Care for Yourself as an Empath

Are you an Empath? Do you pick up and feel the emotions and feelings of others?

Because I’m an empath too, I’m including three easy energy tips for empaths in this blog post. All three exercises have helped me set energetic boundaries with others and keep myself from taking on their emotions. I hope they’ll help you too!

First a story…

While walking through a beautiful wooded park, observing wildlife and listening to the birds, I felt the calm and peace of nature. Later my route took me past a high school parking lot. There I noticed lots of trash and bits of refuse littering the ground, some of it in the woods closest to the parking lot. There were fast food wrappers, dirty cups lids and straws, smashed plastic bits, unrecognizable items, dirty COVID masks, plastic bags…

Feeling angry about the clutter, I started picking up these items, one at a time. I held them in my hands, as I hadn’t come prepared to carry such a large volume of refuse back to my own garbage can.

My peace and calm of earlier dissolved into frustration. Thoughts flashed through my mind …“How could someone be so thoughtless? How could this trash continue to pile up week after week…? Why don’t people clean up after themselves?…”

Eventually I couldn’t hold any more trash in my two hands, so I had to leave most of the debris behind, and make my way home. I felt angry about having to clean up after others who should know better… frustrated by my walk being weighed down and cut short by the junk I picked up.

All this dirty, useless, and smashed stuff I carried home in my hands diminished the quality of my walk and my time in nature. When I got home, I felt more frustrated, even after I threw away my two large handfuls of non-biodegradable waste.

Later I realized, as much as I wanted to, it was not my job to clean up the woods and and parking lot single handedly. I could come back with a box full of 12 garbage bags, clean up, haul them home to my garbage can, then come back the next day to even more debris. This was not my problem to solve. Clean up has to be the shared responsibility of those who generate the trash.

How does picking up litter and trash thrown out by others relate to living as an empath? Bear with me for a bit…

Emotions are energy! Our thoughts and feelings are all energy that can be picked up by sensitive people and empaths. The auras, or energy fields of empaths seem to be more porous than the general population. In this way, empaths pick up the energetic debris of strong emotions others toss out into the world or deny in themselves. (Like litter in a parking lot others don’t even notice.)

We pick up the energetic imprints of unexpressed emotion and strong feelings, and are weighed down by them as we carry them with us through life. (Like me carrying others’ refuse home with me.)

It’s difficult to know how to release them once they’re in our energy fields. Some of us may not even realize the feelings weighing us down belong to others. Even if we know these are not our feelings, we may feel it’s our responsibility to carry them with us. We may feel that we’re helping others by picking up and feeling their strong emotions. But this is not the case! More on that in my next post.

Try these easy exercises for empaths.

Ask two questions: When you feel a strong emotion that seemingly came out of nowhere, ask: “Is this mine? Does this belong to someone else?” Notice and trust your intuition about the origin of these feelings.

Ground with Earth Energy. For best results, Make this a daily practice. You can walk barefoot on the lawn or beach, massage your feet, top, sides and bottom, or rub your soles with a stainless steel spoon. These will open the energy vortexes in the soles of your feet and help you draw in Earth energy. When you are grounded, you can also discharge energy that you discern is not yours through your feet. It helps to visualize this unwanted energy draining into the Earth.

Strengthen your Aura. To keep your aura more “tightly woven” and less porous, build energy in your hands by rubbing your palms together. Then, begin making figure eight crossover patterns with both arms, as wide as they can reach. Let this be a rhythmic motion, allowing your body arms and hands to swing in arcs back and forth in the soothing figure eight motion.

Then you can do smaller crossover figure eight patterns with your fingers and hands, paying special attention to the energy field surrounding you, close to or on the body Let your intuition show you where. I always feel better after tracing figure eights on my upper chest and heart area. Once again, it helps to do this daily.

More Resources:

If your empathic gifts feel overwhelming, book an appointment with me, either in person or distance, and we’ll go over easy energy techniques to help you discern what is yours and what belongs to others, and to set strong boundaries to keep your energy clear, grounded, and resilient.

From time to time, I offer a Self Care for Empaths Class. Watch my class page for upcoming dates.

For more on living well as an empath this is a great book: The Empaths Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD

Are You An Empath? 3 Self-care tips

You are probably an empath if…

…you absorb the and take on the feelings and emotions or physical symptoms of others, making it hard to tell what’s yours and what’s theirs.

…you feel drained and/or anxious in big box stores, noisy crowds, hospitals, libraries, etc.

…you get sick or exhausted, depleted, anxious or angry after encountering certain people.

One beautiful summer afternoon I sat on my front porch reading. A delivery truck pulled into my driveway near where I was sitting. Immediately my body was flooded with high anxiety!

As I tried to make sense of this sudden shift in my emotional state, My logical brain decided the anxiety could be explained because I didn’t know the truck or the driver, hadn’t ordered any services or furniture… It was an unexpected intrusion into my peaceful day. Then the driver got out of the van, took a bouquet of flowers to my neighbor’s house and drove away.

The anxiety stayed with me even after the van left. After a few minutes of this, I decided to do some discernment and energy testing. I stood up, tuned into my body and stated “This anxiety is mine.” My body responded by falling toward the back, which in self energy-testing terms is a “no”. Now the anxiety made sense. As an empath, I’d picked up the high anxiety of the van driver.

Now that I knew the anxiety wasn’t mine, I asked this energy to drain through my feet into the earth for recycling. I had no more need to feel this feeling. It was detracting and distracting from my peaceful day. Draining the energy away works when you are well grounded, in other words, plugged into Earth energy.

This method of clearing yourself works because emotions and feelings are composed of energy. Each of us holds our thoughts feelings and emotions in our auras, otherwise known as energy fields. The stronger and more charged the emotion of another person, the easier it is for a nearby empath to pick it up. Our auras also seem to be more porous than the energy fields of non-empaths, allowing in energies others would easily filter out.

As a life- long empath I’ve learned some easy ways to keep myself clear of the moods, emotions, feelings, and energies of others that I have not specifically invited in. Here are 3 of the most helpful techniques I use daily.

Three ways to keep yourself clear as an empath.

1. Stay grounded

Two easy ways to get grounded are rubbing the soles of your bare feet with a stainless steel spoon, and walking barefoot on the Earth. When you feel agitated or nervous, when you can’t settle, ground yourself. Getting grounded allows you to plug into your power source, Earth energy, and pull this energy into your body.

Think of an electric lamp. If the lamp is not plugged in, it can’t light up, no matter what you do. When you are plugged in, your energy is more coherent, you feel anchored to the earth in a healthy way, and you can discharge excess energy through your feet.

2. Strengthen your aura

An easy way to keep your aura strong and less porous is to make figure 8 patterns with your hands, fingers, arms, body. First rub your palms together for a few seconds. Now, make the eights tiny, make them huge, on or off the body, in your aura, up and down, sideways, diagonally. Let your hands go to areas that need extra attention. (This technique is from Donna Eden)

Have fun with this! Kids love it! Think of this exercise as reweaving or sewing your loosely woven aura together again with the electromagnetic energy of your hands. This will help your aura filter out the energy of others and draw in the energies of health, well being, and harmony. Figure eights are also very calming!

3. Set boundaries with other people, your life energy, your time.

You may need to set boundaries and withdraw from large events, big crowds, or stay away from certain people. You may not want to hug Grandma or a church acquaintance. It may be in your best interest to stay home from a big family holiday or reunion and wait for a time you can meet your favorite relatives one on one.

Trust your intuition and give yourself what you need. Taking care of yourself as an empath is vital! Please don’t judge yourself for needing to set boundaries in ways others might not understand. Be kind and loving to yourself and tell others no when that is in your best interest.

If you do not take care of your needs, you may get resentful, energetically depleted and perhaps even sick. Take ownership of your life and your energy so you can focus on your own projects, your own life without getting sidetracked by the strong emotions of family and random people.

Gifts of empaths

We empaths can bring great sensitivity and caring into a world that needs our gifts. We are often the healers, therapists, clergy, the spiritual advisors, teachers, the plant and animal whisperers, the artists in our communities.

Tune into your purpose as an empath. Take care of yourself. Own and honor your gifts! Share them when you are ready. You are needed here!

It is not easy to go through life as an empath! But it is possible to live your life in a manner that will truly honor your gifts, your needs for boundaries so your life experience is truly your own!

Dear Friends, I offer a two hour Self care for Empaths and Sensitive People class several times a year. Contact me here for the next date.