Empath's Holiday Survival Quick Guide: 5 Strategies to Manage Your Sensitivities

For an empath to fully enjoy the holiday season, it is extremely beneficial to learn how to protect, clear, and manage their energetic sensitivities.

I have been an empath my entire life, but it took me until my 20’s to fully understand the depth of this sensitivity.  Throughout my childhood and into adulthood, I have often felt alone and misunderstood as I tried to navigate my way through this world feeling things that everyone else seemed oblivious to.

Empaths are people who are able to deeply feel the emotions and energy of other people and places (also, possibly: animals, the earth, and a host of other things too, but that’s for another post). Everything has its own vibrational signature, and empaths are people who are able to ‘read’ this signature by feeling it within themselves.

This ability is a gift. It gives you deeper insight into the people and places around you, making you an effective healer and skilled intuitive, but it also comes with its challenges, such as: fatigue, overwhelm, confusion, anxiety, sleeplessness, and a feeling of being ‘weighed down’, to name a few.

With the holidays coming up, I thought it was the perfect time to share some tips with you to help my fellow empaths navigate the increase of social activity and crowded public spaces. For many of us, it’s not that we don’t want to socialize, it’s just that it can be too overwhelming and draining when we’re feeling everyone and everything around us.

1.       Pull Your Aura In – You have a beautiful field of energy that surrounds your body. Science calls it our biofield. Your energy field naturally picks up information from other people’s auras who are nearby. By pulling your aura in, you’re creating a more tightly-held and grounded container that is less likely to intermingle with the energy around you, helping you feel much more calm, relaxed, and in control. The bigger your energy field, the more energy you will be taking on, which is the opposite of what an empath wants. Make it a practice to pull your aura in and keep it close. To pull your aura in, close your eyes and intuitively sense where the outer edge of your aura is (don’t worry about getting this right or wrong, it’s not important), then imagine pulling your aura in towards your body. Intention is everything here, just intend to pull your aura in and it will work. Experiment with a size that feels best to you. Some people like pulling it all the way into their body, while others keep it a couple inches outside their body. You can also add in visualization here by imagining your whole aura glowing in your favorite color. For some people, this color gives an extra buffer of protection.

2.       Stay Grounded – I was grocery shopping the other day and the store was extremely crowded. I pulled my aura in and then brought my awareness down through my legs, into my feet, and into the ground. It immediately helped me feel grounded and less affected by the busyness of the people around me. I was also able to stay focused on my list and get my errands done without much distraction, which can be a challenge sometimes if I’m not grounded. Again, intention is everything. By using your awareness to ground down and connect with your feet, the floor, and the earth below, you will stay grounded.  (Fun Fact: Why is intention everything? Because where intention goes, energy flows. Your intention literally guides the energy to do what you want it to do.)

3.       Back to the Basics: Eat enough, drink enough, and sleep enough  – Before empaths head into a potentially overwhelming gathering or public space, it’s very helpful to have eaten (protein is especially grounding), had plenty of water, and be well rested. Hunger, dehydration, and fatigue make an already sensitive person, more sensitive and energetically weak. Excessive alcohol can also create energetic weakness, causing an empath to become more susceptible to taking on the energy of the people around them. Take care of yourself, and you’ll feel much more capable of handling whatever comes your way.

4.        Clear Your Energy Field – When my schedule gets full and I’m running from place to place, I do this in my car to help bring me back to center, release energy that isn’t mine, and to prepare for my next agenda item. Bring your awareness onto your breath, and if its comfortable, begin to deepen and lengthen each inhale and exhale. With each exhale, intend that you are letting go and releasing all energy that isn’t yours. Do this for a few minutes giving yourself the opportunity to fully clear it all away. This is also helpful do to before bed to release the energy of the day.

5.       Know Your Limits & Boundaries – Stay keenly aware of how you’re feeling, what you need, and adjust accordingly. This past summer, I was in a wedding and about midday began to feel really overwhelmed. There was about a 30-minute pocket of time between the ceremony and dinner, so I found an empty room to put my feet up, close my eyes, and relax. I’ve also done similar things like this in the bathroom at parties. I sneak away for a little bit, and then I’m able to come back out and socialize without feeling like I’m going to start breaking down. Remember: Boundaries are self-loving and self-sustaining. You are not required to sacrifice your well being in order to make others happy. Saying No is okay. Leaving early is okay. Protecting your energy and staying completely away from certain people and situations is okay. You know what you need. Trust it.

With practice the effectiveness of these techniques will strengthen over time. You do not need to be at the mercy of the energy around you. You can become an empowered empath who feels deeply without carrying, embodying, and feeling responsible for the condition of the people and places around you. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, I highly recommend The Empath’s Survival Guide, by Judith Orloff. It’s a wonderful resource for people like us.