What does it mean to be an empath?
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is often seen as a personality type because there are individuals that have high empathy levels, and an innate ability to put themselves in other people's shoes. Nevertheless, empathy or compassion is something that we all do naturally at some point in our lives. Empathy also has many benefits such as improved relationships, a better understanding of others' emotions and thoughts, and increased happiness. This can prove to be useful in our connections but for some, these feelings are exacerbated getting in the way of a happy and healthy life. So, what to do if we feel exhausted from human interactions, and how to manage our energy levels?
- Be mindful of your limits. Knowing when you are giving too much of yourself, or when a situation is draining you is pivotal, don't let it go over that threshold from which you cannot recover quickly. If one interaction is depleting you, take a time out if necessary, and do it in the most graceful way you can. For instance, you may say, I would love to discuss this with you, can we continue in 15 minutes? Or even the next day if it's not important. In most cases, it works and it will give you a little time to recompose yourself, it gives you distance and time. You don't need to accept all requests at all times.
- Practice self-compassion and self-care. You also deserve attention and kindness, put the same energy that when you are trying to help or connect with someone towards yourself. Understand that everyone has their own needs, including yourself. Self-compassion is the ability to be thoughtful and understanding of oneself in instances of suffering. It is a way of connecting to oneself with warmth, and care. A great way to do this is to think of pieces of advice that you would give to your friends or family if they were feeling or going through the same. Also, in order to maintain high energy levels and remain in a good mood, it is necessary to take care of yourself. This includes eating healthy foods, exercising, sleeping adequately, and staying hydrated.
- Explore different ways to unwind, having different techniques to unwind and restore energy can be handy in different contexts. You can have a little break at school or work by stopping for a brief but quiet lunch or practicing a 5-minute meditation. You can even meditate with your eyes open. At home, you might prefer doing solo activities has yoga, journaling, and also meditating. But any hobby that you do will do the trick in restoring and balancing energy. Another pleasant way to decompress is having a comfy home or room, a place where you feel safe and relaxed, even though I'm a huge adept of minimalism, I love spreading plants and crystals around the house to invite good energy and increase well-being. Choose what makes you happy and what makes sense for your lifestyle.
In closing, empathy is good for everybody but in great amounts, it can become overwhelming. If you happen to be an empath, make sure to take care of yourself and others too, just be mindful about it. After all, there is only much we can give. And a depleted person is in no position to help others.