5 Tips for Sensitive People to Thrive at WDS


You’re coming to WDS 2019! Congratulations on giving yourself the gift of this incredible week-long adventure. It is guaranteed to be full of community building, true camaraderie, resource sharing, and the invitation show up & play full out!

Here are 5 tips to support my fellow sensitives to make the most of your WDS experience.

What do you mean by “sensitive”? Good question. We are all sensitive and intuitive; however, some people are more impacted by the energy of the people and places around them. Other terms for this are being a Highly Sensitive Person, an empath or of a “sponge-like” nature.

While these tips will be especially useful for sensitives, they are great self-care tips for all.

Room Keys

Get your own room key, house key, or door code. Whether you are sharing a hotel room or bunking at a friends place, make sure you have what you need to find some private quiet space. This can be great for a short re-set nap, some quiet time for processing information, or grounding/clearing yourself from the day. If you are sharing your lodging, have a conversation with your roomie about any needs you have for quiet time, alone space, or a desire to ground together and check in at the beginning/close of your day. **Saturday and Sunday afternoons there will also be the Reflect and Resist Lounge available (in the Newmark venue, I believe).

Body Check-in

Sensitive people can hit a level of overarousal before others in their group. How do we know if we’re overstimulated and need a few moments to slow down or catch some quiet time? Our body tells us! A body check-in (i.e.: a body scan, asking your body how it feels, etc.) is a great thing to do during bathroom breaks, at the beginning of a day, at meals, or when in between activities. If you aren’t sure how you’re feeling, this is a great reminder to take a few extra minutes to ground before choosing what is next for you.

1:1 Time

WDS is a haven for exceptional people. No joke! It’s so easy to feel like there is simply and joyfully not enough time to connect with all the people you want to. Breathe in this abundance. What a great “problem” to have! Then, remind yourself that focusing on quality over quantity can be a gift. See if there are 1, maybe 2, other people you want to connect with more deeply. See if you can find some time to nourish your connection outside of the larger event activities. As the days unfold, don’t be afraid to ask for small group or 1:1 time.  

Be Mysterious

Find some quiet time each day to go off on your own. This can be retreating back to your room, grabbing some solo time and walking the park strip or finding a small coffee shop and buying yourself a treat. Be mysterious and playful in the ways you honor the solo time you need to process the richness of this experience as it is happening. In the past, I’ve “pushed through” thinking that I’ll do this when the event is over, but always end up feeling more depleted and ultimately feeling less connected to my experience as a whole. Being that person that quietly sneaks off for quiet time an hour a day can do wonders.

Celebrate belonging!

Many of the tips above are about creating quiet spaces to process, reflect, ground, and recharge. But WDS is all about showing up fully when we are together! When you are in the wealth of community spaces at WDS, notice how everyone wants to know the true you. Share your story, your insights, your humor, your gifts, your desires, and your brilliance! I invite you to feel a deep belonging here. Shine your unique light.

No matter who you are or how your natural character traits thrive best in community spaces, I believe that WDS is all about celebrating our unique differences. Love who you are and let’s celebrate this tremendous life adventure…together!

Leah Walsh is hosting a meet-up on Thursday from 10:15-11:15 am called Brave & Tender: Community Connections & Resources for Introverts & Sensitive People. The meetup is at Central Library (yay Library nerds!) in the US Bank Room.