Highly Sensitive Refuge
A highly sensitive woman enjoys autumn leaves falling on her

Fall Is the Best Season for Highly Sensitive People. Here’s Why.

Did someone say cozy sweaters, soft socks, and pumpkin-flavored everything? Yes, please.

I am so relieved. We made it through another summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. You know what I’m talking about, right? Summer as a highly sensitive person (HSP). Ugh. All that pressure. Be perky and energetic. Have picnics with Uncle Jim and Aunt Betty and their eight obnoxious kids. Sweat. Go camping in remote locations without indoor plumbing, mosquito netting, or WiFi. Take vacations in smelly hotels without special pillows and the perfect mattress. Swim in chlorinated waters. Make the obligatory trip on the crowded plane to see the annoying relatives in Mississippi. Wear sleeveless shirts and swimsuits that reveal less attractive body parts. Fire season. (And I can go on…)

So, now, finally, many of us (like where I live, in the Pacific Northwest) are in autumn. In my opinion, fall is the best season for HSPs. Here is why. 

10 Reasons Why Fall Is the Best Season for Highly Sensitive People. Here’s Why.

1. You can breathe again. (Literally.)

In the fall, the air is cleaner and cooler. It smells delicious after a refreshing rain. HSPs have finely-tuned bodies that can be easily disturbed by chemicals and pollutants — we’re prone to chemical sensitivity — so clean, fresh air is rejuvenating. The perfect breezes of autumn are light caresses on our sensitive skin.

2. The days are getting shorter, which means less glaring sunlight at every turn.

In addition to chemical sensitivity, many HSPs suffer from light sensitivity, too. Thankfully, these days, there is less of that obnoxious, blinding, penetrating sunshine. 

HSPs have the capacity to find poetry and peace in a deep, rich, sensual darkness, like when a starry moonlit night sings its bittersweet, melancholy songs. We also appreciate dusk — watching the sunset is a seemingly small thing that can elicit big emotions, as the little things in life make us happy.

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3. Temperatures are not too hot and not too cold — they’re just right. 

In autumn, the weather is pretty perfect. Sensitive people can feel subtle changes in barometric pressure and are often affected by extremes in temperatures. Both extremes — too cold, too hot — can be uncomfortable, overwhelming, and even exhausting at times. It is a relief to be able to relax outdoors and be nourished in nature. (Plus, nature is the perfect cure for overstimulation!)

4. You get to wear your favorite cozy sweaters and soft, fuzzy socks (every day if you want!).

During stressful times, HSPs need to find simple ways to feel safe, so a favorite sweater (or other piece of clothing) can do the trick (especially since we HSPs are very sensitive to materials).

It is an easy solution, and most people will probably not even notice your consistency! But you will receive a sweet little hug (so to speak) from your sweater every day. 

5. You have a built-in “excuse” to cuddle with your favorite pet or person.

With the dip in temperatures, now’s the time to find your favorite person (or pet) and get in some quality cuddle time. After all, highly sensitive people have a special connection to animals — we “get” them the same way they “get” us — so they can be very nurturing for us.

Plus, in autumn, the pace is slower, which aligns better for HSPs and their significant needs for serenity. (We hate being rushed!)

6. HSPs’ aesthetic senses are nourished when the leaves on the trees change to brilliant reds, oranges, and goldens. 

HSPs are particularly aware of visual beauty in nature, and appreciate the trees and their colorful contribution. The softness of early morning light in autumn is a sensual delight, as well. Taking in these natural delights can be breathtaking and a stunning reminder of the beauty all around us on planet Earth. 

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7. School starts again and, for many people, this is good. 

HSPs love learning and the prospect of a new school year — with a fresh start and bubbling potential — is exciting (but not too exciting). If we are parents, our kids are gone for the day and there is some welcome peace and quiet

8. Since it’s cooler outside, it’s easier to enjoy outdoor activities (before the frigid winter sets in).

When it is fall, it is not winter, with the excessive cold or snowstorms that may trap an HSP at home or leave us without electricity, which can disturb our HSP equilibrium. (We like, and need, our alone time, but too much solitude — and not by choice! — is another story!)

So ‘tis the season to go apple-picking and visit a pumpkin patch — then return home and back an apple or pumpkin pie. And, speaking of pumpkins…

9. Pumpkin-everything, everywhere.

Am I the only one who can’t get enough pumpkin products? And, luckily, they sell pumpkin everything at Trader Joe’s. Pumpkin spice coffee. Pumpkin cereal. Gluten-free pumpkin pancake mix. Pumpkin butter. Pumpkin tortilla chips (my favorite). Pumpkin cream cheese spread. Pumpkin ravioli. And more. 

The flavor of pumpkin can remind HSPs of peaceful days and comforting times, which helps soothe our overstimulated soul in a very natural way.

10. It’s the perfect time to decompress from the hectic summer before the hectic holiday season.

Winter brings with it overwhelming anxiety and commercialism of the hectic holiday season, which can leave us with even more anxiety and overwhelm. But fall is perfect. It is not yet spring, with the pressure to come out of hibernation and take off our cozy sweaters (when the blossoming trees and flowers are triggering our allergies). And then spring also ushers in the extremes of summer (and you already know how I feel about summer). 

So relish the fall — curl up in your HSP sanctuary (maybe with some pumpkin tea or pie) and appreciate the privacy, quiet, and the welcome escape of a great book. Or just take a nap. Or do nothing (which is still something).

Writing (poetry, fiction, you name it) and/or keeping a journal are more autumn-like pursuits, too, for HSPs make great writers. Whether you want to journal to reflect on your year so far (and how it is entering a new season, literally and figuratively) or are feeling creative and want to do some non-journal writing, now’s the time. Plus, these activities help soothe the HSP’s frazzled soul and remind us of simpler times.

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