Are You An Empath?
Empaths are highly sensitive and some are also very intuitive. Their nervous system is finely tuned and sensitive. For this reason, they tend to pick up subtle traces of energy which other people can’t.
When empaths learn how to manage their abilities, they can live a very humanly rich life. However, when not trained or supported, they may be prone to anxiety, stress, depression, and burnout.
I’m a highly intuitive empath and it has taken me a long while to accept my nature. I used to wish I had an on/off button because I used to feel so overwhelmed and alienated.
I did not understand or know how to regulate and manage my energy. I was afraid to even talk about energy itself. I was afraid other people, including my colleagues, would find me bonkers.
Over the last few years, I have done progress in accepting who I am. I accept others may find me bonkers and I tell myself it is none of my business what other people think. Tough exercise but it gets easier.
Most people do not know some of what they see in fictional movies is actually very real. Telepathy, remote viewing and visions are somewhat common among intuitive empaths.
This post is not about the abilities of intuitive empaths though. I will leave that chapter for another time. Here we are focusing on how empaths can deal with overload and overstimulation.
Why is Self Care Important for Empaths
Empaths capture and process information beyond the five senses. As a result, they can find themselves overstimulated. If not careful, that can lead to many struggles with their well-being and overall health.
Let’s try to give you a better idea of what living as an empath is like. Imagine the following scenario. You go to the beach and you forget to put on sunblock. You spend hours under the sun and you get a burn.
Or imagine you are baking something in the oven and you forget to use a towel to remove the tray. You get a burn and the skin becomes raw and sore. For a couple of days, it will be oversensitized.
Anything that touches that area will create a great deal of pain and an intense reaction. That is how an empath operates when overstimulated and out of balance.
Daily living can be very difficult for an empath. More so if they grew up unaware and with little to no support for their empath nature. Many bring difficult and traumatic experiences from childhood.
As if this wasn’t enough, empaths can pick up energy at a distance. It’s like when wild animals sense a natural catastrophe is brewing. They start migrating before it happens and no one even guesses it.
Lack of preparedness and the social stigma of being different can cause a huge strain on empaths. Many empaths try to reduce their strain by turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Some of these include:
It is essential for empaths to be equipped with good strategies. Otherwise, empaths can spend most of their time drained, unwell, and stuck in self-abandoning behaviours.
How to Maintain Self Care
Self-care is one of the best strategies empaths can invest in. It has also surely become a very popular topic. For that reason, I’d like to make a few points about it before I share some of my own self-care habits.
Self-care needs to be systematized into your daily routine. There is nothing wrong with taking time for pampering and yoga when you remember it. However, self-care can’t be a one-time or once-a-month kind of commitment.
Your daily routine needs to breathe self-care. To make it happen you need to find out what activities are a good fit for you. Then you need to know how they will integrate your already existing routine.
The environment also plays an important role. You need to be creative and find ways to tweak it. That alone has a strong impact on how much your new well-being design will be successful.
I know this can sound overwhelming. Thinking of self-care as applying a face mask once every blue moon seems easier. We both know, however, that’s only a bandaid.
That’s why working with a professional or seeking a mentor can be a good investment in yourself. A professional or mentor who knows empaths will help you create a sustainable and efficient plan.
Activities For Self Care
Now let’s have a look into my three favourite self-care activities. I will also share how I turned them into self-care habits.
Short Walks Throughout the Day
At the moment, my health does not allow me to walk long distances for great periods of time. Understanding this was my reality required me a great deal of acceptance.
I know walking is good and necessary to stay physically healthy. Not being able to walk as I once did first made me angry and restless. Then I realised I had to change my perception of self-care.
Walking is good for health and well-being. However, we also need to make it work for us, not against us. Self-care habits are only as good as they fit our needs and reality.
Today, I walk 15 to 20 minutes, two or three times a day. I use these moments as short breaks from work. They allow me to add movement to my day without triggering my autoimmune system.
Adjusting this self-care practice to my needs and present health condition has allowed me to maintain and benefit from it. I get my daily dose of steps and my creative flow regenerates itself.
Tuning In, Especially When It Gets Yucky
There are times when my boundaries are not so clear, or self-care is lacking. That’s when I as an empath start having problems. It’s a shortcut for overstimulation and confusion.
It is important to cultivate the awareness and the intention to tune in. More so before any action driven by strong emotions. We tend to react immediately but, if we are not grounded and conscious, impulsiveness can hurt.
We are not always fully in control of ourselves. This is reason enough to go within before saying or doing anything. It is your responsibility to do so.
I used to be a very impulsive person by design and I can tell this takes practice, patience, and trial and error. However, it can prevent a great deal of unnecessary drama and even pain.
Nonviolent communication has given me perspective and tools to work on this. Learning and incorporating it has been an act of self-care. It helps and protects my emotional and mental health.
Time to Create and Play
Last but not least, creativity and playfulness are self-care essentials for many empaths. Both allow us to connect with our inner child and tap into a stream of consciousness that is flowy in nature.
For me, immersing myself in creative projects is a way to disconnect from the energies that are around me. It allows me to stay centred in my own energy field.
Play also helps us balance our nervous system. It moves us into renewal mode more easily. Contrary to what we have been led to believe, we all need to play. Some ideas to add play to your day:
- find humour in what happens to you
- play board games with your friends or family
- take yourself on a walk with no destination in mind
Self-care is important for everyone. However, empaths need to pay extra attention to it. Since they are more sensitive than average, they are also more affected by stress factors.
Self-care habits help to buffer stress and restore our sensitive nervous system. They need to be in place on a daily basis and not taken as a one-time commitment.
There are many forms and ways to practice self-care. Going for a walk, taking time to go within and engaging in creativity or play are just a few examples. There are many more.
WellbeingMedia’s Book Recommendations:
Like this post? Subscribe to be notified of new ones 😉