Why You Absolutely Deserve More Alone Time

We have been through a lot this past year, personally and collectively. None of us have had the opportunity to fully process and integrate what has happened. This is because it is difficult to process trauma when you are living in it or in the middle of it. Now is the time, if you haven’t already, to reach out for support, talk to others and strengthen those coping skills. As we move towards “normalcy”, I professionally believe, the compassionate amongst ourselves are going to need more alone time. We want to understand and comprehend all we have lived through.

As a compassionate helper, you may require sudden alone time, in which you feel drained in a social situation. It is also important to have planned downtime. No matter what kind of solitude you crave, it is normal and okay. The irony is empaths or those who are highly sensitive, are often shunned and invalidated for being different, yet you are the ones sought out for your wisdom. You can only access this inner knowing by having time apart from society at large.

Take as much time as you need and remind yourself of these various reasons.

You need a boundary between your inner world and the outer world.

As a sensitive person, you naturally absorb or take in too much input from the people and places around you. By breaking away from the world, you can re-connect within and listen to the wisdom of your soul.

To recharge and rejuvenate your energy.

You need to unplug, recharge and rejuvenate. Find the activities you enjoy doing. This could be reading, writing, spending time in nature or meditating. Whatever helps you refill your cup, go and do that.

To get personal physical space.

Many empathic people are not looking forward to the end of social distancing. The six feet between people gave us more distance between our energy and others. Now, the limits are relaxed, it is important to take time away and give your body a rest, as you re-acclimate into society. Do not be surprised if you are experiencing more anxiety and fatigue. You are feeling a lot more energy from others, than you have in a long time.

Even though you have a deep connection to certain people, it is important to maintain a deep connection within.

Living with and working with others can be challenging for empaths. For many, our families have been home with us all day. The boundaries between work and rest are blurred.  It is difficult to maintain perfect boundaries, all day long. The increased hours of talking on the phone and holding video chats also stress your energy. There are times you need to get away, take a vacation or even schedule a retreat to connect within.

Now you know why it is important to have time apart from others, you need to work on releasing the guilt. Remember you require time away to take care of you. The more time you devote to yourself, the better able you are to take care of others.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

How to Slow Down Impulsive Decisions & Improve Your Relationships

Impulsive decisions can wreak havoc on your boundary setting and relationships. When you act without thinking, you can contradict the very limit you were attempting to set with someone. This leaves you appearing to negate what you previously said or did for others. Understandably, people will question whether you have integrity or if you can be trusted.

People in today’s world are more impulsive. Many of us react to whatever is seen or said, without pausing to think first. We expect and some of us demand, instant gratification. I see impulsive behaviors on social media, whether it is reactions to posts, posting without thinking and even expecting an instant answer or response through messages. Sometimes people get blocked, ghosted or impulsively cut out of others’ lives.

Impulsivity as a Symptom

Addictive behaviors thrive on impulsivity. This can include people pleasing, social media, along with any type of substance or alcohol abuse. Many mental health issues feature impulsivity as a symptom. Some are bipolar/mania, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Cluster B personality disorders (borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.) and impulse control disorders. You can also find people act impulsively when they are anxious or experiencing trauma. If you are suffering from a mental health issue, treatment is available to help decrease these kinds of impulsive behaviors.  

It’s Not All Bad

As with everything, there is a healing and a destructive side. The healing side of impulsivity is taking action whereas you wouldn’t have before. This push can help you step outside of the box and explore new ways of being. Much of our intuition and gut feelings lead us to take immediate action without thought. It is important to trust these drives, which protect and guide us.

What Fuels your Impulsive Behavior?

Often people act impulsively to get rid of anxiety or anger. By acting to remove your discomfort, you end up creating more discomfort.

Ask yourself;

Is my impulsivity from a learned behavior through society, a mental health condition, people pleasing or a combination of these?

Ways to Decrease Impulsive People Pleasing

Growing up and sometimes as an adult, I felt compelled to jump in and help, whenever a need arose. I automatically said yes to all requests, as if I didn’t have a choice. I did not take the time to consider if this was something I wanted to do. This is how impulsive people pleasing cuts you off from your own feelings and thoughts. 

Whether you identify as empath, empathic or a people pleaser, here are some ways to decrease impulsivity and connect within. The next time someone asks you for a favor or help, try these phrases to give yourself the space to process;

1. Let me sleep on it.
2. I will consider it.
3. Give me some time to check my schedule.
4. Let me get back to you. 

These phrases give you the option to make a choice based on what you want. In this space, check in with your body and mind. Observe your thoughts and feelings. 

Ask yourself;

Does this feel right for me? 
What does my gut tell me?

Ways to Decrease Reactivity in all Situations

When you feel triggered by another person or situation, this is the time to not respond. It may go against everything you feel within and seem wrong, but do not do it. Create a space of calmness and try these activities instead;

Write out all your thoughts and feelings uncensored. Shred the page.

Talk to a trusted friend and ask their opinion.

Go for a walk.

Practice deep breathing and stay in the present moment.

Pray.

Final Thoughts

The more you can build awareness, take responsibility and be specific, the better you can manage impulsivity. When you react out of fear or anger, take responsibility for your part. In unhealthy relationships, we contribute something to keep them going. Look at your own patterns and heal these.

You do not have to say yes to every request on your time and energy. If you are repeating your boundaries multiple times to the same person, it is time to detach and possibly disconnect from this person. You do not need or require another’s permission or approval to heal yourself. Remember, we are all on our own journey of healing. Some people will not be traveling with us.

You do not have to share every thought that comes into your mind. In fact, it is often best when you don’t.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC