Being an Empath can be challenging in general, but right now more than ever it is EXHAUSTING. Not to be confused with just having empathy which is surface level, the ability to understand or share feelings of others. Being an empath or a highly sensitive person goes much deeper than understanding feelings and emotions that don’t belong to you. As an empath we hold space for others; their emotions and energies take up space within our bodies + minds while sometimes displacing our own emotions and feelings. So to keep it simple to understand an empath, if you feel it they feel it.
Having the ability to have an open heart, connection with the world, intuition and spirituality is a gift in itself and has to be nurtured. And as deep as emotions go there is a fine line of balance that an empath must walk to not be swallowed up by all the feels. Creating habits, practices and rituals that help clear emotional debris that are collected throughout our day and experiences is key to living a life where sensitivities can flourish.
You may be an Empath if……..
Ever walk into a room and “feel” the vibe or the mood of the people in it? Left a group of people and immediately felt drained because of sensory overload? Took more time than usual to “shake off” a sad or happy story?
I have been an empath my entire life. I’m the friend that can walk into any place and tell you if the vibe or mood is off. There was a point and time in my life that I would also get physically ill over the stresses and worries of others. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had a name to call this ability outside of intuition.
Here are few signs that you may be an empath (this is not a complete list)
-you identify as introverted
-Physically carrying the stress of others, your friends, family and even the world (physically expressing pain in back, shoulders, neck etc)
-Crying when you see other people cry even when you dont know why they are crying
-Seeing someone who appears worried and you suddenly feel anxious for them
Self-Care for the Empath
Now while reading the room or having gut feelings about certain things can be a fun party trick, it can also be very exhausting because of the flux of emotions. When you approach self care with intention especially as an empath those sensitivities can begin to flourish in a way that allows you to be the very best version of yourself. Be very intentional on how and when you refuel, regroup and unwind.
Care on the Outside
Take Breaks: Taking breaks as an empath is essential. Time alone EVERY DAY is needed to clear emotions and energy that are not yours. After a long day whether the day was good or bad I can feel completely drained from the various interactions and emotions I may have encountered. Taking a moment to mentally regroup gives the mind space to reset. This is key especially when going from one environment to the next, home life to work life and vice versa. Take breaks on your own or participate in crowd-less leisure activities that allows you to reset.
Sit in Nature: There is something just so refreshing about sitting and just being in the elements. Sitting in nature doesn’t have to necessarily mean that you go out and sit at a park. If you have the ability to do that, then by all means definitely take advantage. However sitting in nature can also mean adding plants to your home. Studies have shown that sitting in nature or adding plants to your home can reduce stress and anxiety. Empaths in general are moved by the healing powers of nature in all forms. Find which speaks + energizes you the most and add that to your self care.
Prepare what ya can: Speaking from a person who can get overwhelmed easily, preparing what you can ahead of time has been essential in my self care. This could be as simple as creating a meal plan each week and having whatever is needed delivered. Or even setting the coffee maker up completely the night before so you don’t have to worry with it. Take inventory and see where there are similarities in your days. Use those similarities to see where you can lessen the amount of decision making by preparing ahead of time.
Care on the Inside
Daily Grounding Practices: Grounding activities can vary depending on what you need that day. Whether it is yoga, getting out in nature, breath work or even meditation, find what activity brings you back to you while allowing you to release the energies that dont belong to you. There are tons of ways to ground yourself, find what calls to you.
Nourish Yourself: Nourishing our bodies is the baseline of all self care. When we are hungry or thirsty we begin to loose energy causing mental fog, fatigue and the list goes on. Taking the time to make sure that we are eating ( good things) and keeping ourselves hydrated can help us battle becoming overwhelmed.
Mentally + Physically De-clutter: Using the brain dump method, clear your mind via writing. Journalling is a way to dump all those thoughts and feelings out. Journalling may not be for everyone, but having the option to just get the words out of your head and onto paper may provide you with a sense of relief. Physical clutter can sometimes be a sign + symptom of mental clutter. If you are noticing that you are feeling more anxious or overloaded than usual take a look around your space to see if there is any build up of clutter.
Inside + Outside
Create Boundaries: I talk about boundaries ALOT like ALOT ALOT and there is a reason for it. Everything really begins and ends with boundaries. In life there are people, places and situations that will naturally be energy drainers or fill you up past capacity as an empath. Knowing that we cant always avoid these people places and things, there are moments and times where it is completely our choice in whether we engage with those people places and things. In those situations where you have the option, keep yourself in mind. Saying yes to yourself and your needs more than others to help maintain yourself. Choosing to avoid those situations/people when we can, is an act of self care for an Empath.
Find your Tribe: Finding people that give you energy and allow you to be yourself is so very important especially for empaths. The same way there are people places and things that can drain our energy there are people places and things that can rejuvenate us. Add more time with those that fill your cup than those that drain it.
Know Who You Are: My biggest self care tip for empaths is know who you are and stand firm. Stand firm in who you are and your ability to feel on levels that most others can not. Don’t accept negative messages about yourself. Negative messages can sound like ” You are being too sensitive”, ” this isn’t a big deal”, ” you are being dramatic”. Having sensitivity or being an empath is a beautiful gift and some will not understand. It isn’t our job to make them understand, remember your boundaries and your tribe.
Now while there are challenges to feeling so deeply, Im here to tell you that there is so much beauty in being in touch and in-tuned with the world around you. Empaths are light and in this very moment we need all the light, so be sure to take care of yourself.