A lot of us are both excited and stressed when attending events or celebrations! Below you`ll find practical tips to help you plan for your own enjoyment, as well as others. Sometimes we need to preserve our energy or recharge, and if you don`t plan for this and accept who your are the lack of energy will most likely affect your happiness and well being!
- Take a quiet day to yourself, if possible the day before an event and spend some time in nature, meditating, yoga or whatever helps you center and balance the best. This means that you need to set aside time and not delay your «to do» tasks, and possible ask for help in advance?Resting your nervous system prior to overstimulating events or socializing helps a lot! Your goal is to feel rested and restored before you enter that event and it is your job to take care of your needs so that you can be prepared.
- Allow yourself to be comfortable at the event. Wear clothes that feel comfortable to you or that bring back great memories! The last thing you need is to be uncomfortable or insecure with what you are wearing. Think soft materials that feel good and are not too tight. Enter the event hydrated and have some healthy food with a protein before going to the event so your blood sugar is stabilized. This will help with mood and energy.
- Be kind and compassionate with yourself. If you are nervous or stressed about the upcoming event how can you be kinder to yourself? Self-compassion is like a protective armor. If you are loving and supportive with yourself you will preserve precious energy points. Normalize and aknowledge the feelings you are having without judgment. They are real for you. Ask yourself what you might need to make it easier for you to attend and if possible agree with a friend or your partner to support each other during the event. If you are attending the event with a partner or friend, let them know what you need ahead of time. Some people do well to plan a check-in with each other too. It can be helpful to check in with each other to see how you are doing, and what you need. Teach your partner what supports you.
- Before you enter the event, practice the breathing technique that helps slow your heart rate and let your brain know to activate the calming centers. Close your eyes, and breathe in for the count of 5, and exhale for 6. The long exhale activates a calming center in your brain that de-activates the stress center. They can’t be activated at the same time so if you do practices that activate the calming center you will feel so much better! Do this up to 7 cycles at a time and you can practice this technique throughout the event as well to keep yourself balanced. Another option is to find a separate room or area, and spend a couple of minutes doing the power position where you stand with your feet apart, lift both arms above your head and just keep this position while you keep your big smile for about 2 minutes! This works as well!
- During the event itself, take some time to pause and check-in with yourself. If at all possible, step outside for 10-15 minutes or take a little walk every couple hours or as needed and take in the sky, the trees, plants, birds, or whatever is near you. This will help ground you and even give you some energy points back. Being mindful of nature’s beauty is very grounding. If you have no access to nature you can take some extra time to yourself in another room or even a bathroom if there are no other options. The idea is to do this alone so you have the ability to check-in with yourself. It is important not to feel guilty about doing this because you will drain a lot of points with guilt. You are practicing self-care and that’s a positive, empowering thing to do!While you are taking the time alone ask yourself three questions in a loving, compassionate and supportive way. How am I doing? What do I need? If I need support, who can support me? This gives you the chance to become conscious of how you are doing. Are you impacted by a particular person and might need to stay away from there energy space? Honoring your energy space is a priority. Have you eaten or are you staying hydrated? Taking care of your needs will help you stay balanced.
- You don’t have to visit the entire time with people or take on the roles as both the guest and the facilitator/host making sure everyone else is having a great time! It is ok and very necessary if you are an HSP (Highly Sensitive Personality) to take quiet time to yourself to re-balance the nervous system. You can arrive later or leave early! The people who really love and care about you want you to feel your best and you are the only person that knows what that would be for you. Simply saying, I’ve enjoyed my time here and so happy that I made it! Now I’m a bit tired and will need to practice good self-care by leaving a bit early (or arriving a bit late). Remember that people that have the hardest time with you not meeting their needs are the ones that you need to hold the boundary with the most. Your job is not to meet everyone’s needs. Also, if you are HSP you have a different and more sensitive nervous system than the majority so meeting your needs to be most in balance is truly what is your responsibility.
- Plan a quiet day after the event to decompress, process and restore. If you don’t do this you might be suffering for days trying to recover. It’s faster just to give yourself the downtime right when you need it. Nature time usually helps us recover the fastest. During the quiet day after the event give yourself some time for reflection and maybe write your thoughts into your «happy journal». What worked? What didn’t and how can you learn from this? What would you do differently next time? Who can help you? You can begin to develop templates in life that help you support your system the best when you are paying attention to your needs consciously.
When you take care of your needs everyone around you benefits and it supports healthier relationships when we are balanced and thriving. We don’t have to do everything everyone else is doing either. Creating your own “tools” in life is what will work better than comparing it to others. Remember, if you have a highly sensitive personality you have a more sensitive nervous system than up to 80% of the population so your needs will be different. You also take in more information and details than 80% so all those details need to be processed, followed by the proper rest and restorative time. It is very empowering to develop these life tools as an HSP, and you feel more in control too! When you are feeling balanced you feel better about yourself too, and that also preserves your energy!