I mentioned before that I recently moved to a newly renovated building at work. It's a beautiful and functional new space with many aspects that I absolutely love. However, it's still kind of a construction zone. Drilling in metal door frames isn't the kind of white noise most of us consider peaceful at work. I've realized throughout my life that I seem to be more sensitive to sounds, lighting and atmosphere than others. I wish I weren't, but I've come to accept that perhaps I'm a bit of a highly sensitive person.
The construction paired with a very busy month at work made for utter chaos in my mind. I constantly felt anxious and a bit sick. I wasn't my best self, and I felt like breaking down several times. But instead of lying on the floor having given up, I decided to make a list of how to deal with chaos is you're a bit of an HSP.
Headphones are my saving grace. I often listen to a familiar playlist or audiobook to block out construction noises. I also recently discovered YouTube channels that play background noises from different Harry Potter locations. If you're sick of the shuffling papers of the Hogwarts library, perhaps visit the sounds of your house common room! I do not care at all if anyone thinks this is dorky. I LOVE these YouTube channels.
Take frequent breaks so you don’t get burnt out
Stretch. Go outside. Lie on the floor for a few moments. Just take your mind off of the noise and the tasks that feel difficult because of the noise. Your brain might just need a few minutes to refocus more often than normal. Give your brain the breaks it needs.
Spend lunch someplace quiet
With friends, or by yourself if you want. May I suggest a lunch date with a book?
Find an area of refuge
The literal area of refuge in the new space where I work is next to the storage area in the basement. It's quiet and cool and no one is ever down there. It's my favorite spot in the new building. I am lucky to have a wonderful boss who supports my lying on the ground in the area of refuge when I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed. y area of refuge is labeled, but yours doesn't have to be. Find a private, quiet corner and savor it.
Remember, this too shall pass
This requires a measure of flexibility, but it's not forever. I hear less drilling and see more beautiful touches in our new space each day. Change can be difficult, but it's fair to assume I'll be fully settled soon. This too shall pass, and someday I'll laugh when I think about this summer and all the dynamics of moving at work.
If you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed, take a break. Find what helps you focus, and stick to it! If you have any great tips, pass them my way. I'd love to strengthen my ability to work through chaotic times.