Has the word overwhelmed been the daily feeling for you as you move through the holiday season? Maybe you are more fatigued or irritable than usual? Do you find yourself longing for relaxation, a nap, or isolation?
You could be an empath.
The holidays bring stress for most of us. Rushing around and over-spending on gifts, being at holiday parties we couldn’t care less about — all that extra stress is a given for us as the intensity of connection increases these last few weeks of the year.
But for an empath it’s even more extreme. An empath picks up on not only their own feelings about stressful holiday happenings but also people around them and their stresses. Empaths pick it up, absorb it, and feel the urge to help.
Taking others feelings, emotions and problems on can create a mountain of overwhelm and that experience is only magnified at the holidays.
Are you an empath? Here are a few identifiable traits:
- Highly sensitive. You may hear that you are “too sensitive” from others.
- Can “read” others and know what they are thinking and feeling.
- Negativity can be overwhelming — it may be difficult to watch the news.
- People love to tell you their problems.
- Often fatigued or may go to bed early.
- Very close to your pets or have a fondness for animals.
- Take on others emotional or even physical pain.
- Too many tasks at once can feel overwhelming.
- May enjoy the arts, spirituality, deep thinking, contemplation.
- Can dive deep on subjects, though you may get bored after a bit and move on.
- Isolation and or alone time to recharge is a necessity.
These are some of the traits of an empath. If this is you — congratulations! There is nothing wrong with you, you are an empath. Own it!
You can look at this as a curse or a gift.
Here are some of the gifts:
- Empaths are very likeable people.
- People are drawn to us as they can intuitively feel our desire to help with their issues.
- We can be incredibly creative. We may be great writers, artists, philosophers, counselors etc.
- We are great problem solvers — people naturally bring us their problems as they know our ability to problem solve.
- We feel emotions intensely and when in any kind of relationship, we commit and love fiercely.
Curses of the empath:
- We can become a toxic dumping ground of others’ issues and problems.
- We can mistake others’ emotions for our own.
- Many empaths are mistakenly misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder, mood disorder, or other conditions simply because of this intense ability to feel emotions.
- Because empaths are “designed” to take on others’ issues, they often manifest physical issues, too. Many empaths develop physical pain due to the absorption of the pain of those around them.
- Crowded places — malls, concerts, parties — can be very draining.
During the holidays, when emotions are running at an all-time high and we are forced to be in crowded places, an empath can land in overwhelm on a daily basis. How can an empath survive the holiday season and find peace in these times of stress, and year round?
- GROUND yourself daily! This is key to an empath’s survival. When we are grounded, we are anchored to the earth which gives us a dumping ground for our stress, others’ emotions, and helps to connect us back to ourselves. Here is the link to a grounding/centering meditation I created just for you.
- Tune in and take care of yourself!Pay attention to what you are feeling. Do you need a break? Do you need to isolate yourself? Then do so! Go lie down for 15 minutes, go lock yourself in the bedroom for a bit to decompress. Take care of yourself.
- Bubble yourself. Every morning before you get out of bed, imagine a beautiful bubble of light around yourself. Intend that this light protects you all day from anything not of the light, others’ emotions and keeps you centered all day.
- BREATHE. If you feel overwhelmed, stop, close your eyes and take a breath. Do this a few times, nice and slow, and notice yourself connect back to you.
These are wonderful tips for any of us, empath or not. But to all the empaths out there, I salute you. I know how you feel, for I walk in the same shoes as you. It’s not easy, but once you figure out what being an empath is all about, life does get easier — much easier — especially during the holidays.
Sending love to all and happy holidays!