As we finish up 2015 with a sudden snowstorm, I’d like to share a short but essential YouTube talk by Elaine Aron titled The Highly Sensitive Person

In this eight-minute video, Elaine talks about the trait of sensitivity and makes recommendations for HSP self care. Specifically, she goes into detail about the amount of rest and downtime HSPs need to thrive.

If you are like me, you may react at first with incredulity to some of her suggestions: eight to ten hours of sleep each night? A day completely off each week, just to putter and ponder and sleep? A full week of rest every three months? Who can afford that?

But if you too are a highly sensitivity person, please do give serious thought to Elaine’s recommendations, even if they appear to be out of each for you at the moment. Elaine literally wrote the book (books, actually) on high sensitivity. And although she humbly insists she did not set out to be the spokesperson for twenty percent of humanity, she is a powerhouse of HSP wisdom and experience. Elaine makes a powerful case for sensitive people to get the rest they need.

Lack of rest has negative effects beyond physical fatigue

The more I sat with Elaine’s recommendations about rest for sensitive people, the more I realized that this level of self-care is the missing piece between me and true, sustained well-being.

This well-being obviously includes the physical kind. But pondering Elaine’s words, I realized to my surprise that ample rest also has a profound effect my financial well-being. Why? Because I’ve observed that if I don’t consciously plan to get the “down-time” I need, I unconsciously arrange to get that down-time—by energetically pushing away work. Clients mysteriously cancel. Classes don’t fill up. My income goes down. When I get the rest I need, my schedule and my bank account fill back up again.

That’s all I’ll say for now: this week’s Listening Post is short as I am (drumroll) taking the week completely off to rest. This includes the post-family-visit rest I wrote about last week, and more: it’s my first one-week-off-per-quarter-to-rest week. This feels radical to me, and really, really exciting.

Let me know your reactions to Elaine’s suggestions. And please accept my warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, wonderful 2016.