Are you really intuitive about your friends and family? When there’s a conflict brewing can you sense it? Do you pick up on the emotions of other people easily, maybe even those you just met?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you might be have an empath personality type.
Being an empath (sometimes called a highly sensitive person), in its simplest terms, means that you are a person with empathy. But it it actually goes even further than that. Empaths feel ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
An empath’s entire life is affected by the feelings of the people around them. It’s a wonderful gift! You can connect with strangers easily, and when it comes to managing groups of people or solving conflicts nobody does it better than an empath.
But when you live your entire life being drowned in the unconscious feelings of other people it gets incredibly exhausting. The emapth personality type is often so busy taking care of other people or worrying about them that they forget to take care of themselves.
If you’re an empath, here are a few simple ways you can make your life easier and recharge your own energy.
1. Set Boundaries in Your Romantic Relationships
When you start dating someone everything feels wonderful. This goes double for empaths. All of those wonderful butterflies in an empath’s stomach are multiplied because they are also feeling the butterflies in their partner’s stomach. It’s a rare treat and one to be savored.
However that deep connection created by the empath at the beginning of the relationship can become draining over time.
Even when your relationship is going really well, feeling your partners’ feelings 24/7 is more than anyone should ever be expected to handle. You might want to be with your partner all the time, but to keep your relationship on firm footing and your own emotional health in tact, make sure to take at least one day a week all for yourself.
2. Don’t Change Who You Are to Accommodate Other People
To be the friend of an empath is an absolute honor. It means you have someone in your life who knows what you’re thinking and feeling and can sometimes articulate it better than even you can. Ask your friends, empaths! They will surely agree, they’re lucky to have you.
There are some people who won’t value your gift. These are the people who will accuse you of being “too sensitive” or of being “overly dramatic.” Because of who you are, you might feel tempted to put a bushel over your bright light just to make others feel more comfortable. Don’t do it! They aren’t hiding who they are to make you more comfortable, why should you do the same?
3. End a Relationship If You Have to End It
As an empath, your relationships with the people around you are integral to who you are a person. You thrive engaging in deep, meaningful exchanges of emotion. When a friend or a partner is in crisis, you shine, acting as an advisor and shoulder to cry on.
But people who are constantly in crisis can drain you dry and take advantage of your gift. You will always feel compelled to help even the most troubled person you meet, but take your own advice and when a relationship turns toxic, know that you can end it and no one will fault you for it.
4. Figure Out What Drains You
Everyday exchanges can be revitalizing for empaths, or they can be draining. Keep a journal and record how the activities in your daily life make you feel.
Being an empath doesn’t have to mean meditating and doing yoga are the only things that will energize you. Maybe baking a dozen cookies or have drinks with friends is even more effective at bolstering your energy reserves.
For everything that makes you feel revitalized, there will be things that drain you. A long crowded commute on mass transit, grocery shopping at peak hours, getting cornered by the old woman who lives in your building, these could all be things that drain you. Be able to identify them will help you prepare for them and balance these encounters out with activities that make you feel energized.
5. Prioritize Time for Yourself
As an empath, your life is about connecting with other people. Being social is a critical part of who you are. That’s why you will need to work hard to prioritize time for yourself. Feed yourself, nurture yourself, and make sure to get plenty of “you” time. It might not come naturally to you, but you’ll find life a lot easier to handle if you learn how to take care of yourself as well as you take care of the people in your life.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give an empath is this, keep on feeling everything you feel and don’t let anybody tell you it’s wrong or weird.
But take the steps you need to take to make sure you’re as happy, comfortable, and engaged as you would have all the people in your life be.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Things Sensitive Empaths MUST Do To Avoid Emotional Exhaustion.