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Are Highly Sensitive Persons Having Trouble Navigating this Pandemic?

Updated: May 12, 2020

A meandering forest path leads to a bench where Highly Sensitive Persons can find calm.
Walking on a forest path helps calm Highly Sensitive Persons.

Over the last couple months, the world as we know it, has changed rapidly due to the outbreak of Covid-19. As an empath, a highly sensitive person or one who just feels out of sorts but not sure why, you can feel quite worn out by it all and not know how to emotionally, mentally, energetically navigate this changing environment. You’re not alone.

Do you tend to feel things more intensely than others?

Some of you may not know that you are an empath or highly sensitive person. There’s some differences. Briefly, an empath is someone who feels or picks up deeply another’s angst or pain as if it were their own. This can be done in several ways: emotionally, physically, intuitively to name a few.

Highly Sensitive Persons feels more deeply than the people around them and may be very intuitive. They also tend to react more emotionally, concerning themselves more deeply about friend’s or colleague’s problems. Of course, there are many descriptors and qualifiers of both an empath or a highly sensitive person, but I think you get the idea.

For me, it's been a bit of Journey so far . . .

At the beginning of March, our family had to cancel our trip to France and England due to Covid-19 and other reasons, leaving us all feeling genuinely disappointed. The whole situation was very anticlimactic.

With the cancellation and inundation of very fluid world health news, as an empath, highly sensitive person and healer, it was sensory overload.

Experience has shown me that to navigate through the process, apart from the cancellation logistics, emotional, mental and energetic/spiritual sides had to be addressed, too.

So how did I do it?

Merely, taking the time to recognize what was going on within my realm of influence was the first step. How were family members reacting and how was I, in turn, reacting to their energetic/emotional response. I admit, it took some time to look at my initial emotional response, how it was affecting me energetically, and what I needed to do to support myself and those around me without projecting onto them.

Here are some helpful tips that I’ve used that have proven useful:

Self-care is for empaths and highly sensitive persons is at the top of the list. Enjoy even just one thing that bring happiness or joy each day. Buy a plant or some flowers, plant a garden when the soil warms. Read a good book. Meditate.

Spend some time with a trusted friend and talk things out. Write in a journal. Be creative in starting a craft/art project. Try doodling.

Limit caffeine consumption especially if it affects your sleep and/or nervous system.

Avoid going to the place of ‘what if’. Analyzing and over-analyzing can end up on a murky merry-go-round that is endless and has no positive results.

Spend some time outside, “every day”! Being outside helps to clear an empath's and highly sensitive person's head, and helps ground and balance. Promise yourself this one thing – sunshine, rain or wind for a least 15 minutes a day. Take a good walk absorbing the new beauty of Spring is even better.

Do other things that help you be/stay grounded; meditation and other relaxation techniques.

Try to be present and know what you can and cannot control. Perhaps purchase a crystal that helps you stay grounded such as petrified wood, hematite, smoky quartz, red jasper.

Maintain a comfortable routine. *This is especially important for children as it will provide stability and predictability.

Clean out something. This could be short term if it’s just a drawer but it might lead to larger fun projects like changing up a room colour or décor.

If you have a spiritual path, it might be a good time to clean or tidy your altar, think about what doesn’t serve you anymore, set new intentions.

Find something to be grateful for each day, even if it’s a small thing as the budding of a new blossom you saw on your walk. Tomorrow, it'll likely look different. It also helps to de-stress.

Disconnect from TV, radio, Facebook, news feeds or really limiting intake time regarding Covid-19 and solely rely on what the BC government and Dr. Bonnie Henry advise on their daily updates. We’re then getting the ‘correct’ information to navigate virus health outcomes.

More helpful tips

Here is a link to the British Columbia government’s Health Link about the coronavirus including other links for more information. You can also call 8-1-1 if you are feeling unwell and need urgent and immediate correct information and advice.

If you’re interested in more information about Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, here’s a couple of books to read:

· The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff, MD

· The Highly Sensitive: How to Stop Emotional Overload, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Energy by Judy Dyer

Most importantly . . . Trust that this too will pass. You've got this!

Please try to navigate these coming days in gratitude and with calm. Be kind to one another.

Tender Heart Healing will remain ‘open’ as long as it’s reasonable and safe. I’m here to support you in your healing journey.

Be well. Take care.


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