Self Care for Sensitive Types
When it comes to self care, I wear a lot of hats. There are many reasons I pay a lot of attention to my own care. I’m Hypersensitive. Introverted. Anxious. Empathic. I’m a bit of a delicate flower. It’s not like I’m broken. It’s just that in the quest for discovering what works, I’ve come across many different angles, diagnosis, and names for my life experiences. Most of em’ I don’t even identify with, but I use whatever works to find solutions, communicate with others, and feel good. Somehow I end up traveling and socializing in spite of myself. A LOT. Here are some of the habits that I’ve cultivated to make smooth transitions on the go.
How-To: Survive Cons
Identify edges. needs. triggers.
While still in your safe place, before traveling, Identify the situations that bring you to your edge. Do you hulk out without food? Do you get cranky without alone time? Protein? Tally all the things that cause discomfort.
Identify resources & solutions
While still in your safe place, identify all the things you can give to yourself to spoil yourself on the go. The perfect protein combination, a feast for the airport, a daily commitment to sit alone for 3 minutes. Not sure? Google it. You’d be surprised how many of us struggle with the same issues while traveling. When you’ve got some ideas, take some time to imagine how you will feel doing these things. Check out the schedule of the event. Where is the down time? Where are the alone places? Both of these are available at the Readers Studio. If your event doesn’t have these things, make your own. When it comes to self care, it pays to be a bit of a rebel… and to bring earplugs.
Commit to your care
When you don’t have access to the right food, perfect your sleep. When you can’t alter the sounds around you, track your breath. Make a commitment to notice what you need and give it to yourself. Unless you pack minions, no one else will do this for you. *More about minions in another blog.
Go with the flow
Traveling is glorious smelly cramped invigorating chaos. Sometimes there’s too much to do without a plan. Sometimes there’s too little info for a plan to make sense. Do whatever feels right for your trip and let all expectations and rules go, except the things you need to avoid the HULK moment.
Prepare for the end
Frequent conference-goers will be familiar with a little thing called Con Drop. For the uninitiated, this is the biochemical roller coaster that follows after you are exposed to lots of new sounds, sights, and experiences. Usually the more you do, the more fun, the higher you soar, the bigger the fall back into mundane everyday existence. It will look different for each person but this can include lethargy, sadness, longing, and other unnameable emotions that seem remarkably similar to grief. It does wonders to keep yourself well fed, hydrated, and rested throughout your trip, but there are few extra things you can do to soften the blow at the end.
- Make connections with people at your event and make plans to check in with them at a later date. Let the level of contact be proportionate to the level of support you might need. It helps to talk to someone who is going through a similar process and understands.
- Make connections with people at home that share your interests with and check in with them at a later date. It helps to be able to have support and company back home.
- Connect with yourself before, during, and after your trip. Preparing for the trip in the way this piece describes sets you up for gentle re-entry at the end of your trip.
- During the trip set aside time to record your thoughts about each day, especially any lessons or inspiration.
- After the trip look at your notes, elaborate on them, follow up on little promises you might have made to yourself to try something new, or just remember what you did. Turn it into a reason to feel good and repeat it often.
The more you spoil yourself day to day, the less heartbreak you experience when fun comes to an end. (This works for relationships too btw.)
What are your self care rituals for travel?
How do you recover after a trip or conference?
Share this post with someone who might need it.
Even after the trip is over, it’s nice to know that everyone takes time to adjust and that the bleh feeling is normal.