Being sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others is the gift and the plight of the empath. If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me that they struggle in their life because of how empathic they are, I could open a bank account. Many empaths choose to isolate themselves because they do not know what to do to take care of themselves when in community. While some temporary isolation can actually help solve your problems in the short term, isolation is not an adequate long term solution for how to survive being an empath.

If it is challenging for you to take care of yourself because you are an empath, here are some tips that will help make it a bit easier.

Strengthen yourself: The stronger that you are, the less likely you are to take on other people’s stuff. Absorption of lower energies –the stuff you feel from other people that makes you feel less than optimal— happens more frequently when you are operating at these lower frequencies yourself. The less you are taking care of yourself, or the more unresolved stuff you have, the more likely you are to be overcome by other people’s stuff. Build yourself up and you will see that you can more easily work with what comes your way.

Do you really need to take it on: Empaths are built to intimately experience the world and people around them. This design comes with certain tendencies to process the feelings of those around them. This is not an imperative. Instead, you can learn not to take on EVERYONE’s stuff and begin to protect yourself from what does not serve you. As you start to learn to put a layer of protection between you and some parts of the world, you will likely notice how often you feel drawn to energies that do not serve you. This is its own teaching.

Can you take it on differently: It is worth asking the question, “Is there another way to do this?” Perhaps ingesting and processing things for other people is less than optimal. Maybe you could choose to actively support them in their journey, rather than sympathetically absorb their experience. Maybe you could ask for more support in processing what you are coming in contact with. In some cases, I have recommended that empaths begin to officially work with people in a healing capacity to start to develop structure and skills around what they do naturally.

Clean and clear regularly: If you are going to operate in the world in an optimal way then you will need to keep yourself clean and clear. If you are an empath you should have a toolbox of cleaning and clearing techniques to support you in being healthy and happy. Every time you start to feel heavy, low, sluggish, cleaning and clearing should be your first step.

Take some personal time: Yes, I did start this article talking about how to survive being an empath without isolating yourself – with good reason. However, some well placed, intentional alone time can do wonders for you. It is helpful to define a specific amount of time for your personal time so that you learn to move in and out of your personal time, without isolating.

Learning how to survive being an empath is about taking care of yourself with consistency. Newer, better, or fancier tools to work with are less important than good ones that work for you and which you apply regularly. If you are feeling the push to isolate, start putting some of those good tools into practice. Click here to sign up for Conscious Creative Magazine, our collaborative art piece that brings you inspiration, guidance, and resources – right to your inbox – every month.