Any HSPs-SPS freelancers out here? What are your strategies for working with clients + teams and stay balanced and avoid overstimulation?

it would be lovely to connect with other Highly Sensitive People with Sensory Processing Sensitivity in the creative industries.
How are you all doing in these trying times? Has having to work from home made your work life actually easier?
What are your strategies with deadlines, difficult clients and when having to lead teams?

I'm a script writer and Film director about to shoot my first feature film on April this year. I just moved to a little house outside of Barcelona, which was made possible by how most of my meetings have moved to be online. I find it easier to live a calmer and more balanced life now that I spend so much more time at home. But I am about to go into a two weeks, fast pace shoot and I'm not sure how I will manage. Would love to hear from you, your experiences, connect with other HSPs and share, if there is anything I can do for you, let me know :)


  • @Abigail Baldwin Hi Abigail, thanks for sharing!
    I’ve had a great experience adapting to video calls actually, somehow I feel safer at home and less likely to be overwhelmed by other people’s energies or stress.
    But still, I get what you mean!

  • @Harriet Anstruther thank you for the detailed list Harriet!
    It feels so selfish sometimes doesn’t it? Asking for time, for space... I feel like I should explain but I can’t tell everyone that crosses my path everyday why I need what I need...
    I am, on the other hand, thinking about speaking with my key team members on set.
  • First of all congratulations on your first feature. You go girl. I too am HSP and find things get too much quite easily unless i adhere to a really strict routine. In no particular order:
    1. Get to bed before midnight and do without electrical stimulation before that. reading before sleep always helps me.
    2. Warm showers/baths after work with lavendar oil help to aid sleep and relaxation.
    Take the lights down low - light candles to adjust to evening, brain slow-down.
    3. Don't eat late - Not easy in Spain!!
    4. Drink more water through the day than you think you need
    5. During the day make sure you take time out, even if no one else seems to be. Get your 1 hour lunch break and get away from the set or find a quiet place to dial it down.
    6. Don't waste it by checking emails and making calls. This is really hard, but critical in your not getting overloaded.
    7. Accept that you can't be everything to everyone. Be selfish with your time putting yourself FIRST. If you don't no one else will & you'll end up fried.
    8. Be kind to yourself. Your creativity in large part, comes as a bonus of your sensitivity.
  • I'd definitely be interested in learning more about your experiences. I am a HSP and even struggling with a large amount of video calls each day. For me, video calls can be sensory overload because it feels very close. Someone on the laptop screen would be closer than if they were sat across the table.

    To try and overcome all of this, I've been blocking out focus time in my calendar, so I can focus on projects, one at a time, without distractions and interactions. I find this gives me enough breathing space.

    I am envious of you though, I'd love to be in Spain. :-)
  • @Sally Fenaux Barleycorn No problem, I love prep too!
    If you can, get a portable monitor on wireless, then you can have it on you all the time and stay close to your DP and cast during scenes. It also saves on time as you can literally hide anywhere on set and have your monitor, all to yourself :)

  • @Martyn Thomas thank you Martyn, it’s super kind of you!
    I do usually over-prepare, I love prep! Probably because it allows me to think about everything in a calmer setting.
    But I hadn’t thought about the monitor and you are totally right, is a very good idea.
    Thanks again :)
  • Huge congrats on your feature!

    I just had to read up a little on HSP & SPS, I think the best think you can do for this transition is to try and create a few zones for yourself on set. For example: having your own monitor and headphones so you can zero in on your performances during takes. It's quite normal for other departments to form around the monitor for their own checks, so a separate monitor for general use would solve this and keep their activity away from your headspace.

    Another thing I would say is you might need to over prep for each setup, maybe with some extra options and must haves, as well as some stuff you can cut. This is often done on the ground and in the moment but if you are not wanting to get over stimulated by a lot of factors and choices it might be helpful to have these mapped out with your Producer, AD and DP so they know your options ahead of time and can create discussions where needed that do not contain too many surprises and variables to take onboard.

    Appologies if any of this comes across as obvious, I just found your request interesting and thought I would share some thoughts.

    I wish you the very best on your feature, you got this!

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