5. Practical Boundaries: energy vampires and energetic protection
The topic of boundaries is very important to all empaths, who tend to face challenges in developing healthy relationship structures due to their accommodating personalities. You may choose not to prioritize your own needs in the hopes of pleasing another person or out of fear that you will upset them if you assert your desires in a situation.
This can stem from an underlying concern that they won’t like you or disapprove of you. As a sensitive soul, this can be very hard on you and in order to avoid these unpleasant feelings, it leads to people-pleasing tendencies and poor boundaries. However, there are ways you can manage this experience, which will be discussed in this section.
Some people in your life could be described as having energy vampire-like behaviors. They end up taking your energy but are unable to give in return, or the relationship is energetically non-mutual. This can leave you vulnerable to being taken advantage of as energy-vampire-like people are often starved for affection, love, and care and you like to give these things to others.
Keep in mind though, that it is not your sole responsibility to fulfill the needs of those around you or individuals who are toxic, harmful, or abusive towards you—or just individuals who you choose not to engage with just because you don’t want to.
Boundaries are a good way to ensure that you are also getting what you need out of a relationship, job situation, and the like. Setting boundaries provides you with more self-empowerment and can help you overcome feelings of fear, guilt, and shame that you might feel when you assert yourself or express your needs and opinions.
Protecting yourself from toxic energies is important in order for you to maintain your personal power, sovereignty, and sense of self. It is recommended to have systems in place that can help you manage your boundaries and energetic self-protection.
Here are some suggestions for managing boundaries:
1. Energy protection
The empathic power of the Wanderer gives you a sense of connection wherever you go. When you see other people, you feel what they are feeling as if it was your own experience. This merging is so strong that your boundaries are blurred very easily. People are drawn towards you for this magnetic, open quality you possess. It can also cause that other people attach to you energetically and drain your life force. So here are some ways to protect and empower yourself.
- Before a social event anoint your wrists, ankles, back of the neck, and forehead with a protective infused oil blend (an oil blend may include rosemary, hyssop, lavender, and sage for example).
- Perform a meditation in which you envision yourself surrounded by protective light that filters out harmful and negative energies.
- Wear gemstones with protective properties (labradorite, onyx, obsidian, or garnet). Make sure you are well-rested, hydrated, and have had a proper meal before events that might exhaust your energy.
- Make sure you are well-rested, hydrated, and have had a proper meal before events that might exhaust your energy.
- If you get a bad vibe, leave a situation or conversation. Just walk away.
2. Be aware of burnout
As someone who gives of themself, it can be easy for you to give a lot of your emotional labor and resources to those you care about or even just acquaintances in your life. You want to help others and share what you have. Sometimes this means though that you don’t give yourself time to replenish, rest, and restore your own vitality properly.
Caregiver burnout—an experience common among professional and lay caregivers—refers to a concept where one starts to feel emotionally and physically exhausted from caregiving to the point that their concern for the person they are caring for starts to diminish. The Wanderer Empath is susceptible to this, as you release so much of your life force in support of others, you can easily become drained due to caregiver burnout.
If this happens, try not to judge yourself, it is a natural human response. Learn to recognize the signs of burnout and if you are in a situation where this might be happening to you, explore ways to get outside support. Often recovery time and some care for the caregiver could be required for a person experiencing burnout.
3. Listen to your instincts
Your unconditional love for others can sometimes overpower your emotional safety. You might allow toxic people into your life out of compassion and kindness while ignoring that your instincts are telling you something different. Developing more trust in your instincts can help you make better decisions about who you spend or give your time to.
There are many instances where empaths grow up being told not to trust their gut. Things such as social upbringing and trauma can impact how you analyze situations. You allow your passionate, creative, and intuitive side to make most of your decisions. So with the logical side of your mindset in the background and your instincts not clearly defined, you may make decisions that are aloof or detached from your true needs.
Practice listening to your instincts, noticing warning signs and discomforts you feel in your body. It is easy for you to ignore, suppress, or deny that people may have negative intentions whether they are aware of them or not. When you can recognize that not everyone has as high a vibe as you, it allows you to be more discerning in your relationships and choosier about who gets to stick around and who you should cut off from your life.
4. Be aware of the broken-wing syndrome
The broken-wing syndrome is a concept from psychology where a person takes on the fixer role in a relationship, viewing the other person as incapable of nurturing or caring for themselves.
Being a nurturing person isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, however, this can produce some unhealthy boundaries when it comes to certain relationships in your life.
Having this mindset of helping someone that you view as damaged or fragmented in some way can create a very imbalanced connection. Being aware of these concepts can help you recognize if you are mimicking any of these patterns and help you deconstruct and understand your relationships more deeply.
6. Practical Ideas for grounding and anxiety
Your daily emotional experience might be accompanied by frayed nerves or a sensation that you are being submerged in nervous excitement. Grounding exercises can help you get through patches of anxiety and stress. The concept of grounding involves bringing your awareness back into the present moment, moving through emotions, and centering yourself in your physical body.
The Wanderer Empath archetype needs adequate space to ground. You do tend to space out or detach from difficult situations. This can make you feel very distant from your friends, family, and people around you at times. It can also make you feel far away from your own self, as you are experiencing only a fraction of who you are, by disengaging from your physical and earthy energies.
Here are some grounding methods to be aware of for your specific archetype:
1. Connect to a place
Wherever you live or travel to, consider having some rituals that allow you to tap into the physical energy of the place. Some traditions talk about spirits, beings, or deities that reside in certain locations. You can close your eyes and sense what is around you. Notice what the vibration is by the emotions or sensations that swell up in you.
After you have tuned in energetically, you can then imagine yourself connecting with the Earth there in some way. You can do this by picturing roots, a rope, thread, a chord, a chain, or anything else that tethers you to the specific location you are in.
2. Square breathing
Deep breathing is a great way to lower anxiety and reduce stress. Whereas it cannot eliminate these things entirely, it can help you cope in the day-to-day. This is how to do a square breathing session:
- In a comfortable seated position close your eyes.
- Set each of your palms to face up on your lap or on your knees.
- Relax and take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Choose a hand to keep count of at least five rounds of breathing.
- Put a finger down and breathe into your belly for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for four seconds.
- And breathe out through your mouth.
- Wait for four seconds.
- Put another finger down and breathe into your belly for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for four seconds.
- Breathe out through your mouth.
- Wait for four seconds, then begin again by putting another finger down.
- Repeat this sequence until you get to at least five rounds.
You can also choose to imagine a square shape in your mind’s eye and do each step of the breathing by focusing on a different corner of the square. This technique is used to ground and relax. Four is symbolic of stability. It is an even number and can be found on things that stabilize structures; the four sides of a pyramid, four legs of a table, four directions, and the like.
3. Clean and organize
Spending time doing mundane tasks, such as organizing and cleaning, can be just what you need to reduce anxiety and stress. You can move your awareness to the job in front of you and let other thoughts take a rest. Doing physical tasks like this gets you into your body and out of your head.
In addition, your environment will be more settled and calmer when you clean and keep things organized. Of course, it is not always possible to keep things just so, but every once in a while, a deep clean can reset your life when you’re feeling particularly anxious, detached, and ungrounded.