Empaths have a lot of superpowers, and one of them is their sensitivity. While this can be extremely helpful in so many ways, the drawback is that it can sometimes make you a little more sensitive to the world around you.
This can take the form of heightened senses of smell, hearing, or energetic sensitivity. Because of their unique sensitivity, some empaths will self-isolate to try and avoid the world's noise.
There's nothing wrong with a little alone time, as long as you don't become a hermit! Since an empath's nervous system is highly sensitive, you want to take a pause when needed. Empaths are natural healers and the world needs you more than ever right now. This year has been the most chaotic that many people have ever experienced. Because of your sensitivity, you may be "tuning in" to the worldwide collective consciousness. I know it sounds woo woo, but just hear me out.
Empaths are sensitive to emotions and energy. It's what makes us very intuitive and able to empathize with others so well. If you view energy in terms of frequency, then it just means that we're able to tune into the right frequency to help others. Because of this, we can tune into the frequencies of people far away and the world collective at large. An example of this is knowing the phone is going to ring and who's calling before it happens. You can call this psychic intuition or tapping into the frequency of the person calling.
Because if the ability to "tap in", you can unconsciously absorb negativity, anger, sadness, and emotions of people you don't know, or the world at large. If you're not adept at shielding, grounding, or cleansing your energy, then it can build up until you believe the anger, sadness, or anxiety is yours. If you need help learning these skills, my book Empath Armor: How To Ground, Cleanse, and Protect Your Energy as a Sensitive Person is available on Amazon. You can find it here.
Here are a few suggestions if you feel that the world is too overwhelming and you just want to tune it out for a while.
When the world feels too stressful and chaotic, one of the best solutions is just to unplug from the news and social media for a while. If you're unable to completely avoid it, then limit your exposure or be selective about what you're exposing yourself to, and try to make it as gentle as possible. My stress level spiked recently and I had to put myself on a social media time-out. For about 4 days, I only logged on for a few minutes. There was just too much ugliness for me and I was feeling awful. In those 4 days, I redirected my social media time into learning new skills, reading fun books, and doing self-study courses. I can't tell you how much more productive I felt! I didn't realize how much time I was wasting mindlessly scrolling through social media. If you're wanting to take your digital detox one step further, then consider turning off your phones, tv's, and even limiting computer time if possible.
Ground and re-center yourself
When you're feeling anxious and untethered, getting grounded is the fastest way to feel better. There are lots of methods and it's important to find one that resonates with you. In my book, Empath Armor, I discuss the benefits of earthing, meditation, visualization, and crystals. Using a black tourmaline crystal and meditation are my two favorite grounding methods. I also take extra walks with my dogs in nature when I'm feeling really stressed.
Reconnect with your passions
If you're feeling compassion fatigue or just plain tapped out, then it could be you haven't spent enough time doing things that bring you joy. It's easy to put other's needs above your own, but you're important too! Doing things that bring you joy helps beat back any blues or anxiety you might be feeling.
Enjoy the silence
Did you know that several studies have shown that noise actually contributes to increased stress and tension in the body? The famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, once said, "Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on the sick or well". Excessive noise has been shown to cause elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and sleep loss or insomnia. In a 2006 study, just 2 minutes of silence proved to be more relaxing to subjects than listening to "relaxing" music. They displayed lower heart rate, increased circulation to the brain, and less tension in the body. With silence, our brains are also able to recuperate their attention centers leading to increased clarity and focus.
Everyone needs a little break now and then. It's ok to disengage whenever you feel overstimulated and anxious. Find a system that works for you and practice it consistently.