Ah, hello my fellow empaths. We are the people who feel all of the feelings.
Being an empath is different than being a person who can empathize with others. Empaths do more than acknowledge and validate others’ feelings and experiences; we are capable of inhabiting into how others are experiencing the world.
Emotionally, empaths can sometimes be delicate and vulnerable when in the presence of others and all of those feelings. A lot of us have the desire to help others in their time of need and we are willing to go the extra mile to do so.
Similarly, we are able to be there for others in genuinely loving and fiercely compassionate ways. It’s no wonder why so many folks who are empaths choose to become professional helpers like nurses, therapists, social workers and social justice leaders.
Being an empath can have many gifts and just as many challenges. Let’s reflect on four ways empath can practice self-care:
Learn and appreciate your abilities.
When discovering I was an empath, I felt incredibly validated and relieved. There was a reason I was so passionate and fired up as a social worker, I want to help heal the world!
Try your best not to shame yourself for feeling things so strongly. Instead, discover your strengths and skills as an empath. The second section of Self Explore, Self Restore can help with this, as it focuses on identifying and utilizing your inner strengths.
Choose to be your authentic self.
As an empath, you are able to be a type of chameleon. Due to our ability to understand others’ feelings, we are also able to blend-in and even mimic other’s personalities and feelings to-a-tee. As shared in The Empath Experience, build your awareness of when you are “blending in” and consciously choose to tap into your authentic self. Self-awareness is a key element of self-care with folks who are empaths.
Check-in with how you are feeling.
Along with self-awareness, take time to self-reflect on how you are doing. In the rush of feeling the feelings of others, sometimes we lose sight of how we are doing in the process. Many empaths are also the “strongest friend” and therefore need to make sure that you and your feelings are recognized and taken care of too.
Turn off the news. Turn down the radio. Take solace in silence.
There’s a good chance that the 5:00 news can be overstimulating for you. Hearing back-to-back stories of hurt, crime, violence and injustice can drain empaths quickly. Be mindful when taking in information about our communities and our world. For me, reading the news instead of watching the news helps decrease the stimuli that comes from the media. Find ways to take information that work best for you and your emotions.
What does self-care look like for you as an empath?