural resources used to be plentiful; now we are plentiful and the natural resources not so much.  So now we have to go from an age of abundant resources to an age of abundant sharing. What The New Age Means For HSP Work How does this relate … Read More