Empaths and the holiday season can sometimes feel like a stressful overload, people-pleasing, boundary porous, recipe for disaster. This year, has seen an expansion of intuitive gifts with our empathic side expanding as well. More people are stepping into and exploring their intuitive empath natures.
Empaths are those folks who have extra sensitive antenna for sensing the feelings and emotions of those around them. Sometimes empaths feel an emotion such as sadness and they recognize that someone around them is sad. Other times, empaths may feel sadness in themselves and wonder why they are sad. Empaths often need to learn to sort out whether what they are feeling is theirs, someone else’s, or from a collective or community.
The holiday season can be a time of overwhelm and it is not uncommon for tensions to run high and for some people to be anxious, upset, or frustrated.
When empaths walk into the room, they feel the anxiety, upset, or frustration that is swirling in the space. They may even become anxious, upset, or frustrated themselves.
The natural response is to want to make these feelings go away.
To change the energy in the space, empaths often try to fix things - at least on a superficial, keep the peace sort of way. In this process, empaths may silence their voice, minimize their needs, and ignore things that are inappropriate.
So, what’s an empath to do?
First off, there are some situations empaths might consider avoiding. If you know it is going to be a high tension event with volatile emotions running amuck, perhaps it is best to decline the invitation. Yes, others may be disappointed. But for an empath, events like these can have physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impact that require significant recovery time.
If you decide to attend, are there things you can do to help moderate a potentially charged situation? Can you arrive ‘just in time’ and plan to leave in a timely manner? Is there a space within the event that is more conducive for you - a table or grouping off to the side or in another room, a task that allows you to move around a bit, or participating in a game or puzzle?
Some breathing patterns can help shift us out of a sympathetic nervous system response. These include deeper belly breaths or letting our exhales be a little longer than our inhales.
Focused sensory stimulation can help. Some people carry a fidget stim or wear bracelets or rings that can be used for similar purposes. Drinking a glass of water or fizzy (non-alcoholic) drink or intentionally munching on crunchy and/or spicy foods are other examples of sensory stims.
Jewelry and accessories made from natural materials such as crystals, wood, or fiber can also modulate our energy frequency.
We’re all wired differently. Listen to your body to identify what would work best for you.
And remember, be gentle with yourself.