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Self-care for Empaths, by Ramona

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

If you are an empath, chances are you are struggling right now during this global crisis. I know my empath channels are feeling overloaded with all the fear and grief out there in the field, that emotional resonance space we share with others. The energy in the field is intense right now! Here are some tools that might help you navigate this current crisis:

1. Shielding – if you’ve never learned how to shield yourself, now is a good time. A shield is a type of energetic protection we wrap around ourselves to give us some breathing room between ourselves and others’ emotions. Some people like to use stones of various kinds to help them with shielding, maybe using some stones to protect themselves against negative energy, others to clear away any negative energy they do pick up, and others to bring positive energy to themselves. Other people find some kind of visualization helpful. Maybe you can imagine yourself surrounded by a force field, a bubble, a wall of some kind, or colored light. Pink and purple light seem to be most effective for most people. You’ll likely need to work with your visualization daily, imagining your shield surrounding you. Good times for this are just before falling asleep at night, or at the start of your day. You might include some kind of ritual to help you get in the right mindset. You can light a candle or some incense or include your shielding practice as part of your morning routine. I like to do mine as part of my morning shower; the water flowing over me helps reinforce my visualization.

If you’re already proficient at shielding, this might be a time when you need to increase the strength of your shield. You can practice shielding more often, you can use more stones around you, or you can change your visualization in some way. Once, while attending a funeral, I changed my shield visualization from the usual dome of light to one of titanium, in order to protect myself from the wave of emotion coming from the funeral attendees. That was exhausting and not something I would be able to maintain for long periods of time. For now, during this crisis, I’ve changed my shield to one made of water, flowing around me. Because water is the element I feel most connected to, that imagery works better for me and is easier to maintain. The fluid nature of my shield feels extra protective and I can still incorporate my original image of iridescent light, as I visualize the light sparkling against my watery shield.

2. Sunlight – take at least one moment each day to look outside at the sunlight. If you can actually step outside and take it in through your skin, so much the better. Even in northeast Ohio, where our sunlight is pretty weak through cloud cover most of the time (the Cullens could live here quite comfortably), it’s still important to soak it up. Yes, it helps produce Vitamin D and is therefore good for your health. I’m recommending it, though, because right now the world feels pretty dark, emotionally speaking, and an antidote for that is to actually see that the sun is still up there, still rising and setting every day.

3. Tuning in – spend some time, every day, doing something that helps you tune in to yourself. Something that helps you feel who you are and how you’re doing as a being separate from everyone else out there. Feel how you are feeling, tune into the sensations in your body, become aware of the you-ness of you. You are not all those swirling emotions out there in the field. You are not the fear, the panic, the grief, the anger. You are a being separate from all those, a being who can sense those, but is still a complete being all in yourself. Here are some things you might do to help with that:

Do something you love. Listening to music, doing a craft, coloring, journaling, cooking or baking something special for yourself, tending to your plants, cuddling with your pet, dancing around your living room, writing poetry or working on a novel, rearranging your furniture, decorating your house for Halloween or Christmas, playing dress-up in your closet, giving yourself a mani-pedi or a facial; anything that you do because you love it, that you do just for you.

4. Self-touch – feel with your hands the boundary that separates you from the rest of the world – your skin. Rub some lotion on your skin. Stand in the shower and feel your arms and legs and torso and say to yourself, “This is my arm,” “This is my leg,” “This is my belly,” and so on. Just sitting on your couch, take a moment to run your hand up your arm or along your leg, maybe even squeezing yourself lightly to really feel the strength of your skin boundary that protects you from the outside world.

5. Heart-connection – place your right hand over your heart and bring your left arm across your body to wrap your left hand around your right upper arm, like you’re giving yourself a hug. This is a nice way to connect with yourself while you’re lying in bed at night, before going to sleep. This is a healing type of self-touch that helps you feel your physical boundaries and connect with your heartbeat.

6. Breathing – connect into your breath. Not necessarily changing the way you breathe, but just feeling the breath moving through your body and hearing the sound of your breath in your ears. Notice that you’re still breathing. You might even say to yourself, “I’m still breathing,” or “I’m still here.”

Hopefully some of these tips will help you manage this time of extra pressure against your empathy channels, so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the collective stress we’re all experiencing. If you have some things that you’re already practicing to keep yourself feeling whole, please share them with us!

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