10 ways for empaths to self-soothe during a pandemic
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Many of us are calm amidst all the news surrounding the corona virus. However, if you are an empath or a highly sensitive person, you may notice your emotional state has become anxious or unsettled. For example, you may be going about a normal day when you notice the fear and panic actions of others begin to impact your thoughts, feelings and ultimately your decisions. If you have been at the grocery store this past week, you may have altered your decisions out of the fear absorbed from the people around you. Or, you suddenly start feeling unsettled and you don’t know the cause or can’t seem to shake it even though you know that you are okay. If this sounds like you, you may have discovered your empathic abilities. An empath absorbs the world’s joys and stresses like “emotional sponges.”
During this situation, you can wring out your emotional sponge by practicing self-soothing techniques. These techniques can prevent getting overloaded by the stress of the world and/or your internalized stress over the pandemic. We have adopted some of these techniques from The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, by Dr. Judith Orloff and added a few Souljym favorites.
In addition to the standards of playing and cuddling with your animals, climbing under a cozy comforter or making yourself some warm tea or soup, you may want to supplement with the following self-soothing techniques. Find ones that resonate with you, these can be used each day to aid you to stay calm and centered throughout this global pandemic.
1. Use Conscious Breathing Deep breathing helps you expel tension and dislodge unwanted emotions from your body. Take slow breathes in, hold your breath for about four seconds and then exhale out slowly.
2. Practice Positive Self Talk Tell yourself, “I am safe and healthy. In taking care of myself, I take care of others. Everything will be okay.” Do not let fear-based voices get in the way of consoling yourself with kindness.
3. Develop a Witness State Acknowledge that you may be absorbing the emotions of others. Take on the perspective of the observer and tell yourself, “I am not this emotion. I can center myself. I can lovingly detach from feeling panicked or fearful and lovingly witness the feelings I’m experiencing.” Realizing you are larger than the feeling of others, will allow to relax you and offer your perspective.
4. Listen to Guided Meditations Guided meditations help clear your mind and dissolve unwanted emotions. Try our curated list on our YouTube page. You can even use crystals by holding them in your hand to enhance the relaxation process. We recommend amethyst, celestite, fluorite, black tourmaline, angelite, blue lace agate, lepidolite.
5. Clearing Visualization Picture a divine white sheet spread across the entire floor of where you are sitting/standing. Now with your mind’s eye allow that sheet to start to rise toward the ceiling. As the sheet passes through your body, it lifts all the negative and unwanted emotions through the roof of your home or office. This reduces feelings of anxiousness by keeping energy flowing out of your body and your space.
6. Use Lavender Essential Oil Inhale lavender essential oil or put a few drops midway between your eyebrows to calm yourself. Lavender promotes relaxation and can reduce tension.
7. Create Heart Brain Coherence Shift your focus into the area of your mid-chest by touching your heart, and breathe a little more slowly than usual, try feeling that your breath is coming from your heart. Now activate a positive feeling like thinking of a close friend or loved one, the best time in your life, or your favorite vacation spot. This process will shift you to instant inner peace and calm.
8. Smudge Yourself and Your Space Use any incense, like white sage, to smudge around yourself and your space. Simply light it, and wave it around the area. Smudging sticks online are widely available in stores or on-line.
9. Develop Energy Cleansing Ritual with Water Use water to create an internal or external energy cleansing ritual to clear your energy field and remove unwanted or negative emotions. Drink a glass of water and visualize that water performing an internal cleansing process of your body. When you bathe or shower, focus on the cleansing and energy purifying effects of the water on different parts of your body. You can add sea salt or Epsom salt with your bath water or your mix it with it your soap or shampoo in your shower to enhance the ritual.
10. Walk in Nature Forest bathing is letting nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet (listen to the birds chirp, smell the greenery, or feel the sun on the body). By drinking in the beauty of your surroundings, you can transition into a state of happiness. Also, you can stand barefoot outside on bare earth (referred to as earthing or grounding) for 10-20 minutes. By earthing, you electrically reconnect to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body. We have previously blogged about the benefits of forest bathing.
We are navigating unknown territory in this age of compassionately stopping the spread of the virus to our friends and family susceptible to succumbing to the disease. Many are experience financial consequences of these decisions which are creating additional hardships. It is a time to unite and lift others by watching our emotional states to not fuel the fear, outrage, and panic. Being an empathic, caring person leaves you open to a wide range of feelings. As part of your self-care, keep yourself as calm as possible. Using these techniques to help create peace in your life.