The U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has left many of us feeling A LOT. As an Empath, it’s hard enough managing our gift on a daily basis, let alone when our society suffers a massive blow. Since we naturally absorb the feelings and emotions of those around us, protecting ourselves from heavy energy takes active effort. So, how does an Empath cope with such a sudden collective devastation?
what’s with today today?
Just last night I was telling my husband how I seem to be managing my Empath-ness pretty well. I’ve been able to “keep my distance” from others, not allowing their negative feelings or emotions to penetrate my energetic field.
But then today happened—a day that we were warned might happen. And then it did.
I found it difficult to focus on work, feeling a little numb and in a sort of mental “what do I need to do to protect my people?” action item mode. These thoughts and feelings were mine.
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of taking my distracted mind to social media. I scrolled past post after post and meme after meme. These people were angry. These people were sad. These people were ready to fight. And these people were terrified.
I lost it.
Ten minutes before I was scheduled for what was to be a happy business meeting, I broke down. And just thinking about it again has me in tears.
The intensity of each person’s post was a punch to my gut. Not because I didn’t agree with them, but because that’s where we hold our personal power, our fear, and our anxiety. That is why Empaths often experience stomach pains when we’re uncomfortable.
I felt my ability to stave off everyone’s negative energy get weaker and weaker until I finally let go. I let it knock me down. It consumed me. But I knew this wasn’t all mine.
More importantly, I knew that I don’t have to keep it. And neither do you.
how empaths can cope with collective energy.
1. Just turn it off.
There’s a part in the film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, where Patrick Rhone is being interviewed about society’s addiction to technology. He says “just turn it off… just. turn it off.”
As soon as I began scroll-sobbing, I knew I had to tear myself away from the computer. I heard Patrick’s voice in my head and have been hearing it all day. “Just turn it off.”
PSA: Voluntarily removing yourself from exposure to terrible things being talked about on social media does not mean you don’t care. It does not make you a bad or ignorant person. It does not make you a hypocrite.
It means that you’re practicing self-care. That you’re looking out for you. That you’re listening to the damn flight attendant and putting that oxygen mask on yourself first.
2. get some fresh air.
One of the best ways to cleanse yourself of toxic thoughts and energy is with nature. Go outside and breathe in that fresh air. On an exhale, let everyone else’s junk goooooo. It’s not yours, it never was, and it’s not meant to be.
If you can, take off your shoes and connect with the earth. Walk barefoot on the grass and feel the support of the ground beneath you.
The Universe is holding space for you. It’s okay to take a moment to yourself and regain your footing. Reconnecting with literal grass roots will remind you of your own strength and lifeforce, helping you regain your power.
3. talk yourself out of it.
…or talk it out of yourself.
Find a quiet spot to be alone with your thoughts. Sit upright on a chair or on the floor cross-legged (wherever and however, as long as your spine is active). Imagine roots coming out of your feet or tail bone (or both), connecting you to the earth below.
You’re going to take some more deep breaths. As you inhale, say (either aloud or in your mind) “I breathe in calm.” As you exhale, say “I breathe out stress.” Do it again… “I breathe in understanding.” “I breathe out frustration.” “I breathe in ease.” “I breathe out complications.” And so on.
Keep going until you feel relaxed and grounded. (It is so very important for Empaths to stay grounded!)
4. and others
Oftentimes, water is very helpful to Empaths in need of a reset. Whether you prefer to take a bath, shower, or swim laps in a pool, connecting with water can be a powerful coping method.
Meditation is another go-to strategy for Empaths. If you’re just dipping your toe into meditation, I suggest finding a guided meditation to help you focus. I love the videos on the FitOn App, but you can also find them on YouTube. If you’re a pro-meditator, then you know what to do.
Some of us also find that journaling is a great way to organize your own thoughts. In putting pen to paper, you can distinguish feelings are yours and which came from those around you.
keep your head up.
Don’t forget that being an Empath is a gift. Sometimes it can feel like a burden, especially in these intensely heavy and divisive times. Stay strong and find what works for you. Some of these methods I mentioned ^^^ may not be feasible for your particular situation or circumstance. Some may not even work for you (we’re all different), but they’re worth a try. And if you have any other methods that do work for you, please feel free to share them!
Hopefully, this was helpful in some way—even if just to know that you’re not alone.
About a year ago, I started a post about how to manage the day-to-day as an Empath. Other things in my life took centerstage (as they do) and it was never completed. I recently received a sweet note from a reader and it confirmed (among other things) the importance of finishing it. To that end, it will be coming soon, so stay tuned. But in light of what’s happened today, I felt this version was more urgent.