Updated: Jan 26
Self-care is any activity done deliberately to enhance a person's own wellbeing. A closer look at self-care practices shows us that these don't need to be very complicated. Self-care practices can be simple, but too often, such practicality also makes them so easy to overlook.
We all need self-care. If you're an empath, the need for self-care may be greater than it is for most people. Not only is an empath highly sensitive, but the tendency to effortlessly absorb energies, especially negative ones, from your environment could cause you to feel run down and overloaded. Living as an empath means that a person doesn't have the same emotional filters that most people have. Empaths take everything inside, acting like emotional sponges.
In order for empaths to avoid feeling drained all the time, they need to understand and accept their unique gifts and needs compared to most people. Regular self-care ranks as one of the most important needs that they need to address regularly.
However simple and practical these may be, self-care often ends up being one of the least priorities in an empath's life. But with deliberate planning and patience to carve out dedicated time for self-care activities, empaths can experience the endless benefits and rewards of self-care.
Expressing Yourself Creatively
Given an empath's strong ability to absorb other people's emotions, it is a must for you to learn how to creatively express yourself, to provide a safe emotional release.
Any form of art or ritual that you choose such as writing poems, playing music, or baking, can prove to be rewarding personally. Have a go-to creative activity that allows you to release pent-up energy and helps you feel better afterward.
The practice of consciously bringing attention back into the present moment is the essence of mindfulness. It allows us to stay grounded in the present. Empaths can too easily find themselves lost in their thoughts if they're oversaturated with emotions, often as a form of escapism.
Mindfulness eases empaths back, allowing them to be still, giving them the ability to focus on what's right in front of them. Doing regular mindfulness practices such as meditation, grounding, or even deep breathing can help empaths stay sharp, feel less anxious, and much happier.
One of the gifts of being an empath is how people feel naturally attracted to talking to you and confiding their worries in you. You may want to be there for them, but it's also very easy for you to get overly attached to the problem, feeling negative emotions, and treating these discomforts like your very own.
You don't need to stop being present for others, but maintaining strong boundaries is important and sustainable. If you're the kind of person that people in your life turn to when the going gets tough, boundaries will empower you to guide them, instead of making you feel drained or overwhelmed.
Having Regular Alone Time
Rigorously practicing self-care in the form of regular 'alone' time can be an especially great challenge for many people, especially parents. However, doing so is a necessity for empaths, given how they naturally function. Every empath needs to get as much alone time as possible to process their own thoughts and to come back ready for the world and for others.
Unwinding with Nature
Because empaths have the effortless ability to be in sync with their environment, nature can help bring healing and clarity to every empath. Having a regular nature break is an excellent self-care practice for these highly sensitive people.
Learning how to Release Energy (that's Not Yours)
As an empath, because you easily absorb other people's energy and emotions, you need to learn how to regularly release them, too. You can care and be there for others without having to own their pain and discomfort. There are many ways to release energy, but they differ in their effectiveness for different people. Whether it's listening to a specific music genre or going for a brisk walk, find out what works for you, and lock it into your timetable.
Doing at Least the Bare Minimum to Care for Yourself
Empaths (and most people) thrive when there is balance in their lives. Balance is maintained by doing the important basics such as eating well, getting enough sleep or rest, and getting regular or daily exercise. These activities may take a lot of discipline and patience to practice when the going gets tough, and a stressful life gets in the way. But dedication pays off in the end. Doing a little in all areas of caring for self, instead of ignoring certain activities, especially for empaths, can prove to be very rewarding.