If you’re like me, between the baking, cooking, Christmas cards, gift-wrapping, decorating, shopping, and holiday parties, you tend to forget yourself. Buried under a sea of shiny wrapping paper, ribbons, and double-stick tape, you may overlook your own self-care, which isn’t only important but essential.

I’m reminded of my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, when Will Ferrell says, “First, we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”

In the past, I’ve said yes to doing all of that in one winter afternoon. This year though, I’ve adopted a new attitude. With a little help from a recent bout of illness, it forced me to focus on conserving my energy. I’ve learned to set boundaries and O.M.G., does it feel good. When I stop and remind myself what this holiday season is really about: faith, love, family, relationships, and my own relationship with myself, my shoulders relax. I breathe a little more, and voila, I’m centered once again.

As empaths, our needs are a little bit different than other folks. And that’s okay. These three hard-won habits are helping me through the holidays and maybe they’ll help you, too!

#1: SHIELD YOURSELF

As an empath, you have heightened sensitivity to energies. There’s SO much energy around you at this time of year: crowded grocery stores, shopping centers, traffic, holiday parties, and family gatherings.

It’s vital that you shield yourself so you don’t inadvertently absorb other people’s energies which may make you feel tired, unfocused, or upset. For some, family gatherings can create unease. If you feel negative energy- or people are arguing, competing, or using frightening words, you must protect yourself.

  • Visualize a bubble of protective light around you (white- general protection/ green- healing/ purple- spiritual protection/ pink- lightheartedness/ blue- increased communication & clarity)
  • Call on Archangel Michael to guard you from lower energies, visualizing his sword as a protective buffer.

#2: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY

Stressful times can lead to miscommunication. It’s important to clearly ask for what you need and want. Some empaths have difficulty asking for and accepting help, however, this is a fabulous time for you to practice asking for exactly what you need and being open to receive it. Don’t assume others will anticipate your needs.

Help yourself by allowing others to help you.

#3: CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY- DON’T OVEREXTEND!

Yes, you want to be everywhere at once and do it all. I get it. Me too. But I’ve learned my beautiful friend, you can’t. You’ll burn out faster than a runner sprinting a 400-meter dash. We must give ourselves permission to just BE and relax. It really is okay.

I found that pacing myself is key. Only doing so much on one given day. And if something doesn’t get done, like a few more presents to wrap, oh well. My sleep and energy are what’s critical.

Which leads me to NOT overextending myself anymore. I’m conserving my energy and not double booking myself this holiday season. Look at your calendar and be sure to write in the word “REST” where needed.

Your family will thank you and you’ll thank yourself. This season, you’ll have more energy to be present with those you love cause you’re more present with yourself. Now, that’s a precious gift.

Wishing you a Healthy & Happy Holiday!

QUESTION: How do take care of yourself at the holidays? Share in the comments below.