I didn't know I was a highly sensitive person until I became a mother.
We were living in a small city with a lot of noise. Regular, everyday noise didn't bother me.
Loud, thumping bass, however, was the first thing to start setting my sensitivities into high gear.
Then factor in the intense, often psychotic feeling of serious sleep deprivation that goes along with taking care of twin infants.
That's around the time I started feeling the effects of being highly sensitive.
Every high pitched or low pitched noise made me cringe. Too many things happening at once in the same moment can also bring on a sense of overwhelm.
And, some of my sensitivities have only gotten worse over time rather than better.
The sounds don't go away. The intense feelings don't just evaporate into thin air.
But, creating all of the tools in The Abundant Mama Project help immensely.
In fact, without practicing my own daily tools, I quickly end up in Land of Bitter and Sour.
That's when I started rising early to take time for myself before my day began.
That's when I started creating my own self-care plan that involved writing and other life exercises to keep me grounded and centered each day so I could be strong and calm as a mom -- even when I faced sensory overload.
Recently -- upon realizing that both of my daughters are also highly sensitive beings -- I began really reading about this phenomenon and how it impacts ME, as a mother.
Are you a highly sensitive mom?
It's pretty simple. Here are some of the common traits of a highly sensitive person:
- Overwhelmed easily
- Aware of subtle changes in environment
- Sensitive to pain, noise, smells and touch
- Desire to withdraw into solitude often
- Overwhelmed by light and sounds
- Extremely conscientious to the point of being insecure
- Easily annoyed and frustrated
- Avoid violence and confrontation, including on TV and news
- Changes and transitions are very challenging and anxiety-inducing
- Easily overwhelmed by too many options or choices
If any of these traits stand out for you and you're realizing you are highly sensitive ... congratulations!
You've been given a gift. A gift of being able to see, hear, taste, smell and feel at a heightened state.
And this also means you may feel more overwhelmed in your life as a mother than you wish.
Children are filled with chaos, disorder, loud noises and the constant barrage of too many requests, demands and ideas. Children naturally bring conflict and challenges. When your child cries, you feel so much more than sadness. You may feel their pain in your skin or in your stomach. You long to ease their sadness.
And when you cannot you may feel like the world is caving in on you and you feel dizzy, overwhelmed and even angry.
Being a highly sensitive mom can disrupt your inner compass to being peaceful, playful and present as a mother and a woman, but not if you learn how to care for yourself all day in the midst of the chaos.
I have shown hundreds of sensitive moms over the years how to soothe themselves when feeling overwhelmed by the sensory overload of motherhood and how proper self-care keeps feeling nourished and replenished even in our hardest moments.
This post was published originally on The Abundant Mama Project website.