7 Tips For Creating An Empath Sanctuary During The Pandemic
As people spend more time at home—working, studying, and socializing remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic—more than ever, empaths need sanctuaries at home where they can retreat and recover. Because empaths are hyper-perceptive humans who can feel the energies and emotions of others as if they were their own, getting downtime to recharge in a calm, soothing sanctuary environment is important. Yet this could feel challenging if other people—like family members or roommates—are also spending more time at home, or if you are in a very small space that is now a home and an office. The following are tips for creating an empath sanctuary anytime, anywhere:
1. Accept that as an empath, you need mindful breaks from the energies and emotions of others.
In my book Self-Care for Empaths, I explain that because empaths are picking up on more, they can more easily become overwhelmed and overstimulated. Whatever is going on in the world and wherever you find yourself in it, getting downtime when you can nurture your sensitive system is a huge component of your self-care. Retreating from the energies and emotions of others so your sensitive system can recover is a necessity for empaths.
2. Remember that you can retreat and recover in almost any space.
We all love to look at the beautifully curated pictures of indoor and outdoor spaces on Instagram, but remember that your empath sanctuary doesn't have to be large...or picture-perfect. Since the pandemic began, I've had clients call me for an intuitive session from their cars (parked in the garage) in a home they share with extended family or from a bathroom in a home they share with small children. Get creative about where you can carve out a little privacy and space for yourself if you are living with other people or if you are alone and space feels limited.
3. Transform shared or ordinary areas into empath sanctuaries.
If you decide that the living room is a good place for your empath sanctuary, but it's a high traffic area during the day until kids hit the sack, mindfully transform it into a sanctuary in the evening with candles, incense, sacred music, soft pillows and throws, crystals, or anything else that makes you feel physically comfortable and energetically centered. The same is true if you are alone in a small space that is now acting as an office and a home. Introducing sanctuary elements to a small space that serves many purposes will help it feel more like a sanctuary when you need it to.
4. Emphasize healthy retreat-and-recover activities.
If you're on the fifth episode in a row of your favorite show and the second bottle of wine, ask yourself if you may be numbing out. Healthy retreat-and-recover time should be relaxing but also allow you to stay present in the moment. Binge-watch in moderation and consider adding other activities like reading, journaling, full moon or new moon rituals, and oracle or tarot cards, etc.
5. Understand that you don't necessarily have to be alone.
Reading quietly beside a partner in bed, listening along to an inspiring podcast with your roommate, crafting with a friend, or working on a 1,000-piece puzzle with your teen could all be very healing, low-stimulation activities for your sensitive system. While you're trying to get a break from absorbing a bunch of other people's energies and emotions, this doesn't mean you necessarily have to avoid people!
6. Create an empath sanctuary in temporary spaces.
If you're staying with friends or family in their home, in a hotel, or in a longer-term Airbnb, identify a place indoors or outdoors that you can transform into an empath sanctuary when needed. This will make you feel more relaxed and at home. You might explain to others that there's a little corner of the patio you like to retreat to sometimes but that anyone is welcome to use that space when you're not there. If you're very sensitive to energy, you can always do a quick clearing of the space with smoke, water, or sound before you snuggle into your sanctuary.
7. Prioritize chill time in your sanctuary.
You might be working from home while also managing small children who are also at home, caring for someone who is ill, or answering calls and texts from friends and family who are reaching out more often than usual for emotional support. Empaths don't thrive when they are expected to be "on" all the time. Develop a regular routine with retreat-and-recover time—daily if possible—and explain to others that it's important for your self-care.
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