HSC: unwinding highly sensitive children. 12 Tips!

In this blog I would like to share 12 tips to unwind your highly sensitive child (HSC) when he or she is overaroused.

Overarousal occurs when your HSC:

  • Has spent too much time in one space with many people
  • Was to be found in that space without parental guidance or someone who is familiar to the child
  • Has too much activities after one another
  • Has not eaten on time or enough
  • Has been exposed to new surroundings and/or activities
  • Has experienced or witnessed injustifiable behaviour

I have gathered the tips below based on my own experience raising two highly sensitive children. My daughter has turned zeven this summer and my son is nearly 21 months.

  1. Let them play outside

Playing outside frees the mind, body and soul. It relaxes. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like; feel the wind, the rain and the sunbeams on your skin. Children are still so close to nature. Let them experience nature whenever they need it. The moments they need it, is after school or another social activity. Especially schools where children need to sit tightly behind their desk to do their chores make a good reason to release your children in nature. I’ve seen to many parents taking their HSC directly from school to another activity. They need time to unwind before taking up another activity. Even running around at the school’s playground will suffice to release some of the school’s impulses they took in.

2. Have an after-school-routine

After having runned around with friends we go home and my daughter gets something to drink and a snack. Whenever I have the time and energy I prepare a homemade snack. She truly appreciates that kind of gesture. Especially the taste. Help them organize their school stuff and perhaps get them to dress differently in order to change the school-energy into being-home-energy.

3. Make them feel loved

When highly sensitive children are overaroused they can get really nasty. They don’t want to eat what you serve, they don’t want to listen, they are grumpy, silent or they only want to sit behind a screen to watch cartoons. They can get into each other’s hair. Make them feel loved. Put extra care in the food you offer. You could put different colourful and healthy snacks on one plate. Make it a feast. Hug them or keep your distance depending the childs wish, but stay close so they can come to you. In case of the one bothering the other: take them apart, but don’t scold them. They were only expressing their needs in a negative way. Instead give them what they need: drink, snack, hugs, reading to both of them, sing, dance.

4. Giving space to anger

When your highly sensitive child is angry; starts screaming or throwing things, the best thing to do is stay calm and have an open attitude. Acknowledge their anger. Make the anger feel welcome, but be clear about your physical and emotional bounderies. They are not allowed to throw things at you nor verbally hurt you. Tell them they are allowed to feel angry, but not to project the anger onto you. Bring it back to the core emotion instead of punishing them for having hurt you.

5. Accept their pace in sharing

Highly sensitive children need time to digest the experiences that have hurt them or made a huge impression. Many times my daughter told a full story on how she felt the same evening, the following day or even two days after. It was difficult for me to accept her pace. Especially when I noticed she felt really bad about something. But from experience I’ve learnt to not ask about it further when she doesn’t respond the first few times.

6. Shower or bathe

This is a very important tool to unwind overaroused highly sensitive children. Most children have a positive reaction towards water. My children drop everything they are doing when I mention the word “bath”. For a while, when my daughter came home exhausted from school we explained to her that showering and bathing would be part of the after-school-routine. It helped her to wash away negative energy of children teasing other children, when injustice happened in her point-of-view, when friends didn’t listen to her or get rid of the warmth she had experienced in classrooms.

7. Do something creative

We, parents, are always busy and we want the best for our children. I believe we could definitely opt more and plan quality time with our children. Perhaps you could have your dinner already prepared so you can spend half an our colouring and crafting. Children thrive when they feel you are fully present.

8. Prepare dinner together

Get your highly sensitive child participate in preparing dinner. It’s a healthy way to disconnect from digital life and get your body and senses moving. Reconnecting in this way also boosts your HSC’s selfesteem. Be sure to give your HSC physically and verbally space and room to express her/his creative cooking eye. On the verbal aspect; stimulate their initiatives and avoid critisizing their actions. Make it a time to remember. Put your HSC’s favourite music on. Dress up: cooking hats and skirts.

9. Give a massage

Giving massages is next to showering and bathing a relaxing way to get back into your skin. Our children imitate everything we do. My daughter also likes to give massages so one of us (parents) is the lucky one to receive or her little brother. Our son has picked up this practice too. Another great way to get your HSC connecting to their body is holding their feet, hands or cover their ears with the palms of your hands. When I hold my daughter’s feet she instantly starts to yawn.

10. Alone-time

Actually we didn’t have to stimulate alone-time with our daughter because she initiated this for herself. She loves to read. Reading helps her to unwind. She also likes to dress up in her room and comes out to show her different outfits. But sometimes when she is whirled up too much we stimulate her to do something else. Something which helps her to release energy instead of taking in more information.

11. Balance social activities

Two birthday’s in a row is not done in our highly sensitive household. In addition, when we attend a birthday party we stay a maximum of an hour and a half. That’s quite enough celebratory impulses to unwind afterwards. One children’s birthday and an afternoon-family visit is too much. Receiving friends during the week around dinner time is also not done. Only if friend(s) and family blend in our household it’s doable. By that I mean that they take up a chore or give attention to one of the children.

Recently my daughter did a classical ballet try-out and after class she was fuelled up with adrenaline, grumpy and she couldn’t come up with normal phrases to indicate what she wanted. Based on all these signs I had to give back to her that she wasn’t ready to take up an after-school activity. She agreed. To acknowledge her need to play we agreed that we would plan play-dates when she feels energetic enough to enjoy playtime with her friends.

12. Plan recharching time

Continuing on the previous tip: yes, we try to plan as much as one after-school social activity during the week for my daughter. This means at least four after-school days are spend recharging for the next school day. My son gets his daily social boost with his dad in libraries, supermarkets and wherever day go and play. During the weekend it also comes down to mostly one social activity (spending time with family and friends) for the kids so we have one day left to recharge and do what we feel like doing on the spot. Sometimes we (parents) have more than one social activity, but one of us stays with the children and spend time in a slow way.

Hopefully a couple of these tips will help you unwind your highly sensitive children. Now let’s hear it from you. Please leave a comment below to share what your HSC parenting challenges are and what works for you to unwind your HSC.

Let’s continue to cherish our sensitivity!

Advertisements

Stress: changing my fear into love

It’s autumn holiday in The Hague. We are very much enjoying the free time. I love to sleep in, eat when I feel like it and as a family we are reorganizing the house. Our project is to move into the biggest bedroom. This one was split in half with a wall in between when I was pregnant with our youngest. Now almost 21 months.

The sole purpose of this wall was to provide our children with their own space. Turns out our youngest had his own plan. He turned our plan upside down by sharing continuously that he didn’t want to sleep by himself. Because of his resistance we got into the benefits of co-sleeping again.

The big house change engineered new streams of positive energy through all rooms. Our daughter moved back to her original room and is very happy with more space and her privacy. We got ourselves a new (secondhand) closet and mattresses. We sleep on cheap light wooden beds and quite expensive mattresses filled with all kinds of natural material.

This morning we woke up to a new closet looking into the contents of it, because the doors are still waiting to be put in their place. We made it to Ikea for extra shelves and storage. Unfortunately the decision to accompany my partner caused a bit of stress. The hick-up was the time-frame. We should have left earlier for Ikea so that my daughter and I would have more time to arrive at our theatre performance.

Now I was emotionally challenged to change my fear into love. The fear of running late and missing the performance into love; telling our friends that we would be later and calling the theatre to ask if they would let us in. They would if we wouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes late. This meant we would be at least on time to see the whole lot of the performance. This helped me to get back into a loving state of mind. Luckily we were in our seats five minutes after the performance had started.

All together I felt stressed for only a few minutes. I’m happy everything turned out fine. But for a next time: I will listen and act upon my initial feeling of staying home with my daughter to have lunch. Afterwards we would cycle to the theatre and be there at least fifteen minutes aheads of time, because to me that is part of going to the theatre: taking time to enjoy my quality time with my daughter and absorb creative storytelling.

HSP: share your sensitivity

Share your sensitivity!

Be the highly sensitive person you are, share how you see the world through your senses and soul’s mission. Are you ready to take the next steps with your emotional and spiritual development?

The people I coach are the writers, singers, visual artists, speakers, entrepeneurs, top-level managers, psychologists and people working on different levels and positions in organizations with all one thing in common: their strong desire to be at peace with themselves. Your inner peace is your starting point, it’s from where you fly of to share your vision to contribute to a better world.

A big challenge for super creative highly sensitive people is to live of their talents. How to succeed in a world with so much creative competition? Why would I improve my skills in photographing? There are so many great photographers out there, I don’t think I’ve got the talent to squeeze myself into that world. And what about setting foot on ground of actors and comedians?

It’s hard work. It doesn’t pay the bills, it’s actually eating up my savings.

Let me tell you how I think about competition and what success is all about. If you think about it, there is no competition. If you keep on focussing and enjoying what you most like to do, you won’t even have time and energy to look at the competition. It’s about building your world one step at a time. It’s not about what others do. It’s about what you want to achieve in your own pace.

And about success: write down your own definition of success and live by it. To me it’s waking up in the morning and looking forward to what the day will bring. Among other things: laughter of my children, joking with my partner and father of my children and coaching and rebirthing highly sensitive people.

Let’s say goodbye to the struggling-through-life mentality and change this into let-love-flow attitude.

We are all naturally self-confident. Close your eyes, breathe, feel how your mind struggles to surrender, but slowly it will surrender in order for your body to be heard. Because you want to live life to the fullest. You want your voice to be heard. And you definitely want to wake up each day knowing that you are contributing to a better and more loving world. Mind, body and soul will be aligned in the process of emotional and spiritual development. Inner peace will surface and you will feel who you are, what you want and how you will achieve this.

It’s so much easier to lead a creative lifestyle when you have tapped into that abundant resource of inner peace and self-love.

For more on Orchid of Life HSP Coaching & Rebirthing, please click here to visit my website. 

Are you interested in an introduction session? Click here for more information…

HSP: how to get unstuck. 3 Tips!

IMG_2160

Today’s session with a highly sensitive young woman inspired me to share the following tips on how to get unstuck on a physical, mental and emotional level. I pointed out the physical level first, because this lady experiences that feeling of being stuck through her body. It feels like she is floating above the ground, her head is full, loss of concentration and finding herself in a social setting getting all nervous and insecure. Actually it was her asking me after a coaching and rebirthing session: ‘Can you tell me how to get unstuck when life brings me to this uncomfortable physical state again?’

I shared the following with her:

1. Cry

2. Take a shower or a bath

3. Sit in front of a fire

That feeling of being stuck comes from energy which is whirling inside of your system, but the energy can’t find a way out. You need to help that energy to get out of your system; your head, your body. That energy could be sadness, anger and fear (or a good mix) that you are holding onto, because you’ve never learnt how to express and let go of these emotions.

Cry
Well, first of all, what I’ve learned in my coaching practice is that many highly sensitive people find it difficult to cry. Even when they are at home alone. It could be out of shame of being heard or having to acknowledge that something or someone touched you. It could be out of fear, because you don’t know what will appear next when you actually start crying. Panic, hysteria, powerlessness, loneliness. I know one cool fact on fear: it’s not real. (not when you are standing in front of someone who is about to hit you, but the fear which tortures the mind)

Even when you think you don’t cry easily, there could be moments that you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so. For example when you are watching a movie that really gets to you or a song or while reading a passage in a book. Perhaps you have a partner or a dear friend in which you confide. When you feel stuck, reach out to what works for you so you can give that energy a little push to leave your system.

Apart from other people’s emotions, your own, energy from the land and buildings, highly sensitive people are moved by so many things such as beauty, arts, kindness. Feel your emotions and let your voice be heard. Keep the energy moving!

Take a shower or a bath
Lots of highly sensitive people pick up and absorb different emotions and energies, but somehow they are living their lives from out of their heads; planning, organising, thinking about what to do next. Residing mostly in your head instead of your body signals that most likely you are driven by fear. A question which pops up along these lines is: ‘What do I feel?’

Root of this problem is to be found in what trauma’s highly sensitive people have been through. One of the family dynamics that could be the cause of how troubled you feel now about what you feel versus what others feel is the following situation.

When you are a child you need parental guidance to feel what is yours and what is theirs. When parents are going through their own issues and matrimonial issues this puts a huge weight on the shoulders of the most sensitive child in the family. This child is conscious of the tension and stands up to help out, guide their parents or sisters and brothers. While the child is playing this rol of mediator he or she won’t have enough space to develop their inner emotional world. That is to say: they are always on the look out for what needs to be done instead of feeling how they are wounded by the family problems.

Being on the look out is simply being afraid of what’s next. What fight, discussion will arise? I know I took a deep dive in psycho land by sharing this with you, but this is how it is. On a daily basis we might not know why we feel stuck, but taking a trip down memory lane will give you answers. But to keep my tip low profile, when you feel stuck, but you can’t put your finger on it, then I would like to encourage you to take a shower or a bath. It cleanses your energetic body, it brings you back in your body, back in the now. If you need several showers or baths in one day, just do it.

Sit in front of a fire
Same goes for sitting in front of a fire. The fire cleanses your energetic body. Moreover it calms down your mind. Just simply stare at the flames and you will feel the effect. If you don’t have a fire in the house, you could buy a bunch of candles. Put these close to each other and let these flames do the work. If you’re lucky to own a garden or have friends with gardens you could buy a fire pit and make a fire outside.

Of course there are many other ways to get unstuck: get out of the house to get fresh air and take a long walk, write, manual work, sports, yoga, massage, crafts, meditate and simply sit down and breathe. In this blog I’ve put forward ‘crying, taking a shower or a bath and sit in front of a fire’ because up until now people I guide in my coaching practice were so happy to receive them. I hope these tips will work for you too.

Website: Orchid of Life ~ HSP Coaching & Rebirthing 

Are you curious to what a coaching & rebirthing session can do for you? Make an appointment for an introduction session. Click here for more information. 

I feel anxious and impatient about the house search

I am guiding highly talented people. They are highly sensitive and are in the process of fully embracing their sensitivity. It’s a shame most of them have a hard time acknowledging their talents. I am happy to help out guiding their emotional development. This week there was one lady in particular who experienced a major breakthrough during a coaching and rebirthing session.

Picture this: she is sitting on the couch and telling me they have to move again. It will be their third time in The Hague. She and her husband are expats. She didn’t smile, her facial expression was quite neutral. Since the previous weekend they started their house search together. After the weekend she continued the house search and set aside her own things: applying for jobs, an online course and being kind to herself as part of her path towards living from her talents. She didn’t look happy with her change of focus, but reassured me she was calm and positive towards finding a new home. I listened, took it in, but didn’t believe her.

When one is trapped in limiting beliefs and behaviour at some point you will feel trapped.

Instead of asking any further I invited her to lay down on the air mattress. Start breathing, start aligning with your body and soul. Start awakening your emotional body, because it will tell the truth.

When she was like 15 minutes in the conscious connected breathing she felt a huge pressure on her chest. It felt like an elephant stamping on her chest, she felt anxiety. She started sharing: I feel anxious and impatient about the house search. My husband is working full time and because of this I feel I need to do more, I feel like a 90% responsible whereas this could be a lot less if I would share more of my thoughts and feelings with my husband. It’s me, he is really nice and thoughtful and tells me to focus on my own things.

But I feel selfish if I would do so, focusing on my own things.

I stimulated her to pick up the conscious connected breathing. After 15 more minutes she felt lots of tension in her arms and hands. It hurt her. She asked if she could stop. Of course. And then, while feeling her body it sank in: that voice in her head, it’s not her own, it’s her mother’s voice telling her she is selfish. (and even more: that she needs a lot of attention, that she makes problems out of nothing, she is difficult)

From the moment she realised this, the tension slowly, but steadily left her arms and hands. She felt so relieved.

The coaching and rebirthing sessions I guide are both emotionally intense; it provided the space to process deep-rooted pain, and practical. This lady left the session with homework: involving her husband more in her world of thoughts and feelings regarding the house search, a good talk would do the work so she could focus and enjoy her own work again.

If you’re interested in an introduction session, click here for more information and to make an appointment. 

Rebirthing: I want to like myself

flowers

It was during our second session. She said: ‘I have visualised this breathing session over and over again. The thoughts popped up were: I have to do my utmost best and I want to stop breathing. The second part was on repeat. It would be her first breathing session. She was afraid, dead scared. At the same time she was curious and looking forward to the experience.

I instructed her by telling she should share her fear based thoughts with me when these would pop up. Also I wanted to hear about the physical expressions inflicted by the conscious connected breathing.

She started breathing on an air mattress.

Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling and exhaling in circles. She continued and she was motivated. At first she felt a tingling sensation all over her body. Shortly after a headache came up at the left side of her head. She felt an ache on her back and a bump in her throat. She continued breathing and the headache got less while another physical expression appeared: there was a kind of a cramp in her face, she felt her mouth tightening.

A thought appeared as a reaction to her “small mouth”: she picked on it, she found it stupid that her mouth felt tiny. From here on I guided her towards releasing the emotions in relationship to the physical expressions and how she picked on her small mouth. I can’t remember the exact words, but they worked: tears rolled down her cheeks.

After the breathing session we spoke about what she felt. She was sad, but hugely relieved: now I know why I always feel I am not good enough. I don’t like myself.

I want to like myself.

Also read: Rebirthing: standing up for yourself 

Life Coaching: becoming the person you are

18953244_800771370086977_4756983988250450524_o

Photo by Hans Jongman

This morning I had an overseas WhatsApp call. It was a short and powerful conversation. It was about the process of unbecoming, about discovering one’s own energy. It was about the body screaming out being happy of breathing in fresh oxygen, life energy. The process of becoming the person you are is an emotionally heavy and uplifting one. When the person is absolutely convinced of the emotional process guiding him towards his inner self than there is a lot of courage and trust to process emotions such as deep-rooted fear, anger and sadness. And you need courage. Lots of it.

Especially when you’re alone in a country far away from your family and friends. This status quo is exactly the one which will help you distinguish your parent’s energy from yours. It this the voice of my mom or my father? What do I want? What do I feel? When you haven’t felt yourself for years, that feeling of your own energy pops up in unexpected ways. It will feel awesome. Surprising at first, but awesome. After the first feelings of amazement you definitely should embrace it with open arms. Hold it, cherish it, it’s your own energy. Fantastic.

Let the pain surface so joy can replace it.

Do you need guidance with your current emotional matters? Experience your first life coaching session, click here for more information and to book your session.