Self-Care Tips for Empaths
Are you a highly sensitive person (HSP), or starting to realize that you may be? Empaths tend to be more sensitive to their situations and to other people’s emotions, as they are highly aware of their surroundings.
There are differing levels of empathy, dependent on the level of awareness one has over their thoughts and feelings. Empaths can often be hyper-aware and tuned in to other people’s emotions, which can affect them emotionally. This can lead to a host of problems for them, including stress and anxiety; if not checked, it can lead to depressive feelings.
Sometimes, an empath can take on the emotions of others in wanting to ‘help’ but not recognizing the effect it has on them emotionally. Science proves that we do take on emotions from others which can be detrimental for an empath, if they are negative.
Dealing with stress is critical to our health and wellness but, for someone who is highly sensitive, i.e. empathic, they tend to feel and react more deeply. Hence, they can experience emotions more which can lead to problems if left unchecked.
As an empath myself, I know the importance of being aware of my responses and reactions and keep them in-check. I believe it helps me in my business to have a better understanding of my clients which, then, helps me to help them more effectively.
This is why it is important for an empath, i.e. highly sensitive, to take care of themselves both physically and emotionally. If this sounds like you, then here are some tips you can use to ensure you are in an emotionally intelligent state so you can run your business and life to the fullest.
There are basic choices you can make in your daily life to help yourself navigate the minefields of life:
- Make – and Enforce – Boundaries
Boundaries are so critical in our lives, no more in business, to ensure a host of problems. Essentially, boundaries are like fences: what you are willing to accept from other people, in terms of their words and behaviors, as well as what you are willing to do for them. When the fence goes down, people will continue to walk over them and we will get the same behaviors we say we do not want; people will continue to walk over them unless we put the fence back up.
Boundaries come in many forms. The first and most important is to make boundaries in your relationships, both personally and professionally. Surround yourself with people who do not create more stress for you and who honor your ‘fences.’ However, this also means letting those you love to know when they are over-stepping ad creating more anxiety in your life.
The second type of boundary is one of time and space. If you know that a jam-packed schedule will create tension in your day, do your best to plan your schedule to allow breathing room between meetings or activities. Or give yourself a lunch break away from people and places so you can reset.
A third boundary is for yourself and learning how to not overstep or overdo, especially when you may not want to do something but feel compelled to do it, and then get upset that you did. This is when know your ‘fence’ has come down. The great news is that you can build it back up.
- Be Mindful
Again, there are many ways to be mindful. Mindfulness if focusing on your present state and one thing at a time. You can be mindful of your schedule, but you can also be mindful of what you allow into your mind. As we can get into doing too many tasks at one time, it is a great way to slow down and be productive, versus scattered. This only leads to increasing stress and anxiety, neither of which is good to your performance and productivity.
Consider practicing meditation, either guided or on your own, or try yoga in the privacy of your own home. YouTube is a great place to find guided meditation and beginner yoga practices; just sitting for two minutes and focusing on your breath is a great practice to relieve stress and recharge the brain.
- Areas of Relaxation
Create areas of relaxation in your life. Your home and office (if you have a private one), should be areas you feel comfortable, safe, and not triggered by anything. This can be soothing lights, sounds, and scents.
Creating a place of calm and serenity can be your ‘safe’ space to go, so when you feel stressed. You can create a room or nook in your home, for example, or you can look at having an outside space where you are able to relax and ease any stress you may be under.
Self-care is more than pedicures, massages, and guilty-pleasure TV shows. However, if all those things help you relax, go for it! Self-care is as basic as eating nutritious meals that fuel your body and mind, drinking water, getting plenty of sleep. Also, not over-doing it on things that make your body go crazy like caffeine or sugary foods. Simple self-care can go a long way and help give you the energy to practice self-care in other forms, such as setting boundaries (discussed above).
Self-care, from a mindfulness practice, means that you are aware of your thoughts and emotions so you can self-regulate them. Journaling is a great way to tap into your inner-self; journaling gives you the ‘third-eye’ so you can understand and control them. Focusing you yourself, versus others, gives you more energy and confidence to face whatever you are facing.
- Know Yourself
You know what causes you stress, so do your best to avoid those. If you do not know what your triggers are, you should work at being more mindful, so you can find the pressure points. One way is to track your moods and situations that led to them, i.e. triggers; when you are aware of them, you are then in a better position to do something about them.
Another is to keep a journal and writing about your feelings when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. This may allow you to uncover what is causing the tension and you can avoid those in the future. Journaling is not just writing, although it is the most beneficial, but can include poetry, doodling, drawing, and coming up with possible solutions to whatever is stressing you out. The brain likes to solve problems so tap into its power.
Knowing yourself and your triggers will allow you to better deal with stress in your life, and achieve the first four tips in this article so you can be your best self. Self-awareness is the key to a happier, productive life.
Being a highly sensitive person means you need to know yourself a little better and take steps to prepare yourself every day. When you are more aware of your thoughts and responses, it can help you to respond to other people and situations more effectively. Through the process of learning to better care for yourself, you may see that you are stronger and more resilient than you thought. While doing and achieving more.
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