A dear reader recently said this about her experience in COVID-quarantine:
“I was so anxious about it all at first, but not having to ‘be’ anywhere and the experience of having no expectations (on me or others), it is like life is what it is ‘supposed’ to be, almost! I know because I have recorded my daily headaches for 20 years and they have cut in half the past two months – down to five from 10 or 11. So at least something ‘good’ has come out of the awfulness in the form of greater awareness and less stimulation for me.”
One thing that jumped out at me about this was the word “expectations”.
These “expectations” are not just a figment of my dear reader’s imagination. Our society is built for non-HSPs. Our society collectively expects everyone to be able to tolerate the amount of stimulation that the less sensitive majority can tolerate. And when it comes to personality type, our society rewards extraverted, sensing, thinking, and judging behavior.
And these expectations – the pressure to aspire to the non-HSP ESTJ ideal – often lead those of us who don’t fit the mold to literally drive ourselves to burnout or even illness.
Just so we can meet society’s expectations.
But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. If you are a highly sensitive person, I’m here to tell you that society’s expectations stem from ignorance and you do NOT need to be beholden to them. If you are an introverted or intuitive or feeling or perceiving personality type, you do NOT need to twist yourself this way and that to fit someone else’s onesided and shortsighted ideal.
If you are a highly sensitive person or if you are a less common personality type, your life is supposed to be whatever feels good to YOU.
And because there aren’t very many examples out there of what this might actually look like in practice, I wanted to share with you what MY typical day looks like. Not that I expect you to want to copy my day exactly, but I want to inspire you to start thinking about what your life might be like if you were to give less weight to society’s expectations.
A Day In The Life of A Highly Sensitive Introvert
I start my day with two plus hours of solitude. I exercise, shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast alone – focusing on my inner world and giving my mind space to process.
I do like to touch base with my husband and kids and we all run into each other while fixing our breakfasts. If my kids ever go back to school again, a portion of my morning will be devoted to making sure everyone’s dressed and out the door in time for the bus.
But for the most part, mornings – from about 6am to 8:30am – are introverting times for me.
And guess what happens when the work day starts? Well, more solitude of course!
From 8:30am until noon is my most productive and focused work-time. This is when I write articles and create lessons and other materials for my courses.
In pre-quarantine days, I had the house to myself and complete quiet, but these days my concentration does get interrupted some by kid noise. So I often escape to my bedroom, get all comfy under a soft blanket, and type furiously on my phone. (That’s actually where I’m at right now!)
Then after SIX hours of mostly turning inward, I’m usually ready for some interaction by lunch. That’s when my whole family meets in the kitchen again, prepping lunch and hanging out and eating for about an hour.
In the afternoon, I work for a couple more hours. This is my non-focused work time when I do tasks that don’t require as much concentration. I plant myself on the living room couch with my laptop and work in between dealing with kid stuff or deal with kid stuff in between working – depending on the day. 🙂
In the late afternoon, I like to have some “quiet time”. Quiet time for me is literally quiet in that it’s meant to be time with very little noise or any kind of stimulation. But it’s also “white space” in my planner. Space for me to just be and not have to accomplish anything. Usually I end up reading and often one of the kids will curl up with me with a book. Depending on how I’m feeling, quiet time lasts from one to two hours.
In the evening, the party animal finally comes out!!!
Just kidding. 😉
My weekday evenings tend to be very low key too. Even in non-quarantine times, there’s typically only one potential excursion, which is to do a 15-minute dance studio drop-off for my girls. Otherwise, my evenings consist of cooking dinner, eating, hanging out with the family, and sometimes a house project or a bit more work. Oh, and at least a little bit of TV has to be worked in every night!
And that’s it.
I don’t do commutes, errands, offices, meetings, or busyness.
I do leave my house, but only occasionally and only when it really interests me.
I do interact with people other than my immediate family, but not every day and not unless I really want to.
Quite frankly, my day-to-day routine has changed very little as a result of the pandemic.
And I realize that a lot of people would find my lifestyle boring or abnormal or even unhealthy.
But what other people think of my lifestyle doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that my life is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.
Calm. Quiet. Meaningful to me.
P.S. Are You Interested In Exploring YOUR Ideal Day And How To Make It A Reality?
If your life doesn’t feel like exactly the right fit for you, you might want to check out my free video class. You’ll learn:
- The SECRET to creating a lifestyle that maximizes happiness and minimizes stress.
- The simple 5-step process for turning your life around even if it seems way out of reach and you have no clue how to get started.
- The 3 critical mistakes that keep people stuck in life and how YOU can avoid them.
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