Are you easily overstimulated? Do you feel positive and negative emotions intensely? Are you a sponge for other people’s anger, stress, sadness and fear? You might be an ‘empath’ and you are not alone! Research suggests 20% of the population have enhanced empathy and a heightened sensitivity to the energy, moods and emotions of others (people, animals and the environment!). If this sounds like you, it is crucial you find ways to take careful care of yourself and your beautiful gift!
During Covid it's likely you have been living in close proximity with others and have little opportunity for quiet time and space alone to rejuvenate. You will have been bombarded by a constant stream of news and statistics about how to stay safe. You're also likely unable to be close to some people who make you feel safe in the world and give you a sense of belonging. If you’re an empath you need to be extra vigilant about carving out time for yourself to download, release and let go. If this is you and you’re feeling drained, exhausted or overwhelmed with anxiety, read on . . .
Empaths have a low filter which leads them to sense, feel, absorb and hold the intensity of the world around them. This can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual fatigue. Winding down can take time and a desire to 'retreat' from others and the world outside can be strong. There is much beauty in being an empath but thriving takes self-awareness and the use of daily protection strategies.
To prevent emotional and physical burnout, try these daily self-care acts to protect yourself:
Take time to eat nourishing food (slowly and mindfully). Caring for your health and body creates a foundation of self-care and wellbeing that supports you in many ways.
Exercise (in whatever form you enjoy it) is an important physical release. It also boosts the feel-good chemicals in the brain that enhance mood, self-esteem and reduce the negative impacts of stress and anxiety. I'm a huge fan of yoga for empaths (and everyone) as it teaches deep breath work, a reliable survival tool for managing challenging emotions.
Make time each day to spend time alone to soothe and let go. Find rituals that deeply nurture you (warm baths, a slow cup of tea, time in nature, quiet reading time, whatever helps you reconnect to 'you'). This provides physical, emotional, mental and spiritual space for you to 'refill your cup'.
Spend some time each day in nature. Research has shown time and again it enhances positive emotions, improves mood and positively affects your nervous system and immunity.
Get barefoot - outside. 'Earthing' allows you to tune into nature's healing power, physically, through your feet. Feel the ground beneath you (grass, sand, soil), look up and breathe in deeply. Really internalise this feeling through all your senses. You will be able to tap into this moment when you feel stressed or anxious and it will ground you.
If you are an empath you have truly special super powers! You owe it to yourself to learn to take care of them.