Caring about yourself when you care about others
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as wealings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” -Anthon St. Maarten
Who are empaths?
Empaths are people with heightened senses, more than just understanding. They go beyond relating closely to characters of a movie or a book; they experience the emotions of others as their own. Though it is normal to feel sympathetic for someone in pain and then let go of the emotion, empaths carry the emotions with them. Observing the energy of the world around them is why they often feel drained, anxious, and overwhelmed. This results in weaker immune systems, fatigue, headaches, even digestive problems. Though they may feel burdensome and alone, this gift allows them to connect and value the light in others.
Healing for an empath
Growth may come harder for an empath as they take on the feelings of even their abusers. But it’s important to not cover their own wounds with those of others. To truly heal, empaths must deal with their own trauma first, rather than attempting to take in those of others and forgetting about themselves. Though the process is difficult, their energy should be protected.
Managing your empathy
An empath will not stop being an empath, but through this heightened journey, one can learn to find balance within. To manage this gift, they must become aware of their wounds, traumas, and pains. Becoming self-aware is the first step to self-love, to truly taking care of yourself. Though this concept may be almost taboo for an empath, it is crucial for their purpose and wellbeing for them to find their authentic selves.
Self-care for empaths
Set boundaries: understand what’s draining you. Especially where and who you are giving your energy to. Loving others and doing your best while remaining you and maintaining peace inside of you!
Spend time alone: regroup and center yourself! Whether this means doing something creative like painting, gardening, meditating, or even taking a bath. Solitude is essential for growth and self-discovery.
Be around nature: connect with the world around you. Hiking, going on walks, and just being outside reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, etc. It’s even proved to give your mind clarity when you feel overwhelmed!
Reach out for help: no matter the treatment, it’s so important to release some of the weight you might be carrying! As empaths have so much compassion for others, they often forget to give themselves compassion as well. Everyone deserves a safe space to share and express their own feelings, whether that’s through therapy or simply chatting with a loved one!