yellow sunflowers beside girl

Encouragement For Empaths Who Feel Emotionally Exhausted

Your heart rips in tiny pieces every day. You try to hold yourself together for the sake of being less of a burden but feel defeated. You’re trending between sleep and anxiety with a flip-flopping heart and beating chest.

You can’t bear to lose another family member. Some days are better than others. You’re not ready to archive the pictures, videos, and voice notes. Some days they comfort you, while other days they bring down tears.

You can’t stomach losing another friend. Though no words are said, you can feel the rift between you. You’re navigating new territory, and maybe with time you’ll find your way back to each other. Life is testing your mental elasticity—that is, how much change you can handle before saying, “To hell with it.” You’re trying to balance taking time for yourself while being there for others. Sometimes good intentions get lost in translation. You’re remembering not to take things personally. 

You’re tired of giving up your body in hopes of receiving love. Love is sacred to you. You’re not built for guessing games and casual sex. You were created to give light and ignite passion.  

But perhaps what you can’t bear the most is the collective pain, loss, and suffering of those near you. 

Though it’s taxing, you must continue to feel. This is your strength. Though you know heartache deeply, you can also empathize. You’re able to connect with others in a way that makes them feel seen. People call this being too emotional, but maybe they’re the ones who’ve got it all wrong. Perhaps they’re the ones missing out on creating authentic connections.

Though your emotions are intense, they don’t have to rule you. You get to decide how much importance you place on a thought. You’re conditioned to think uncomfortable emotions last for a long time while positive ones won’t, but that’s simply not true. You don’t have to suffer for everything. You deserve good things. When you start believing this, your life will change for the better.

You deserve good things.

Sometimes we hold on to feelings we’d rather get rid of, like guilt and shame, because they feel familiar—weirdly soothing. Those feelings manifest physically in behaviors like having a Netflix marathon, binge-eating, or sleeping for days. These aren’t actions to hide from. Your beautiful body isn’t trying to hurt you. It’s trying to protect you the best way it knows how.

Once you realize that your behaviors are tied to your emotions, you can anticipate them. You can set yourself up for success by giving your body what it needs. Maybe you need rest, words of affirmations, self-care, nourishing foods, or intimacy—you know best. There’s no wrong answer. It’s intuitive, like you.

You’ve had an emotional year, and here you are. You’re still standing or lying or barely crawling, but you’re here. In this small moment, you’re present. You don’t have to do anything. Right now, just being is enough.

Remember, though you feel isolated, you’re not alone. It’s our humanity that binds us. It’s our collective love of candles, flowers, quiet spaces, sad songs, dark memes, and Rihanna that binds us. You’re not alone. Even when you feel depressed, heartbroken, anxious, or like a hot mess, you’re not alone. We’re interdependent on each other.

I know you’re emotionally exhausted. With time, you’re going to be okay. Don’t let anyone rush you; take what you need. Then suddenly, one day, you’ll wake up and hurt a little less, not because the pain is gone but because you’ve become a little stronger.  

You’re allowed to lay your head down, take time for yourself, and just breathe.

Arlene is a health + stress management coach for heart-centred women

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