Surviving Thanksgiving dinner with your family as an empath (it CAN be done!)

Surviving Thanksgiving dinner with your family as an empath (it CAN be done!)

by Lindsay on November 15, 2012

in Empath, Environment, Relationships

As I am gearing up to travel down to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday next week, my thoughts waver between looking forward to spending time with my family, to then wondering how I’ll maintain sanity with so many people in a relatively small space for a long time.

Before you jump the gun and assume I’m just being an ungrateful sod and should just be happy I have a family who loves me, let me stop you for a moment. I am an empath. And with that comes a need for quiet, alone time to recharge my batteries. It also brings with it the ability to pick up on the ‘stuff’ that everyone else is feeling. It can be overwhelming at times.

Enjoy without being a Scrooge!

The holidays are a stressful time for all of us. Juggling your time between holiday parties, shopping, baking, and beating yourself up over eating your weight in sweets is tough! For empaths, the holidays present even more of a challenge: emotions vacillate between highs and lows and something in-between. And so much of the time, those emotions aren’t even ours. We can feel the joys, pain and sorrows of those around us. One trip to the mall can leave you feeling drained for days. And that is why you won’t catch me going anywhere near the mall this season, let alone on Black Friday!

A flood of people & emotions

Imagine going to a crowded mall and suddenly, a large crowd descends upon you and starts closing in all around you. For an open empath, this is what it’s like, but the bodies are just in the form of emotions. It’s just like a flood gate of emotions – none of which are yours – are coming full steam ahead at you. You absorb the emotions of the people around you. At the holidays, this can happen in your own home since emotions are heightened in everyone around us. An empath absorbs and feels depression, anger, sadness, jealousy, happiness, joy, expectations, excitement and fear.

Why sitting at the kiddie table is sometimes a blessing:

Staying grounded is among the most difficult things for an empath to master. In my experience, having some time with the kids around you – when quiet time is impossible – can help you feel more grounded and reclaim your energy.

During the holiday season there is so much going around you that you’re often left with your head spinning and feeling exhausted without a chance to remember that you need to take time to ground yourself. But trust me – you have to. You owe it to yourself and the people you’re spreading your holiday ‘cheer’ to.

Just as you can’t handle being everyone else’s emotional dumping ground, you shouldn’t subject other people to your moody empath attitude because you haven’t taken the time to ground yourself, shield yourself and give yourself that much-needed alone time.

Here are some basic tips for empaths around the holiday season

  • Shield yourself: No, not with an actual shield. Although that might be funny. Give yourself an added energy boost and ‘wrap’ yourself in a white light the envelops your entire body. Let this light wrap around you as a protective bubble. When you start to feel down or panicked or anything not-so-nice, remember that energy is there to protect you. Hold on to it and know that it can help you push away everyone else’s crap. You have enough of your own to deal with.
  • Wear a protective piece of jewelry or carry around a protective crystal: Whatever it is that feels right and protective to you, wear it. I wear a Hamsa necklace from time to time. Someone else I know wears a quartz crystal necklace. I sometimes carry a protective stone in my pocket, too. You could also try wearing a ring or bracelet that you can fiddle with when you’re feeling extra stressed.
  • Find time for yourself: Even if it means escaping your family’s holiday party/dinner for 15 minutes, make sure you get away. Get outside and go for a brisk walk. Go into a quiet room (if you can find one) and listen to music. Whatever you do, make sure you make time for yourself.

I use a combination of all of these to ground myself before any holiday festivity. They won’t all work for everyone (or feel right for everyone) so do what feels right to you. And if you have any holiday coping mechanisms you can share with empaths, then share them here!

I wish you and your families a very happy holiday season (whether you celebrate or not). I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this time. And don’t stress about the copious amounts of sweets you’re eating — you can work those off in 2013!

How do you cope through the holidays (as an empath or not!)? Share your tips with us here! 

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{ 8 comments }

Jennifer Flint ~ The Aura Reader November 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Oh, I feel ya, of course. Thank heavens my family currently consists of about two people, so I don’t really have these problems.

And oddly, I kind of enjoy going to the mall during the Christmas season, more so than I do during the rest of the year.

There’s just something kind of festive about it, especially if I don’t have to do any shopping myself. I do almost all of that online, just to save myself the hassle.

I definitely agree that it’s a great idea to put up some psychic protection before doing so, though, especially if you are a sensitive person.

Your suggestions are excellent, and I would also add a little deep breathing to keep the nervous system calm and running smoothly. It can be very relaxing in remarkably short order. Meditating for a while before these events can really help too.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family, and I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back! :-)

Lindsay November 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Ah, a small family. That is nice! Will you be traveling for this holiday or staying put? I think the travel element makes it all that much more stressful. I feel tired already!

Deep breathing – wonderful suggestion. Our breath – and paying attention to it – does so much for us! Thank you!

Susan S. November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I will use a rose or a few roses of protection at the edge of my aura (as I was taught). And also, when I leave situations where I feel I have picked up others’ energies, I will consciously dump it; usually by ground it down or brushing it off, and then I’ll re-own my energy and space. I’m not as sensitive as you, but I do pick up others’ stuff.

Lindsay November 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I loe the idea of using roses. And also ‘brushing’ off the energy. I am going to do that this time and see if it helps!

Anne November 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

All steps listed are so good. I am planning to bring earphones and walking shoes, and actually set a wake up time so I have time to myself to prepare for the day (oooh – a whole week of family!!) my small bag includes my crystals, my angel card deck, my book with meditation exercises, and my journal.
My holiday is exhausting – this year my goal is to protect/shield myself so I take less of a hit from the ‘repressed and opressed’ and so I can visit and remain objective, not feel at the end like I have just come off of a weeklong bender.
Safe travels to you!

Lindsay November 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

LOL – I only laugh at the “weeklong bender” comment because I can soooo relate. Here’s to both of us maintaining our sanity and keeping our energy even-keeled this Holiday season!

Becki November 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I’m with you!! I loath going to any type of shopping mall this time of year. I don’t even want to go for groceries. Maybe in February. As for protection from others negative vibes I also use the white light. Thankfully our turkey day festivities include pizza and wings and only 8 people including me! On a side note…if you are indeed coming to town I would love to meet up sometime if you have any free time during your visit! Been way too long!

Lindsay November 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Your holiday sounds nice! I will indeed be in Clearfield for a few days (late Wednesday – Saturday morning). Are you free at any point then? I’d love to see you! I wrote on Teri’s wall about getting together for lunch or something, other people saw it and then it turned into like a mini high-school reunion. We are supposed to be going to Sid’s on Friday @ 4 for an early dinner! Would you like to join us? I think so far it’s me, Teri, Sarah B, JoyEl, Marcy and…well, I think that’s it. But I’d love to have you there. Some of those people I haven’t spoken to since about 5th grade! lol

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