Is this something you deal with? I know I’m not the only one. But, it’s not something that most people talk about. However, what I’ve found in my work with HSPs and sensitive, introverted women all over the world is that it’s actually more common to be light-sensitive when you are a more highly sensitive person in general. Does that make sense? Here’s what I mean:
Basically, as a highly sensitive person, sensitive introvert, HSP, whatever you want to call yourself, you experience the world in a more heightened way than most other people. This isn’t just about emotional sensitivity but about literally coming to your senses. And, how wonderful! Most of the time. When we are more in-tune when with our sense of taste, for example…food tastes better! How amazing! When we are more in-tune with our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, that can be a double-edged sword. And, usually, that’s what I’m focusing most of my writing for you on. However, you know I’m talking about summer self-care, introvert travel, and living your best life. So, I would be remiss to ignore this aspect of sensitivity that is so salient in my life and the lives of many HSPs I know.
What does it mean to be light-sensitive?
Now, I’m no doctor. I’m not a medical professional in that way. However, I can tell you that when faced with bright lights, a bright sunny day, the reflection of the sun on water or sand or snow, or a sudden brightly lit room, it takes me longer than most to adjust if I can even adjust at all. In fact, I have dealt with criticism and confusion from well-meaning family members and friends about this issue. Anyone else? Yes, I’ve been called a “vampire” by my loving family because of my preference to be in a darker or lower-lit room at night. And, this is not totally uncommon! I’ve spoken with friends, clients, and other highly-sensitive people who feel the same way. They’ve even been called vampires themselves!
Don’t get me wrong. I love a day at the beach. I love to experience all of the joy and light that life has to offer. And, it is important for my comfort and needs as a highly sensitive person to make accommodations in order to live a more fulfilled life in those situations. So, let’s talk about what I and others have found to be helpful in dealing with light sensitivity. I know this is not something that a lot of people talk about. So, please weigh in below by leaving a comment or reaching out to me to share more of your tips for dealing with light sensitivity.
HSP Tips for Dealing With Light Sensitivity
Choose Intentional Eyewear for Light Sensitivity
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer. But, stay with me. Because even I’ve learned something in talking with other people about this issue! As you know, a great pair of sunglasses will go a long way. So, while you may have your gas station throwaways for certain occasions, I would highly recommend investing in a high-quality pair of good coverage polarized sunglasses for everyday use. Get a case. Use it. Try not to lose them. Try not to sit on them. If possible, try not to let your children throw them across the driveway.
Did you know about this contact option?
This is where I learned about a life hack that has been so useful for one of my sensitive, introverted friends! Did you know that they make contacts with transition lenses? How cool is that? Yes, I’m talking about the same technology that turns prescription eyeglasses into sunglasses. So, even people with contacts can have this extra layer of protection when going about their day-to-day life. Note, even for the friend who shared this with me, those contacts are not enough in the sun on bright days. But, they make going through life in brightly lit rooms, using computer screens, moving between light and dark, and however else she needs to live, much more comfortable.
Give Yourself Rest Time and Breaks
Some people with light sensitivity need to limit themselves to 3-4 good, productive hours in “regular lighting” a day. This could be fluorescent lighting, bright sunlight, or just fully lit spaces. Then, you may need to rest your eyes or be in a darker space for a while. If this isn’t possible due to your 9-5 job, be sure to take your lunch break in a dimmer space and give yourself the evening in a more comfortable setting. You could even see if your workplace would accommodate a lighting swap or small change. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Especially if it might make you more productive and happy. One of my friends got a lamp for her office with a “daylight” bulb that made a world of difference. Plus, she used blue light glasses to deal with the eye strain from her computer.
Speaking of computers…
Did you know, that you can often change the screen settings on your devices? Dig into your options and see what makes these easier for you to tolerate! Then, adjust your computer, monitor, TV, and phone screen settings to a point that is comfortable for you.
Finally, Protect Your Sleep
Invest in a quality sleep mask. This can make a world of difference for you! It could be thin, thick, weighted, cooling, etc. Whatever is most comfortable and soothing for you. You can use this while traveling, while sleeping at night, napping during the day, or even during that lunchtime break to give your eyes a rest. Blackout curtains can also help your space fit your light-sensitive needs. Especially, if you are one who wakes up earlier than you’d like when the days are longer. What are the other tips that work well for you? How do you help give yourself the space you need to be comfortable, even in brightly lit places.
WANT TO LEARN ABOUT THE RADICAL INTROVERT COACHING PROGRAM?
Tips like this aren’t enough to fully support you in living your best life. I’d love for you to read more of my writings for HSP and sensitive introverted women. As an experienced therapist and sensitive introvert, I am uniquely able to help support YOU, wherever you are. This coaching for introverted women program is different from other classes, therapy, and coaching you may have participated in before. We are going to be actively designing a life that is truly yours, amid the harsh reality of our fast-paced world. Whether you are in Florida, California, Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Oregon, Missouri, South Carolina, somewhere else in the United States, Canada, or even the United Kingdom and beyond…I want to help you THRIVE. To get started: