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Travel Tips For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs): When Your Travel Companion Is Not Highly Sensitive

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Highly Sensitive Person”, it refers to about 20% of the population that possess a unique sensory processing trait which allows them to pick up more on subtleties in the environment, resulting in deeper processing and often being easily overwhelmed with stimuli. Most people exist on a spectrum of sensitivity.  (To learn more, you can visit this website: www.hsperson.com.) 

Travel is an essential part of modern life. We travel to see far-off family and friends, renew ourselves, get away from the day-to-day grind, serve others, and see the world.

For a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), travel can be inherently overwhelming. New smells and sensations can be both exciting and alarming.  Unfamiliar routines require extra processing or planning. Different cultural expectations create more emotional stress or material to process. Jet lag and time zones can mess up an HSPs sensitive internal clock.  It’s enough to make an HSP want to resign themselves to never leaving their zip code.

However, fear of overstimulation is not a reason for HSPs to avoid or limit travel.   In fact, I would argue travel is essential for HSPs in order to deepen and enrich their lives – but it has to be done in a way that is both nourishing and mindful of HSP qualities. Continue reading “Travel Tips For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs): When Your Travel Companion Is Not Highly Sensitive”

The Only App You Need If You Are In Recovery For An Eating Disorder (And It’s Free!)

If you are in recovery for an eating disorder, you probably know that it takes constant accountability and support to stay on track.  But what if you only attend therapy once or twice a week?  How can you be held accountable and receive support in between? Continue reading “The Only App You Need If You Are In Recovery For An Eating Disorder (And It’s Free!)”

4 Ways To Have A Body Positive (or Body Neutral) Summer

Every time I see a magazine showcasing how to “get a bikini body in 4 weeks” or lose weight for summer, I want to burn it. Not just hold a lighter to the edge, but to create a magnificent bonfire of body-shaming magazines and calmly watch them go up in flames.

Does this fantasy seem extreme?  Perhaps the imagery is, but the sentiment is not.  I am continually outraged how our society, culture, and media tells us only certain types of bodies (generally thin, cis-gender, and white) are allowed to be seen and showcased.   Body-shaming media perpetuates the kind of toxicity which breeds low self-esteem, body image issues and disordered eating in our population.  Unfortunately, the messages amplify in months leading up to summer.   Continue reading “4 Ways To Have A Body Positive (or Body Neutral) Summer”

The Gift of Illness

April was an extraordinary month.  For two very different reasons.

To start, the month was filled with an unusual amount of family visits.  Given that most of my immediate family and relatives reside in other states (Alaska, Florida) or countries (Europe, New Zealand), the ability to have all my weekends this month filled with family time was truly glorious and unprecedented. Continue reading “The Gift of Illness”

3 Ways to be an Ally to a Bisexual Person

“You’re just confused. Make up your mind!”

“You’re going through a phase.  You’re on your way to being lesbian/gay.”

“You can’t be happy with me, you’ll cheat on me with a man/woman.”

“You’re only saying you’re bisexual to appear cool.”

Have you heard these comments before? These are statements some bisexual people may hear from both straight people or gay people.  These are examples of biphobia, discriminatory and/or derogatory remarks, attitudes, or actions toward bisexuality and bisexual people as a group.  Biphobia can be seen in overt discrimination or seemingly harmless jokes or statements. Continue reading “3 Ways to be an Ally to a Bisexual Person”

How Finding a Therapist Can Feel Like Dating*

*Disclaimer: I want to emphasis that any kind of romantic relationship and/or sexual contact between a therapist and client is unethical, illegal and should be reported to the Grievance Board of the state the therapist practices in, if any misconduct occurs. I draw the parallel between dating and finding a therapist to bring some humor and levity to the sometimes  frustrating task of finding a therapist. 

***

Finding a good therapist, like finding a romantic partner, is not always easy.

However, in both cases, finding ‘the right one’ has a huge pay off when it comes to your overall sanity and well-being.

Surprisingly, there are many similarities between the initial stages of dating and finding a good therapist.  If you have ever gone through the modern dating process in the United States, you may already have some of the skills needed to find a good therapist.  (See, all those tedious coffee dates with strangers really did benefit your mental health!) Continue reading “How Finding a Therapist Can Feel Like Dating*”