How to feel at home with yourself — when you’re not at *home home*.
As a highly-sensitive person, I get overstimulated by things or scenarios that others might not. And well, being “away”, traveling, living in Airbnb’s, random rooms, and now more or less living in another country — I have to be really intentional with what triggers me and how I bring myself “home”.
Interestingly, I’ve moved around a lot. I left Los Angeles at 18 and got my first taste of leaving my *home home* when I started UC Santa Cruz. After that 4-year college journey — I moved to San Jose, then San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, and now Mexico City. These tools and techniques I do now haven’t always been there. And looking back, I wish I had a bit more guidance around these life transitions and what I now view as grief.
Here’s a little glimpse into some things I like to do to feel that sense of home and safety — maybe you’ll find it helpful too:
🔥 Light incense or palo santo or some plant or herb you feel connected to
Our sense of smell is so important to bring us to the present but can also take us back to past memories and emotions. I love the smell of incense and notice a huge shift in the energy of the room when I light it. As I’m lighting it, I’ll light it with that intention to feel positive and to create a sense of home.
🤸♀️ Connect with my physical body with yoga
My body knows what home feels like. But when my exterior is constantly changing, it can forget. Yoga reminds me that home is within me.
I am home.
I am the home to my body, mind, and spirit.
It is really easy for my physical practice to fall away but different than sitting down to meditate — yoga moves the tension, emotions, and anything else that can be stagnant.
🧘🏽♀️ Sitting with my thoughts with meditation
I sit down to meditate every morning. It can be really easy to bounce out of bed, grab the phone and start checking everything exterior. Sitting down to meditating, even just two minutes lets me see where my thoughts are at. And while sitting down to meditate is never easy for me, I never want to actually do it but it’s similar to brushing my teeth for me. I make it a habit and it’s another way to create a sense of home. Even though we’re not children anymore, the body and mind like consistency, rhythm, and those routines. I remember hating going to bed, or brushing my teeth or doing all those “chore-like” things as a kid (and I think most kids do) but now know the value of it. And it’s similar to my meditation practice.
Journaling has been in my life since I was a kid. As far back as 2nd grade when I would start with “dear diary” and what I learned from TV shows. But over the years it’s evolved. It takes forms of purging my mind, processing thoughts and emotions, and being a source of connection to spirit/the Universe/the unknown to me. I’ve taught several ways to journal in classes and retreats and love it when people discover that they do know how to journal and it can take any shape or form they want!
It is so tempting to take walks, only with Google maps leading the way — especially when I’m in a new neighborhood or a new country. When I put my phone away and aimlessly walk, it allows me to experience new things. Or stumble on objects or things I love and I see them as little messages or signs that I’m in the right place at the right time. Like the other day I stumbled on this book cover with a spiral image. I’m obsessed with spirals 🐚 as you may know by now by seeing me mention it on social media or within my logos here and OM Marketing.
🏋🏽♀️ Getting physically strong!
Similar but different from a physical yoga practice, lifting weights or something more active like running provides me that internal coach that says “keep going!” “you can do it!” “you’re strong!” Getting physically active and strong contributes to my mental health and for me, provides that sense of safety and home. Even something like getting familiar with the gym equipment and knowing where certain weights are.
It’s about acknowledging — not bypassing emotions
While these rituals or patterns are important for me to do, it’s really about acknowledging what it is that I need. These steps or rituals allow me to better observe what that is and not overdo or override my system. Perhaps I am feeling super overwhelmed, or the need to release and cry, or to take several naps in a day. In the past, when I didn’t have all these tools for myself, I would eventually hit a wall and burn myself out.
These tools are always changing and evolving for me, as humans we are in constant change and in flow. What tools do you use to feel that sense of home and safety? I would love to hear. Comment on IG or email me.