6 Ways HSPs Can Alleviate Overwhelm Through Creativity

As a creative Highly Sensitive Person, I can easily get overwhelmed by all that life throws at me. When kids suddenly need to go to the doctor or a client needs a rush job, stress can overtake my landscape. But instead of allowing overwhelm to rule, I find that creative self-care can help me make it through any given week. Whether or not you have creative skills or you just enjoy creative expression, you can leverage creativity to calm your nervous system.

Here are 6 of my favorite ways to alleviate overwhelm through creativity:

#1 - Musical Expression

If you’re not a musician, don’t worry, you can still thwart overwhelm by incorporating music into your self-care practice. I like to listen to peaceful piano music, movie soundtracks, or Lo-fi beats while I work to keep focused and have a peaceful background track as I’m working. I’m also a musician, so when I take a break from my desk work, I find that expressing myself at the piano helps to reduce stress. Consider taking up an instrument, buying a singing bowl, or simply build some soothing playlists on a free service such as YouTube or Spotify. Try building music into your work routine as well as use it for breaks to calm yourself down.

Lauren shared an original song for a women's tea event of 400 at a local church.

#2 - Endeavor Baking

Baking is not as hard as some think it is. In fact, it's considered a stress reliever because it requires attention on the task at hand. I love baking and find that it is soothing and rewarding to take a simple recipe and a pile of ingredients in my kitchen to whip up something easy and satisfying. There are few things you can prepare in as little as ten minutes and completely please yourself (and potentially your family as well). Try an easy blueberry muffin recipe with only seven ingredients and you’ll give yourself a satisfying break and reduction in anxiety.

#3 - Try Painting

In our digital-all-the-time world, it can be refreshing to go back to basics and pick up painting as a way out of stress and into creative self-expression. A small investment in a table-top painting kit can make it simple to set up a small painting studio on your kitchen table, or in a corner. You can search for an image online to copy or watch a painting tutorial on YouTube for some ideas.

#4 - Creative Journaling

When I say creative journaling, I’m thinking about bullet journaling or combining the use of colored pencils or markers along with words in a lined or unlined journal. Of course, words are creative enough all by themselves, but the sky’s really the limit. You can make your journal full of self-expression, or keep it basic (like mine). I like to capture notes from podcasts, sermons at church, interesting things friends say in conversation, notes from therapy sessions, as well as my own thoughts and ideas–and poetry when I’m inspired. I find the more I process the world around me, the better I can decrease my stress and calm down when I get worked up or emotional.

#5 - Peaceful Coloring

I love the newer trend of adult coloring books. Pick a topic and you’ll find a coloring book available. Cats, dogs, Bible verses, inspirational quotes, paisley patterns, musical instruments–really you can find a coloring book on anything you like or collect. Leave one by the couch along with a set of colored pencils so that you can do something relaxing at a moment’s notice. You can even invite a child or spouse to join you in your relaxing activity.

#6 - Watch Something Funny

Lastly, relaxing on the couch with a funny movie or TV show can be a great way to unwind. While watching a show might not seem too creative, I find that engaging with something funny and laughing out loud is always good medicine and can get your creative juices flowing. Enhance the activity with some self-love by getting into your comfiest PJs and making some tea.

So what way are you going to creatively reduce overwhelm for yourself tonight?

Creative pursuits - big and small, serious and silly - can help HSPs when we feel anxious, overwhelmed, and drained. Creativity helps to reset the system and soothe the soul.

I wish you happy creative expression and joyful sensitivity. Be sensitive, be free.

Guest Contributor: Lauren Hunter

Lauren Hunter is the founder and editor-in-chief of HSPJourney.com, a website devoted to being a safe place for the HSP community. She's been a writer, poet, musician, and communication professional for over two decades. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. She is the author of two books and blogs at https://laurenhunter.net

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The Nickerson Institute of Integrative Health Training deeply appreciates the contribution of this article from our guest health professional. If you would like to submit an article for consideration, please visit https://www.nickersoninstitute.com/blog-contributor-form

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