How to Recognize Your Unique Struggles and Provide Care Without Burning Out
By Guest Author: Tara Meyer-Robson
Being a caregiver is an emotionally taxing role, regardless of your personality. However, for empaths – people who possess an extraordinary ability to feel the emotions and pain of others as if it is their own – the task can become even more challenging. If you are an empath, you already know this, especially if you are in the thick of caregiving now.
While empaths excel at offering compassion and support (we are often the ones families call upon to step up when there is a need), there are some unique struggles you face in a caregiving role.
If you are an empath caregiver, you might recognize these struggles:
Struggle Number 1. Being Unable to Detach
One of the most significant challenges you will face as an empath caregiver is the difficulty in detaching from the emotions and experiences of the person you are caring for. You naturally absorb the feelings and energies of those around you, and you care a great deal about those you love.
While this heightened sensitivity can be a great asset in understanding and connecting with others, it can also lead to emotional exhaustion. You might find yourself feeling guilty or inadequate when you try to detach, fearing that it makes you a “bad” caregiver.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that taking breaks and practicing self-care doesn’t diminish your compassion; it’s an essential part of maintaining your own emotional well-being. In fact, it enables you to be more effective caregivers in the long run – and to avoid Struggle #2…
Struggle Number 2. Empath Burnout
You might have heard of “caregiver burnout” before but let me tell you – empath burnout is very different from conventional burnout. Here’s how:
When a non-empath gets to the point of burnout, he or she will often pull back and do less for their Loved Ones. Some will simply say that they cannot take on the role anymore. Either way, self-preservation kicks in and they will find ways to do less.
In the contrary, empaths often keep pushing themselves beyond their limits, even when they are exhausted. If this sounds like you, you likely feel an obligation to continue caring for others without acknowledging your own emotional fatigue. The obligation often comes from the expectations of other, but it is compounded by the fact that you actually feel the pain and suffering of the Loved One you are caring for. Feeling this, you want to make it stop…so, despite being beyond exhausted, you are driven to keep helping.
While all of this is understandable – and we are hard-wired to help people – it’s crucial for you to understand that caring for yourself is not selfish (no matter what you might have been taught!); it’s a fundamental necessity for your ability to provide care to others effectively.
Empaths in caregiving roles are valuable and compassionate, but it’s important to recognize that they must also look out for their well-being, which is something most empaths have not been taught how to do. Here are some strategies to help empaths navigate the challenges of caregiving:
Establish clear boundaries between your emotions and those of the person you are caring for. Understand that it’s okay to take time for yourself without feeling guilty.
Make sure you are doing some sort of practice every morning to set your own energetic boundaries, a practice I call shielding. To do this, imagine that there is a bubble of light that flows out from your stomach and up and around you, two feet into the air, and two feet into the ground. Make this light the color you would associate with safety or protection. Just taking 5 minutes a day to do this will be a game-changer for you!
Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Engage in activities that recharge your emotional energy, such as meditation, spending time in nature, or pursuing hobbies. Schedule these times on your calendar and KEEP those times with yourself.
Connect with fellow empaths and caregivers who can relate to your experiences. Sharing your challenges and strategies with a supportive community can be incredibly beneficial.
Consider seeking guidance from a therapist, counselor, or coach who specializes in helping empaths cope with their unique caregiving challenges and understands how to help you control your empath nature so you can take care of yourself and thrive.
As an empath, it might feel like the most natural thing in the world to take on a caregiving role – after all, it’s literally coded into your system. It also may feel very familiar to you, as most families rely on the empaths in their numbers to be able to take care of everyone else.
But, it’s also essential to be aware of the unique challenges you might face as an empath caregiver, such as the need to fully detach from your Loved One’s pain and emotions on a daily basis – and the reality that if you do not do that, you will burn out.
By prioritizing self-care and seeking support from experts who understand what it really is to be an empath – and what you need to be able to thrive (even in a caregiving role), you can continue to provide exceptional care while preserving your own emotional well-being. Remember, taking care of oneself is not a sign of weakness but a necessary step in providing care to others effectively.
If you’d like to learn all my best practices to help you to navigate being an empath from a place of power and learn to use your gifts and empath nature as a gift to help the world and not burn out, jump into my Empathic Badass 5 Day Challenge! In the first hour, you will feel completely empowered. In 5 days, you will know how to master your empath nature, understand your strength, set healthy boundaries, and be able to detach so you can have energy for you, too.
Not sure if you are an empath? Take my test to find out at:
ABOUT TARA MEYER-ROBSON:
Tara is an award-winning author, mind-body-life translator, entrepreneur, Reiki Master, coach trainer, and frequent expert speaker for conventions, corporations, and health care organizations. She is also the creator of The Flow Method, which has been called “the discovery that psychologists and sociologists have been seeking for 200 years,” and is a ground-breaking, science-based, totally personalized system that allows anyone to totally transform their lives and bodies with ease. Her first book, The Flow: 40 Days to Total Transformation, has not only become an Amazon Bestseller, but was selected as a finalist in the publishing industry’s prestigious ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards and nominated for several other awards.