As I am gearing up to travel down to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday next week, my thoughts waver between looking forward to spending time with my family, to then wondering how I’ll maintain sanity with so many people in a relatively small space for a long time.
Before you jump the gun and assume I’m just being an ungrateful sod and should just be happy I have a family who loves me, let me stop you for a moment. I am an empath. And with that comes a need for quiet, alone time to recharge my batteries. It also brings with it the ability to pick up on the ‘stuff’ that everyone else is feeling. It can be overwhelming at times.
Enjoy without being a Scrooge!
The holidays are a stressful time for all of us. Juggling your time between holiday parties, shopping, baking, and beating yourself up over eating your weight in sweets is tough! For empaths, the holidays present even more of a challenge: emotions vacillate between highs and lows and something in-between. And so much of the time, those emotions aren’t even ours. We can feel the joys, pain and sorrows of those around us. One trip to the mall can leave you feeling drained for days. And that is why you won’t catch me going anywhere near the mall this season, let alone on Black Friday!
A flood of people & emotions
Imagine going to a crowded mall and suddenly, a large crowd descends upon you and starts closing in all around you. For an open empath, this is what it’s like, but the bodies are just in the form of emotions. It’s just like a flood gate of emotions – none of which are yours – are coming full steam ahead at you. You absorb the emotions of the people around you. At the holidays, this can happen in your own home since emotions are heightened in everyone around us. An empath absorbs and feels depression, anger, sadness, jealousy, happiness, joy, expectations, excitement and fear.
Why sitting at the kiddie table is sometimes a blessing:
Staying grounded is among the most difficult things for an empath to master. In my experience, having some time with the kids around you – when quiet time is impossible – can help you feel more grounded and reclaim your energy.
During the holiday season there is so much going around you that you’re often left with your head spinning and feeling exhausted without a chance to remember that you need to take time to ground yourself. But trust me – you have to. You owe it to yourself and the people you’re spreading your holiday ‘cheer’ to.
Just as you can’t handle being everyone else’s emotional dumping ground, you shouldn’t subject other people to your moody empath attitude because you haven’t taken the time to ground yourself, shield yourself and give yourself that much-needed alone time.
Here are some basic tips for empaths around the holiday season
- Shield yourself: No, not with an actual shield. Although that might be funny. Give yourself an added energy boost and ‘wrap’ yourself in a white light the envelops your entire body. Let this light wrap around you as a protective bubble. When you start to feel down or panicked or anything not-so-nice, remember that energy is there to protect you. Hold on to it and know that it can help you push away everyone else’s crap. You have enough of your own to deal with.
- Wear a protective piece of jewelry or carry around a protective crystal: Whatever it is that feels right and protective to you, wear it. I wear a Hamsa necklace from time to time. Someone else I know wears a quartz crystal necklace. I sometimes carry a protective stone in my pocket, too. You could also try wearing a ring or bracelet that you can fiddle with when you’re feeling extra stressed.
- Find time for yourself: Even if it means escaping your family’s holiday party/dinner for 15 minutes, make sure you get away. Get outside and go for a brisk walk. Go into a quiet room (if you can find one) and listen to music. Whatever you do, make sure you make time for yourself.
I use a combination of all of these to ground myself before any holiday festivity. They won’t all work for everyone (or feel right for everyone) so do what feels right to you. And if you have any holiday coping mechanisms you can share with empaths, then share them here!
I wish you and your families a very happy holiday season (whether you celebrate or not). I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this time. And don’t stress about the copious amounts of sweets you’re eating — you can work those off in 2013!
How do you cope through the holidays (as an empath or not!)? Share your tips with us here!