8 self-care practices for Very Sensitive people.

old hands of the elderly giving a red heart
© weerapat1003 / Adobe Stock Images

Growing up an empath comes with it’s own set of very specific Things that Happen to You that don’t seem to happen to other people. A non-exhaustive list includes:

  • Crying at the sight of other people crying, even when you don’t know what they are upset about.
  • Feeling the tension of someone across the room and actually becoming anxious on their behalf.
  • Physically carrying the stress of yourself, your friends, your family, the world, etc., in your neck, shoulders, belly, back, and everywhere.
  • Waking up in a panic in the middle of the night with a strong knowledge that Something is Wrong Somewhere, with few clues as to what the Something is or how to fix it.
  • Pinpointing Something that is Wrong and attempting to fix it without success for hours, days, weeks, decades.
  • Etcetera, ad nauseam.

Being a Very Sensitive person is an exhausting lot in life.

Don’t get me wrong here- sensitivity comes with numerous beautiful benefits attached to it, such as unusually close relationships and the ability to truly share in moments of sheer joy when good things happen to the people you love. But it also can be super challenging to bear over time. Sensitive people are more likely to absorb the pain of others around them, and are also more likely to deny themselves their own needs and wants in favor of focusing in on meeting the needs and wants of others. When this becomes habitual, the Sensitive among us sometimes turn to behaviors that are less than optimum to numb themselves to the painful emotional stuff they are carrying (their own and everyone else’s). Disordered eating, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, obsessions/compulsions, etc., can all manifest when sensitivity is not tempered with a healthy and consistent dose of self-care.

How to care for yourself if you are one of the lucky Very Sensitive few? Some suggestions:

  1. Go to therapy on the regular. This does not mean you are mentally ill or have some big Problem that needs solving; therapy is a space to process all that weighty emotional stuff so it doesn’t bog you down.
  2. Share your own stuff with others, as much as others share their stuff with you. This means letting them in on the big secret that you are imperfect and sometimes have feelings, too.
  3. Know that you cannot fix All the Things. Even though this is Very Hard, practice letting go of the things that do not belong to you.
  4. Talk to yourself. Every day. Check in with what different Parts of you want and need, and prioritize meeting those wants and needs first, before you try meeting the wants and needs of people around you.
  5. Do the basics every day. Even when others need you, even when there’s a lot to do, even in times of stress. This means eat well, sleep well, see friends/family/loved ones, have fun, and seek balance. Every day.
  6. Give your body support if you tend to hold emotions physically. Yoga, acupuncture, reiki, hiking, and getting a massage are all great ways to help your body release held tension and stress.
  7. Don’t accept negative messages about your sensitivity. These might sound like “You’re being overdramatic” or “stop making such a big deal out of this”, or might look like eye rolls or laughing at something that is important to you. If people do this to you, they are intimidated by your sensitivity and are shaming you for it,  and I encourage you to run in the opposite direction.
  8. Set big, firm, line-in-the-sand boundaries. If someone’s emotional stuff is too much for you and they are intent on having you carry it for them, set boundaries. Be consistent and confident about them. If you have to, end relationships with people who routinely ask for more than they give.

Being a Sensitive person is a rarity and a gift, but it requires a certain amount of intentional maintenance to be both Sensitive and Well. I encourage you to try to prioritize just one new method of self-care, and notice how it serves you, emotionally and physically.

…If you enjoyed the content of this post, please consider following my blog, reblogging, and/or sharing on social media (twitter, linkedin, facebook)…



Useful Information

Some frequently asked questions and useful answers.

Online therapy works in the same way as in-office therapy, but is done online, similar to a Skype or FaceTime conversation. Clients are able to have sessions from home, work, or any other convenient location. We meet with clients using a HIPAA-compliant secure platform.

Online therapy allows you to work with us from the comfort of home, or any private location of your choosing. For some, the screen provides an added layer of comfort that makes the challenging work of being vulnerable in therapy a little easier.

Online therapy also creates the unique opportunity for you to work with us without the constraints of proximity! The practice was born in Keene, New Hampshire, but has since grown to service clients anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Florida, and New Hampshire.

Online therapy is a great option for clients that travel for work, for college students that go home during the summertime and do not want a break in their sessions, and for anyone with a challenging or inconsistent day-to-day schedule. It is an excellent choice for clients seeking a therapist with a particular specialty that they are unable to find support for locally. Some of our clients report that online therapy makes the vulnerability element of therapy a bit less intimidating.

No. For some clients with more complex symptoms or safety concerns, having a local therapist that is readily available is important in case of crisis or the need for a higher level of care. Online therapy is also a challenge for clients that do not have access to a private, quiet space to be “in session” for the hour, or for those that do not have adequate internet connectivity.

There are several reasons why we don’t accept insurance. The most important are:

Confidentiality. Insurance companies require that your information be shared with them in order to pay for services. We prefer that clients’ information is kept as confidential as possible.

The pressure to diagnose. Insurance companies require that clients are given a mental health diagnosis in order to pay for therapy. We have found that many clients benefit from therapy, but do not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Not using insurance allows clients to access therapy without being given a mental health diagnosis.

Flexibility and freedom. Insurance companies dictate the length and number of sessions they will authorize, as well as when a client is no longer eligible for the benefits of therapy. Because we do not work with insurance panels, you and we can collaborate to determine your individual needs regarding session length, frequency of sessions, and when to terminate therapy.

While we do not accept insurance, many clients choose to submit receipts to their insurance companies to receive reimbursement via out-of-network benefits. We are happy to provide these receipts for you! Please check with your insurance company for details on your benefits.



Read some of our latest testimonials to see why others put their trust in us.

Ready To Get Started?

Get the support you need from anywhere with online therapy.

Enter your email address for special offers, new services, resources and the latest blog posts right to your inbox.