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