Self-Care Guide for Highly Sensitive People


Why should you read this book?

Self-Care is critical for highly sensitive people to thrive personally and professionally. Being sensitive doesn’t mean you are weak, broken or less than someone who is not as sensitive as you. Our world hasn’t looked favorably on sensitive people in the past but that is changing as they realize the value we bring to society and the world. Think of people like Steve Jobs, Jung, and Alanis Morissette. There are many Souls like yourself who have come to help humanity to ascend to a higher level of consciousness. They, too, struggle with the world’s dense energies and not fully knowing how to find and live their best potential. I’m here to guide you to make the transition smoother while you boldly step into your potential and expand your light and love.

In this crazy and intense world, we need leadership and innovation that evolves and transcends our current humanitarian and planetary challenges. It is the Sensitives, Wayshowers, Starseeds, Game Changers, Healers, Creatives, Innovators that need to stand up and speak out and lead in all areas of life. We are here to ascend old limiting perceptions and paradigms into a new world that is expansive, healthy, creative, compassionate and free for ALL. And this work starts with YOU first taking care of yourself. Ascension is not an easy journey and requires energetic shifts mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Did you know that there are highly sensitive animals? You’ve probably had one or two yourself. Science has found that the sensitive animals that help keep their species alive because they can see, feel, and sense what the non-sensitives ones can’t– like leading them to food or water when they’re in a drought.

You came into the world able to perceive what 80% of the population cannot. Your sensitive traits and those of the other 1.4 billion HSPs’ serve to support the rest of humanity and the world. Highly sensitive people are the world’s innovators, creatives, leaders, therapists, doctors, coaches, teachers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, problem solvers, change agents, HRs, healers, philosophers, and philanthropists that are all here to help others find their Divine Expression.

When I have a complimentary discovery session with someone, they often ask, “Am I alright?” I say: Let’s celebrate you! You are a brilliant, juicy mess! This is how I see everyone: brilliant is your connection to the Divine; to gifts, talents, skills, wisdom, intellect, and heart. Your juiciness is how you show up and express yourself, whether it be your style, presence, character, or lifestyle. Your mess is what you came into this lifetime to learn and grow from by rising above society’s limited programming and beliefs. Everyone is brilliant, juicy and messy! You are not alone and yes, as highly sensitives we don’t like to be messy. (Right?) With some reframing from this work, you’ll fall in love with this idea of yourself.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that your highly sensitive traits are SuperPowers.  You pick up on things that others don’t (such as empathy, intuition, and an acute awareness of your environment) and you know what to do to solve problems and innovate (you deeply process information, have a rich inner world, intuition, and Divine wisdom,) making you the SuperHeroes that the world needs right now.

Here is the problem: your Superpowers and your health don’t function well when you don’t care for yourself. You have to create harmony in your personal and professional life with a daily practice that supports you in embodying your best mind, body and spirit, while removing the kryptonite from your life.

Your nervous system is a finely tuned instrument. This doesn’t mean you are “high maintenance” in a bad way, it means you take in and process more information deeply than other people. You’re a Ferrari instead of Volkswagen; you have to be handled more consciously and require higher-grade fuel and care. To be your best requires you to respect and cherish your mind, body, and spirit. You need to put yourself first by taking care of your needs before helping others. Your life is not about sacrifice or struggle!

Appreciating your highly sensitive traits will allow you to appreciate the SuperPowers you have in order to have a positive impact on humanity and/or our planet. You can’t lead, heal or create when you are traumatized, overwhelmed, stuck, or out of control. Your health and well-being in mind, body, and spirit must come before helping others. In fact, by doing your work, you automatically help others without spending any time with them.

In this book, I’m going to give you some of my favorite and powerful energy tools to help you feel more connected, healthy, fulfilled, abundant and happy. A lot of the tools will be on YouTube so that you can follow along with me. If you desire more knowledge, I’ll direct you to a blog post, audio, or another resource expert. You can also call me for a sixty-minute complimentary discovery session.

Why listen to me?

My research into personal power began in third grade when I went to the library and checked out a book by Freud and a book on Witchcraft. I was interested in learning how someone had influence over someone else. I started following my psychic and intuitive interests at a very young age– I could feel when people weren’t being real or had disruptive energy. I didn’t know anyone else like me.

As an HSP who suffered without any knowledge about “being highly sensitive,” I feel it is my responsibility to help you understand what it means to be highly sensitive and how to care for your precious self. Self-care looks like: having alone time, setting a boundary, grounding your energy in nature so you’re not blown around by other people’s energy like a leaf in a hurricane, tapping on a deeply hidden belief and neutralizing the emotions around it, or using energy medicine so you can move forward, feeling empowered to live your greatest potential while helping others do the same.

I grew up nurturing others in order to not feel their pain and to feel needed. I was taught to take care of others before myself. All of my value was wrapped up in taking care of others so that I would feel connected to others and wouldn’t be abandoned. I was so insecure and self-conscious that I would often speak quickly so I wouldn’t take up anyone’s precious time. I didn’t ask for help because I didn’t want to appear weak. I felt as though I was “not enough” and worked really hard to overcome that feeling by becoming a perfectionist. I didn’t like it when others were in control and I felt out of control– it made me anxious. I felt things unseen, knew things without knowing how, and felt different from others. I cried at happy and sad commercials, as well as whatever else moved me.  People made fun of me. I tried to make myself small and blend in, I hated standing out or having to speak in front of people. I was very shy. I made other people feel safe and taken care of even though I wasn’t feeling that way. I was excellent at solving problems. I kept trying to fit in, to blend in to feel safe and connected, and yet I never did feel safe, unconditionally loved, supported or free to be me until I took control of my life and cared deeply for my own well-being and success.

Any of the above sound familiar?

The research behind this book is from my 17 years of teaching and coaching highly sensitives from all walks of life and all over the world. The tools and resources in here come from thousands of hours of learning and mastering my learning in a variety of fields:  relationships, health, financial programming, abundance, happiness, career, perfectionism, confidence & self-esteem, the mind/brain, energy medicine, healing, and manifesting, all of which have accumulated into this self-care guide and my website.

I wrote this book so you can learn how to manage your mind, body, and spirit in this exceptionally intense time while creating a thriving life and career.  You don’t have to suffer or shut yourself up in your home and feel stuck, overwhelmed and alone. The world needs you now, and if you feel that calling like a lot of us, you’re ready to evolve your life and live your fullest potential. As a sensitive, you can transform today’s challenges into tomorrow’s celebrations with your gifts and wisdom.

Don’t worry– you are not alone and you have plenty of helpers!

love. live. matter.

Marilyn O’Malley


Are You Highly Sensitive? A Self-Test


Answer each question according to the way you personally feel.
If the answer is a strong true then it is a YES, if it is not very true then it is a NO.

·       I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
·       Other people’s moods affect me.
·       I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days, into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy
·       I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
·       I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong  smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens close by.
·       I have a rich, complex inner life.
·       I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
·       My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
·       I have a strong intuition even though I may not use it
·       I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
·       I tend to know what needs to be done to make people comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
·       I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
·       I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
·       I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.
·       I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
·       I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
·       I feel other people’s feelings and take them on as my own
·       As a child, I was labeled sensitive or shy.

If you answered 12 or more most likely you are Highly Sensitive.
If you answered less than 12 but they are very strong you could very well be highly sensitive also.


Daily Practice



Empathy is a SuperPower trait of highly sensitive people. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

As an HSP, empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, allows you to pick up on other people’s emotions (unseen energy) and pain of the collective conscious. Whether it’s pain or love—you feel it deeply. You are able to be more aware of the inner and outer workings of life, giving you the potential to pick out what is not working to find a solution to problems. You are a better thinker and decision-maker because you feel and care deeply without needing to see it. This ability can be especially useful if you’re a parent, teacher, coach, therapist, leader, counselor, healer, innovator, pioneer, designer, or any other profession dealing with the connections of others.

Self-Care for an Empath:

  • Train yourself to stop reading or picking up on other people’s energy all the time. Find neutrality!
  • Give yourself breaks. You don’t have to isolate to do this.
    Take a moment, close your eyes, call back to you all your energy that is scattered into your future and into your past.
  • Clear other people’s energy frequently, like cutting cords. Say to yourself-“Anyone’s energy that is not mine: go back to your owner!!!”
  • Create moments of peace and calm throughout the day.
    Ground yourself in nature, animals, meditation, energy work, movement or in water (shower, bath, swim) at least daily.
  • Frequently, check-in with yourself to see what you are feeling and need. Give yourself what you need.
  • Check-in and clear any feelings, emotions, and pain that is not yours
  • Say to yourself or out loud, “Anyone’s energy that is not mine go back to your owner NOW!”
  • Put up an energetic screen/boundary to help you keep other people’s energy at a distance and not take it on as your own.
  • Don’t make other people more important than you, it’s disempowering. Set healthy boundaries.
  • Practice compassion and rigorous self-care with yourself.


Empath, Are You Feeling Crazy? 
3 Easy Tools to Clean Overwhelming and Unwanted Energies
5 Essential Daily Energy Exercises for Highly Sensitive People

Setting Healthy Boundaries


Definition of boundaries

As described in the video below with Brene Brown, the definition of boundaries is communicating “what is okay and what is not okay” to others in your life and honoring them daily. Boundaries = respect; they say “here is what is okay with me and here is what is not.” This means holding others accountable for honoring your boundaries.

What happens to HSPs with no boundaries?

  1. You lose yourSELF, you’re not as important as other people…their feelings are more important than yours
  2. You feel angry and resentful about meeting other people’s needs before your own
  3. There is no accountability to yourself or for others
  4. You shame, blame and manipulate others to get what you need and want
  5. You feel sick or not like yourself because you take on other people’s energy (depression, anger…)
  6. You feel stuck or not in control of your life, always busy, with never enough time
  7. Success is fleeting personally and professionally
  8. You’re a people please, you feel you don’t matter

Why set boundaries as a HSP?

  1. You will be healthier in mind, body, and spirit
  2. You will have more time and energy to follow your passions and purpose
  3. You will be more creative and less stressed in your life and business
  4. You will model for those around you what it means to be successful and have healthy boundaries and relationships
  5. Boundaries empower you and others to show up more authentically
  6. They provide self-validation that you matter and that you are worthy
  7. They help you value your time, mind, body, soul and energy
  8. You will feel more compassionate and forgiving. You’ll fully understand that we’re all brilliant, juicy messes!

Compassion is a belief that we are deeply connected to each other which is rooted in love and forgiveness.

Empathy is a skill set to bring compassion alive; it is the knowledge of how we can communicate deep love for people in a way that lets people know they’re not alone.
It is feeling with them.

Empathy without boundaries is not empathy.

Compassion without boundaries is not genuine.

Vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability.

Ask yourself these questions:

What boundaries need to be in place for me to stay in my integrity?
Am I taking on other people’s energy and problems that aren’t mine?
What would your work/life look like if you blamed less and had more respect for boundaries?
What am I tolerating that is draining me?


Create boundaries from the answers to the above questions.


3 Easy Steps To Create Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries with Brene Brown

Learn How to Have Healthy Boundaries as an Empath


You have a highly creative and complex inner life. Overstimulation in HSPs is the result of living with an exceptionally finely-tuned central nervous system. This means that a highly sensitive person can perceive minute stimuli in his or her environment. Sometimes it can be a wonderful thing to experience things more intensely… but sometimes it can also be rather taxing, especially if we’re not aware.

Not only do we process information around us more thoroughly, but we also have an extraordinarily creative mind that can run wild if we don’t reign it in either a positive or negative direction. Our imagination works very quickly and can have us dead or in bliss in a few seconds. We are easily influenced by the people around us and our environment with music, visuals, conversation, and someone’s expression… The processing affects you physically as well as mentally!

Here is are ways how we can create overstimulation in your life

  • Having too much happening at once becomes too much to process
  • Clutter in your environment 
  • Your brain is filled with too many thoughts, worrying, overthinking something, 
  • The nervous system is overstimulated by loud noises, large crowds, and being around a lot of stimulation without a break
  • Self-induced stimulation 
  • Doing something when fatigue sets in
  • Too much or too little time
  • Extreme high intensity or low intensity (boredom) for too long
  • Too many choices
  • Intense stimulation forced upon us like public speaking, social interactions if you’re shy, loud or violent movies, news, arguing, family fighting, peer pressure, office parties…
  • Too many creative ideas
  • Unstructured day, chaos, confusion, lack of direction…
  • Caffeine and drugs

Self-care for overstimulation:

  • Meditate, learn how to manage your cluttered mind and not let it run unfocused.
  • Create a positive mindset, stay focused on possibilities instead of fears and limitations.
  • Journal your feelings and thoughts to get them out of your head rather than play them over and over.
  • Create a place to put all the ideas that are interesting to you (idea journal, word doc on the desktop…)
  • Understand that not every idea you get is to be implemented NOW or even in the future. Just because you think it doesn’t mean you need to create it.
  • Schedule your day on a daily sheet and record reminders of those things that come up that aren’t a priority,
    so you’re not trying to remember everything in your head.
  • Stay focused on one goal at a time. Set a timer (15, 30, 60 or 90 minutes)


Overstimulation by Your Environment (Home or Office)

Overstimulation in your environment can be triggered by many things: a change in the temperature, a perfume scent, people talking on their phones, the music playing in your office, the clutter on your desk or the desks around you, or overly-bright lights. We can be sensitive to chemicals in our air purifiers, carpets, cleaning products or our furniture. One environmental thing might set you off, but now multiple will, or you’ll come in stressed or ill and it bothers you when it didn’t before. Awareness about how you feel and taking the time to do self-care will help you minimize overstimulation from your environment.

Self-care to minimize overstimulation for environment

  • Add things that make you feel nourished, grounded, beautiful and happy. Plants, pictures, color…
  • Declutter and clear anything that doesn’t feel good, doesn’t have meaning or reminds you of a negative experience.
  • Turn off the news, violent TV, unsatisfying music and movies.
  • If you’re in a busy office:
    Too loud: listen to your own music with a headset.
    Lights too bright, or computer light bothering you: buy computer glasses or wear tinted glasses.
    Too much action: put plants or a beautiful screen up to block out activity around you
    Clear other people’s energy from your system frequently by saying, “Anyone’s energy that isn’t mine, go back to your owner now.”
  • Learn to manage your mind (focus on the present moment–not stressing) and energy (being grounded, present, and vital) so you are not distracted by everything around you.
  • Remove distractions, phones, emails and message notices…
  • Surround yourself with powerful objects, sounds or symbols that make you feel good: crystals, affirmations, pictures of people who love you, or a grounding pad below your feet
  • Schedule breaks throughout the day of nurture time.  Get outside in nature, walk, do a short meditation…
energy exercises

Overwhelmed with Too Much to Do?

Self-care to deal with overwhelm

  • Change your perception by saying to yourself, “I have all the time I need to do what has to be done”
  • Ask your guides to help you find solutions to challenges, people, ideas, innovations, systems, structures… writing/communication guides
  • Create a plan of action, so you know the actions and steps needed. When you know the path to where you are going it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Planning creates a sense of certainty.
  • On Sunday night look at what your week is like. After that, just look at one day at a time. The week is too much.
  • Chunk down the bigger projects into smaller action steps.
  • Focus on one thing at a time, no multitasking or checking the phone.
  • Set time limits for each action, that way you can’t over schedule and we tend to get things done within the time frame we set. If you say all day… you’ll take all day. Use time as an intention.
  • Take short breaks in between timed sessions, move your body, sing, play with a pet, do something fun or nourishing, drink water…
  • Delegate or hire help.
  • Eat and drink healthy to sustain energy.
  • Ask for support and receive it.
  • Breathe, close your eyes and take 5 breathes into your belly, through your nose. Breathe in 4 counts, hold 2 counts, exhale 4 counts, hold 2 counts. Calms you!
  • Try this tapping exercise for procrastination



Stress & Anxiety

Self-Care for frazzled nervous systems

  • Ground your energy into the center of mother earth to the diamond crystalline grid and connect above to Source/Central Sun/All/Quantum Field
  • Change your perspective, find “I choose to feel peace, I’m calm, I choose love, I feel compassion for myself/situation, I accept ______, I let go/surrender to Source_______…
  • Take a break, ask your body/self what it needs and give it to yourself; move, breathe deep and slow, meditate, shake it, shower/swim, nature/animal time… Even with 5 minutes you can refresh your system.
  • Create healthy boundaries, learn to say “NO” and ask for help.
  • Kava Kava, Rescue Remedy and good quality CBD oil are good for calming the nervous system if you’re anxious. Check with your health advisor.
  • If you’re feeling like it is your inner child not feeling safe, let her know she can relax and that you are in control and will take care of her. She doesn’t need to be on high alert. Then ask her what she needs, listen and take care of her. When we take care of ourselves, the part of our brain that is looking for danger will quiet down.
  • Drink water, sleep deep and long and eat something that is nourishing.  Don’t go without food when stressed…it works against you.
  • Use EFT Tapping to reduce overwhelm, lowers cortisol levels and the fight or flight stress response.
  • Exercise daily to move energy and emotions.
  • Stop listening to the news, watching horror or violent movies and TV shows, playing violent games…
  • Watch the people your around and clear any energy you’ve picked up from them that is dragging you down


Guided Meditation for Less Stress & Anxiety

Tapping: Let Go of Anxiety 

How to Heal Your Inner Child

Anxiety Masterclass



  • Help yourself feel safe — Go to the doctor if you’re questioning your symptoms. Find a doctor that understands energy healing/medicine like a chiropractor or acupuncturist.
  • Do research for knowledge. Get to know and understand your connection to everything Quantum
  • Breathe: Practice 4-7-8 breathing created by Dr. Andrew Weil or Wim Hof’s breathwork. I’ve linked a video explaining it as well as his website.
  • Connect with other ascension or Starseed communities
  • Anchor yourself in gratitude, love, harmony, peace, abundance.
  • Here’s a helpful heart-brain meditation.
  • Try a daily energy practice:
    • Energy Medicine
    • Check out Donna Eden’s energy medicine training
    • Move your body, sleep, hydrate, clear/disconnect your energy
    • Connect with nature and the universal energies
    • Here’s a link for Chakra opening/clearing/balancing
  • Listen to your intuition expanding. This is a great time to practice using it.
  • Do your inner work with what shows up! Fall in love and deeply care for yourself through compassion, reprogramming, and forgiveness…
  • Connect with friends in person
  • Meditate! Here is a good one.
  • Follow your passions and callings
  • Do things that bring you pleasure
  • Learn and grow
  • Remove what isn’t working and stop tolerating what isn’t aligned with your (or humanity’s!) highest good
  • Experience new things–novelty is incredibly helpful.

Video Resources: 


Travel Tips

The 3 Ps for Positive Travel

  1. Plan:
  • Set yourself up for success – manage well the things that would stress you
  • Don’t over-schedule
  • Leave lots of time to get to destinations
  • Take care to meet all your needs
  • To meet your own needs, don’t expect anyone else to know what you need and desire. Ask and Receive
  • Expect to be surprised by wonderful events
  • Be “picky” about your travel, seats, traveling companions, destinations, hotels, food…
  • Upgrade seats, hotel rooms, meals as much as you can to feel safe, comfortable, nourished…
  • Take only what you need–less is easier

2. Prepare:

  • project and develop a positive mindset about your journey
  • learn to become more confident with coping skills for uncertainty and discomfort like grounding, being present and using your intuition.
  • make choices to set yourself up for success
  • organize and schedule travel from the beginning of desire – reservations – traveling – to home (create rituals and routines that are easy to repeat)
  • sleep, hydrate H2O, nourish before
  • pack early, leave early, eliminate stressors
  • manage your energy…ground, clear your energy and create healthy boundaries (don’t take on other people’s fears and anxiety)
  • Create a mantra that will remind you to stay in high energy when challenges appear:
    I am supported by the universe, I wonder how this can get any better, This too shall pass, Love and Peace, Ease and Grace, What would love or my higher self do? What’s important?, What choice will serve the highest good of all concerned?

3. Pleasure:

  • Bring with you the things that will keep you entertained, calm, grounded, and feeling pleasure or comfort. Magazines, coloring books, knitting, games, movies, meditations, book
  • Make your world less overstimulating by wearing a hat, comforting clothing that honors you, cozy wrap, listen to uplifting/soothing music/positive YouTube to cut out the noise all around you and keep your focus more inward after you’ve taken care of the outward business. Wear noise-canceling headphones on the plane, train, share car rides, in noisy homes or hostels or while you’re waiting for your flight in the airport.
  • Let yourself be entertained and curious with the people around you
  • Be nice and kind to others and share your beautiful light and love…it will come back multiple times
  • Bring food, drink, essential oils and incense (for yourself and rooms you stay in), kava or rescue remedy… so you feel in control of your needs and nerves


energy balance


Daily Practice

It is important to make self-care a daily routine. Here are some practices to keep you healthy, grounded, energized and empowered:

  • Feel your feelings rather than think about them
  • Move your body
  • Breathing exercises to calm your mind and reset your nervous system
  • Quiet time or meditation
  • Daily intentions
  • Plan your day
  • Clearing other people’s energy multiple times a day
  • Ground yourself
  • Create healthy boundaries around you, so others can’t suck on your energy
  • Pay attention to your inner child and make them feel safe, seen and heard
  • Learn to say “no” to everything that is not a “yes”
  • Use your intuition to guide you
  • Eat healthily
  • Lots of sleep
  • Do something that brings you pleasure
  • Open, clear and balance your chakras


20 Min Heart & Sound Healing Meditation





What NOW

First, CELEBRATE being YOU! Thank you for being you!, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Focusing on your well-being of mind, body, and spirit will help you feel empowered, connected, authentic and creative, so you can help others do the same.

There is no “perfect” way to take care of yourself or “perfect” you. You’re a spirit in a human body somedays self-care will require basic attention and other days it will require all your attention. You will have to experiment trying different self-care options and see what works best with you. Be compassionate with yourself, you’re on a journey, not a race.

Pick one category in this guide where you are having the most difficulty or choose the Daily Practice, and start by implementing 1-2 new self-care activities and notice what works and what doesn’t. It takes 30+ consecutive days to create a new habit, so stick with it and you’ll feel better. We are all different and what works for one will not work for another, you have to find what works with you.

Self-care will relieve your stress, overwhelm, anxiety, fear, and overstimulation. Managing your mind, energy and environment nurtures and empowers you to be the best you and live your highest potential.




Marilyn O’Malley Website

Marilyn O’Malley YouTube

Energy Medicine Donna Eden

The Highly Sensitive Person Elaine Aron, Ph.D.


If you’d like more help you can call for a free 60-minute Discovery Session with me. 805 883-8598

Be proud to be a highly sensitive!

Self Care Guide


©2017 Marilyn O’Malley

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