Edited to add: Dealing with grief and loss is an exceptionally difficult and important topic right now. Upon the publishing of this blog post, the United States is currently grieving the murder of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, TX. I bring that up not to sadden you further but to acknowledge that, at this moment, these feelings of grief and loss are salient for so many of us in the United States, Texas, and specifically in the Latinx community.
Whether you have kids or not, we were all kids once. And, many of us grew up in a time when it felt a little safer to be at school. Not all of us, in fact, many of my clients are in the age range to clearly remember the Columbine school shooting and the ripple effect that tragedy had on communities across the United States. Intruder drills are now just as standard as emergency drills for fires and natural disasters. Elementary school students are taught the principles of “Run, Hide, Fight” and literally tested on them regularly. Their incredible teachers are asked to become actual superheroes in order to care for the little lives they are already entrusted to shape academically and socially. And, parents are often unsure what to do or how to talk about it.
Now, I won’t spend more time here, but I do believe that it is worth acknowledging all of this as we discuss the HSP experience of grief and loss. Thank you for visiting and reading on. I am here for you, my dear.
Navigating Grief and Loss as an HSP in Our World
Wow…The world is a lot right now. Things feel heavy. They feel hopeless. And, they feel like too much to handle. And honestly, that’s on a good day. Then, add all of the personal stuff we each have to navigate on a daily basis and it’s a wonder we even get up in the morning.
COVID, the war in Ukraine, plus the general increased violence and upheaval in our world have brought us face to face with grief and loss in a more globally acknowledged way than many of us have ever seen. That said, some of us are dealing with the very real fallout of personal grief and losses amid worldwide sorrow. When we are also highly sensitive, HSP, and/or sensitive introverts, this weight can be physically and emotionally crippling.
As a highly sensitive person, you already know that the harsh realities of the world hit us more acutely than most. We have spent some time defining HSP, we’ve explored what it means personally to be a highly sensitive person, and we’ve even taken a dive into the deep end by discussing dating while HSP. So, why would I move into dealing with grief and loss as an HSP now? It’s simple, really. We have all, in one way or another, experienced grief and/or loss in our lives. And, sadly, the human experience dictates that we will continue to while we are here. So, let’s figure out how to cope.
Grief and Loss Coping Skills for HSP Women
Grief and loss are extremely personal experiences but have the “benefit” of being universally understood. At least, to some extent. So, while I cannot claim to know exactly what is best for you in your individual journey (yet…though, I’d love to get to know you and discuss personal introvert coaching), I do have some tips. Let’s explore three of the things I’ve found helpful for HSPs and introverts dealing with grief and loss.
1. Find Your Support Community
Now, I realize this might sound a bit strange coming from an introvert coach. Why would I immediately tell you to go “people”? To be clear, I’m actually not. I am simply asking you to be sure you know where they are. How to reach them. To have that touchpoint in your grief and loss journey so that when things feel totally hopeless and utterly overwhelming, you know you’ve got support. That alone can make a huge difference for a highly sensitive person. When your internal survival systems are triggered, you can feel even more alone and isolated. So, knowing you have a support community just a call, click, or visit away is a major safety net.
2. Cultivate Your Space and Work Through Your Senses
We’ve talked before about having what you need around you when traveling as an introvert, and even when engaging with your extroverted family. But, this principle of comfort and familiarity is also extremely important when grieving. Things can very quickly feel out of control, especially for HSP women. But, if you can physically see, touch, hear, smell, and taste things that feel good to you, your senses are literally flooded with positive associations. This helps calm your nervous system and allows you to find a more relaxed or stable state. So, literally come to your senses! Work through each one to ground your body in the present moment so you can feel more physically and psychologically safe.
3. Take Your Time to Grieve
Whether you are grieving because of a death, a trauma, a major personal change, or a professional transition, it takes time. Now, you know that the world has its own set of timelines and official bereavement leave amounts, etc. But, you need to take the time that YOU need. Maybe you can’t fully check out like you want to, but carving out your personal moments of solitude and silence can be extremely helpful. Don’t feel rushed back into the regular routine. This was a big change in your world. You get to cope. You get to heal. To have the space and time you need to feel like you can engage in life on your terms. Hear me when I say that there is no perfect timeline for everyone. Your perfect timeline is exactly that…yours.
CONSIDER COACHING FOR SENSITIVE INTROVERTED WOMEN WITH ENID DEJESUS
Even though things feel heavy right now, it is not truly hopeless. As an HSP coach, I would love to help you figure out what moving forward means and looks like for you. You can learn more about my radical introvert coaching program with this free, Radical Introvert Audio Training “How to Find Peace in This Fast-Paced World”. When you’re ready to take action, I make it simple to book a free, 30-minute consultation call with me. I would be truly honored to hear from you.