Did you recently learn you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
Knowing you’re an HSP is the first step towards rediscovering yourself, understanding how the trait affects you, and learning to use it to your advantage.
This post will share ten free things to do when you discover you’re a Highly Sensitive Person. The resources under each entry are also free, so there will be no spending on your part.
But First, The 5 Steps to Thriving as an HSP
In The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, Dr. Elaine N. Aron shares five steps an HSP needs to go through to flourish in their trait.
The five steps or essentials are as follows:
- Know and understand that your trait is real
- Reframe your childhood and life experiences
- Heal from past trauma
- Create a lifestyle that honours your HSP trait
- Meet and connect with other HSPs
The following ten free things to do will help you start this 5-step journey towards thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
Granted, you may need further assistance from a qualified professional to complete all five steps. But because you’re new to the HSP trait and are unsure where to start, use the resources in this post as a guide.
- 10 Free Things to Do When You Discover You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
- 1. Educate Yourself
- 2. Educate the People in Your Life
- 3. Know and Understand Why You Struggle
- 4. Find Support in an HSP Community
- 5. Keep Learning about the HSP Trait
- 6. Identify HSP Experts to Learn From
- 7. Create a Self-Care Routine Specific to Your HSP Needs
- 8. Come Up with Healthy Coping Tools
- 9. Share Your HSP Knowledge with Others
- 10. Explore Additional Resources
- Bonus Thing to Do: Subscribe to Our Newsletter
- Final Word on 10 Free Things to Do When You Discover You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
10 Free Things to Do When You Discover You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
1. Educate Yourself
Many Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) feel relief and validation after discovering the HSP trait. But knowing you have High Sensitivity is only scratching the surface.
You need to understand what it means to be an HSP if you’re to leverage the strengths of the trait. And that’s where educating yourself comes in.
Free Resources to Help You Understand the HSP Trait
- Watch this 45-minute video by Alane Freund – an International Consultant on High Sensitivity (ICHS)
- Explore this website by Dr. Elaine N. Aron – the HSP researcher who gave the trait a name.
- Watch this 12-minute video by Julie Bjelland – a Psychotherapist specializing in High Sensitivity.
2. Educate the People in Your Life
Once you understand what it means to be Highly Sensitive and feel seen, it’s time to let your loved ones, colleagues, and professionals understand you in this new light.
You can use the tips in this post to set up a meeting and share what you’ve learned about being an HSP. Or, if you’re dreading having to explain yourself, you can use one of the letters below.
An HSP Psychotherapist wrote these letters to help HSPs like you.
Free Resources to Explain High Sensitivity
- Give this Letter to your loved ones (friends, siblings, parents, spouse, colleagues, etc.)
- Give this letter to your therapist or another mental health professional.
- Use this letter for hospital appointments and procedures.
3. Know and Understand Why You Struggle
Every HSP has strengths and struggles, just as with other personality traits. However, there are particular struggles that HSPs share.
These include sensory overload, anxiety, sleep issues, people-pleasing, lack of boundaries, overstimulation, etc.
Take the following free classes to understand why these issues are common among Highly Sensitive People and what you can do to avoid or reduce their impact.
Free Masterclasses to Understand Your HSP Struggles
- High Sensitivity and Anxiety – Learn why you struggle with Anxiety and how to reduce it.
- Sensory Overload and the Highly Sensitive Person – Learn what causes Sensory Overload, how to prevent it, and how to reduce it.
- How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Why it’s Essential for Wellness – This is for you if you struggle to set boundaries.
- Are You Anxious or a Highly Sensitive Person? – Learn three reasons why HSPs are often overwhelmed and how to shift.
- Being an Empath Today – A class by Judith Orloff sharing the struggles and strengths of Empaths in today’s world.
4. Find Support in an HSP Community
Meeting and connecting with other HSPs is one of the crucial things to do when you discover you’re Highly Sensitive. And the reason is simple – it reminds you that you’re not alone.
The worst thing about feeling misunderstood is having no one to share your feelings with. In a supportive community of HSPs, you can connect with others like you and find comfort in knowing your problems are not imagined.
Unfortunately, many HSP communities require a monthly subscription fee to join. But there are also Facebook groups you can join today to meet and interact with fellow HSPs.
Free HSP Communities You Can Join Today
- Highly Sensitive People (Facebook)
- Highly Sensitive People Support Group (Facebook)
- Highly Sensitive Refuge (Facebook)
- Elaine Aron and High Sensitivity (Facebook)
- HSP Men’s Group (Zoom meetings twice a month)
If you prefer communities outside Facebook, check Are You Highly Sensitive, the Sensitive Empowerment Community, The Haven, and the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe. Please note: While these three are astounding HSP communities, they require a monthly membership fee.
5. Keep Learning about the HSP Trait
Every day, I learn something new about the trait of High Sensitivity. And now and then, research emerges about different aspects of Sensitivity.
That’s why learning to thrive as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is a journey, not a one-time class.
So, keep educating yourself about the HSP trait by reading blogs, listening to podcasts, engaging in communities, and following key players in the HSP community.
Free Educational Resources for the HSP Trait
- Explore this Guide to 20+ HSP Podcasts
- 19 Blogs and Websites for HSPs.
- 13 Newsletters for the Highly Sensitive Person
- Highly Sensitive People to Follow on Instagram
6. Identify HSP Experts to Learn From
When people who have walked in our shoes share their experiences and expertise, we feel seen, heard, and understood.
And when these people hold our hands through obstacles, we feel safe and supported.
That’s what HSP experts do for you as a Highly Sensitive Person.
They remind you that:
- you’re not too sensitive
- you’re not imagining your pain
- your Sensitivity is real
- you’re not overreacting
- you can use High Sensitivity to your advantage
- you’re not alone (20-30% of people are HSPs)
And many more.
6 Free Places to Find HSP Experts
- This page on Dr. Elaine N. Aron’s Website
- This directory on The Empath’s Diary
- The directory on Julie Bjelland’s website
- The Highly Sensitive Humans Directory
- This HSP Support Directory
- This directory on the HSP Tools website
7. Create a Self-Care Routine Specific to Your HSP Needs
Having all these things to do at your fingertips can be overwhelming. So, this is a great time to create a self-care routine to help overcome overwhelming situations like this one and those to come in the future.
As you will learn when educating yourself, Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) share four characteristics: Depth of Processing, Overwhelm, strong Emotions and Empathy, and Sensing subtle details.
These elements make HSPs highly susceptible to overstimulation, which leads to sensory overload and constant exhaustion. To manage these effects, an HSP needs to practise daily self-care.
And that’s where the self-care routine comes in.
Unfortunately, I don’t have resources to help you establish a daily self-care routine – because every HSP is unique and requires different strategies.
But below, find HSP-approved ideas to try.
Free Self-Care Ideas for HSPs
- Journaling – Morning, mid-day, or evening, whichever works for you. (This book by Lori L. Cangilla will help you understand and start journaling as an HSP)
- Taking a long, warm bath – or shower.
- Blocking out time to relax and recharge – preferably in a dark room.
- Take a long walk in nature (morning, evening or mid-day).
- Sitting quietly in a park, forest, or another tranquil environment.
- Add yours.
8. Come Up with Healthy Coping Tools
When self-care routines aren’t enough to avoid overstimulation, the next step is using the knowledge and tools you have to calm your nervous system.
Why the nervous system? Because it’s responsible for many of the issues you struggle with as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Or at least, it’s the root cause.
And what do you do when you know the cause of your problems? You address them head-on to avoid complicated consequences.
Many of the resources we’ve already shared will help you put together coping tools that work for you. And in the resource below, learn what coping mechanisms other Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) use.
Free Resource to Help You Set Up Coping Tools
9. Share Your HSP Knowledge with Others
Learning about the Highly Sensitive Person trait on Dr. Elaine Aron’s website changed my life. I look back to that day, grateful for the clicks that led me there.
The process was physically and mentally exhausting, especially digesting all that new information. But that day began a journey that would change my life forever.
And I believe you feel the same too.
So, imagine being able to share that feeling with others like you. Imagine being the reason someone stopped feeling so alone and misunderstood.
How would that feel? Amazing, right?
I created HSP Tools to share my knowledge of the trait with other sensitive people. Every day, I publish an article or resource on the website and share it on Social Media.
This work is my way of sharing what I know with the world so it can reach a fellow sensitive person out there and change their life. And now, I invite you to do the same.
You don’t have to start a website or directory like I did. You can use your platforms to create awareness about the HSP trait and advocate for its recognition.
Talk about it on your Instagram or TikTok, in meetings, at home, and wherever you have an audience.
10. Explore Additional Resources
Just as learning about being a Highly Sensitive Person doesn’t stop, the resources available for Highly Sensitive People are endless.
This post shares free resources to help you through this list of things to do when you discover you’re Highly Sensitive. Their selection is to fulfil that purpose.
However, more HSP resources exist to help you stop surviving and start thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
The resources below will help you find what you’re looking for. Or, at least, they will point you towards more discovery.
P.S.: The additional resources include free and paid options. Pick what you need, leave what you don’t.
Where to Find Additional HSP Resources
- Dive deep into Dr. Elaine N. Aron’s website
- Explore this vault of HSP Resources by Julie Bjelland
- Visit this website by Alane Freund
- Search our directory of HSP resources
- Read this guide to discover HSP books
- Read this guide to find online courses
Bonus Thing to Do: Subscribe to Our Newsletter
I hope you enjoyed this list of free things to do as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSPs). It’s full of resources you can use today or bookmark to try at a later time.
If you wish to get more resources like these or learn about HSP events, news and research, subscribe to our newsletter. It goes out every Tuesday and Saturday.
Final Word on 10 Free Things to Do When You Discover You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
You may feel relief and validation when you first learn about being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). But what comes after might surprise you if you’re not careful.
This list of 10 free things to do when you learn you’re an HSP will help you avoid falling into a pit of confusion, regret, and wishing you had known sooner.
It will help you move forward in a way that honours your HSP trait and helps you thrive to your fullest potential.
And remember, the information in this post will help you find resources and experts to help you through the five steps to thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person.
Here’s a recap of the five steps and how our list of ten things to do can help you achieve them.
- Know and understand that your trait is real – educate yourself and others, keep learning, and understand the cause of your common struggles.
- Reframe your childhood and life experiences – find HSP experts and explore available HSP resources (courses, coaching programs, therapy sessions, etc.)
- Heal from past trauma – find an experienced HSP practitioner to guide you on best practices.
- Create a lifestyle that honours your HSP trait – Establish a self-care routine, put together coping tools, learn daily techniques to regulate your nervous system, etc.
- Meet and connect with other HSPs – Join an HSP community. This ultimate guide to HSP communities shares more information to help you decide.
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