Empath Survival Skills: Finding Balance in Daily Rituals and Routines
"Stressed souls need the reassuring rhythm of self-nurturing rituals." - Sarah Ban Breathnach
Create a Morning Ritual
Several years ago, when I was still teaching and developing my newfound abilities as a medium, I established a daily routine that allowed me to juggle the time I spent with both the living and the dead. I have always been an early riser and I used the hours between 4 and 6am (when my husband and most of the world was still sleeping) to hone my new craft. I read anything I could get my hands on that pertained to psychic development or tuned in to answer the call of Spirit any time my head started tingling, taking careful notes on everything along the way. It wasn't until the pandemic arose that I got truly lazy and stopped doing these things on a regular basis that I realized that without this routine I was turning to mush, both physically and mentally. The single most important thing that I did to turn things around was to reinstate a morning routine that inspires me. I get up no later than 6am every morning, do a few yoga stretches while my coffee or tea brews, and then head upstairs to my office to read, reflect and commune with my Spirit Guides. I start by lighting candles and some incense to burn away any residual energy from the previous day’s readings (frankincense and myrrh is my go-to). I read a page from Simple Abundance (365 days of essays on creating a mindset of gratitude and abundance) and list at least five things that I am grateful for in the journal I keep on my ipad. I pull an oracle card to use as a point of reflection, then pray and meditate in order to tune in to the Spirit World for daily Guidance. Your morning routine may be similar or completely different than mine. It doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it gets you motivated and helps you to prepare for what life throws at you during the coming day.
Get Moving During the Day
Thanks to genetics (my mother never weighed more than 100 pounds unless she was pregnant), for most of my life I didn't have to work very hard at maintaining a healthy weight. After I had my own children, however, the weight did not simply fall off, and I had to introduce regular exercise into my life. I've fallen off the wagon a few times, but for the better part of 30 years I have done 45 minutes to an hour of some form of exercise 3-5 times a week to keep my weight in check. I confess that I stuck with it mostly for the vanity's sake, but I had the added incentive of wanting to keep my heart healthy to avoid any complications from the aortic valve defect that I inherited from my dad. These days, as a 50-year-old grandmother of three, I am far less concerned about what I see in the mirror. Feeling good has taken priority over looking good. Sure, I'd like to shed at least some of the Quarantine 15 that I gained during the pandemic, but my main goal is to feel less creaky and squeaky when I get out of bed and boost my energy level, which also raises my vibration. To that end, I have gotten back to walking 3 to 5 miles, 3 to 5 times a week. I know that I need to add some light lifting to maintain bone and muscle mass as I age, but I'm easing back into things. It's all about baby steps. Start by aiming for 45-60 minutes of light activity daily. If that feels like too much all at once for you, try 30 minutes once or twice a day.
ADDED BONUS: Raising your vibration not only benefits you but creates a ripple effect, which benefits everyone you come into contact with and humanity as a whole.
Ground (Do an "Energy Dump") Every Afternoon or Evening
Grounding or dumping excess energy is a must. Learning to wring out the sponge of excess energy you carry around is the most important tip I can offer my fellow empaths. It only takes a few minutes, but the benefits are endless. When it comes to grounding, I'm like the Postal Service; neither rain, sleet nor snow can keep me from this daily activity. At the end of each day I take off my shoes and head outside to lay on the ground like a starfish (or stand like a tree if it's wet). I quiet my mind and breathe deeply several times, inhaling positive energy and exhaling any tension or crusty energy leftover from the day. There are many other ways to ground. For more detailed instructions on how to reboot and take back your energy each day, check out my blog on Energy Balancing and Meditation.
What you put into your body is as important as exercise. I won't pretend to be an expert on nutrition (I would survive on cheeseburgers, pizza rolls and chimichangas if I could), nor insult your intelligence by pushing the latest fad diet, but eating healthy foods can also be grounding, as well as raise your vibration. Drink lots of water and try to avoid processed foods. End of sermon.
Limit Your Exposure to Social Media and Television... Especially at Night
Most empaths are not only sensitive to the energy of those they come in direct contact with, but also to the vibes they pick up on secondhand via the airwaves. Just as you avoid energy vampires at the office, you should avoid overexposing yourself to negativity and violence on tv and in the media which, make no mistake, can suck the life out of you just as easily any fanged Transylvanian. I love scrolling Facebook and Insta for posts that send a positive message or feature the happy children and grandchildren of my friends and family, but I conscientiously avoid accounts that do not make me smile or laugh on a regular basis. And I have zero qualms about unfollowing or unfriending anyone who continually focuses on the dark or nasty side of any current issue. The same holds true for television. Many empaths are born worry warts. They fret about themselves, their families, the lonely old man eating alone at the next table, every animal shivering somewhere out there in a cage and all of the starving children in the desert. If you felt what I just described deep in your soul, do yourself a favor and avoid watching the news at all costs. Put down the remote and pick up a new hobby or a good book. Start with mine, Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium. Pardon the shameless plug, but seriously, why not invest in something that will help you expand your consciousness and raise your vibe, rather than continue doing things that are slowly chipping away at what is left of your pre-pandemic inner peace?
You may feel like a lot of what I shared above is common sense or fluff/stuff that you already knew, but we could all use a little reminder or inspiration now and then, am I right? You may also feel like making all of these changes at once is overwhelming, which is why I suggest taking it slow. First, focus on setting up a new morning routine that inspires you. Add in some physical activity after a week or two, perhaps replacing one 30-minute tv show with a walk around the block. By the end of the month, add in another half hour of activity and try spending the last 15 or 30 minutes before bed reading a good book rather than finding another 50 ways to kill your spouse (and not get away with it) on the ID Channel. Crappy daily habits lead to an even crappier night's sleep, which can lower your vibration as quickly as any hangover ever did. With a little patience and practice, each of these relatively small adjustments to your daily routine should help you function better during the day and sleep better at night, all of which leads to a happier, healthier today and (fingers crossed) more tomorrows.
Pictured above: Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach; Self-Care for Empaths by Tanya Carroll Richardson; Surely Serenity Intuitive Counsel cards; Birthday Tea by Mariage Frères (Paris); Champagne Aura Quartz crystal (purchased at The Crystal Fox in Laurel Maryland).