What helpers like you need to know about burnout

What helpers like you need to know about burnout (3)

 

Helpers and first responders often believe that they can push through irritation and emotional pain. You soldier on despite multiple systems in your body screaming out for you to stop. Some of these warning signs are unending fatigue, sleep difficulties, appetite changes, concentration problems, anxiety, depression, increased illnesses and anger.

As an empathic helper, you are going to experience work or help related stress due to caring so much. When that stress is combined with a lack of self- care and a lack of support more serious stress reactions can occur such as burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization.

Compassion fatigue and burnout arises from too much work, or as many people say burning the candle at both ends. Empathic helpers often absorb other’s pain and take it with them into their home life. Too much sympathy or working with empathy without proper boundaries drains helpers of energy and leads to burnout. In a study of 216 hospice care nurses from 22 hospices across the state of Florida it was found that, “Trauma, anxiety, life demands, and excessive empathy (leading to blurred professional boundaries) were key determinants of compassion fatigue risk in the multiple regression model that accounted for 91 % (P< .001) of the variance in compassion fatigue risk.” (Abendroth & Flannery 2006).

Vicarious traumatization can happen when you absorb the psychological material of your client who has experienced trauma. You feel the trauma in your own energetic system as PTSD symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, irritability and startle responses. This is why it is important to hold the energetic boundaries and seek supervision or your own counseling. If you are experiencing increased anxiety, startle responses or irritation, after your work with a client ask yourself; is this my trauma or yours?

What can a compassionate helper do?

  • You need to limit your use of empathy. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.  Empathy is one tool a helper uses in combination with other techniques to ensure client growth. At times you may need to use more directive or instructional types of methods rather than an all-out holding of the space for another.
  •  Be aware and recognize that trauma and stress are running the show. When you notice a change in your mood and thoughts, review your day and think about who you were with and what was discussed.
  • Self- Care. All empathic helpers need a self-care regime that refills and recharges your energy. Relaxation and energy increasing activities will balance out the fatigue you are experiencing. Grounding through the use of mindfulness can keep your focus in the present moment.
  • Seek psychotherapy with an empathic therapist who can help you with burnout and trauma. Going to a therapist who knows trauma, work stress and energy work can make a world of difference for yourself and your clients.
  •  Get this workbook for yourself and your clients. I have found this to be a valuable resource that I use with my clients: The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms Workbook Edition by Mary Beth Williams (Author), Soili Poijula (Author) Some of the chapters include: Before Doing the Work: Safety, Security and Intention and Helping Yourself When You Re-experience a Trauma. (As an amazon affiliate I receive a small portion of the sale when you buy after clicking the above link, without any addition cost to you. Thank you for choosing this method of purchasing.) 

References:

Abendroth, M., & Flannery, J. (2006). Predicting the risk of compassion fatigue: A study of hospice nurses. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 8(6), 346-356.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who feel drained after their helping efforts, refill and recharge their energy with intuitive counseling and angel card readings. For more information visit her website at www.lisahutchison.net, while you are there take advantage of the free gift 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now!

How Archangel Michael Discharges Negative Holiday Energy

Many sensitive souls dread the holidays because it means more time with family and social occasions that you would rather avoid. Empaths can absorb other’s expectations and energies leaving them fatigued on a regular day but are especially vulnerable during the holiday season. To help you not just survive but shine through the holiday season, I wanted to talk about a good friend of mine, Archangel Michael and why he is the ONE to call upon before, during and after these events.

Before your holiday event: Crystal Clear Intentions

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Archangel Michael does wonders with releasing pre-party jitters. Set your intentions for this event. One of my favorite intentions is, “No matter what happens, I make my own fun.” I enjoy this statement because it is impossible for fear and fun to be experienced at the same time.  Archangel Michael helps you to create crystal clear intentions such as these. Ask for his help in creating intentions that resonate with you and protect your energy. Speaking of protection, ask him to surround you with his royal blue/purple light and energy. Give any anxiety over to him and allow for his courage to enter your internal body.

During the event: You are Safe

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As soon as you notice negativity entering your energy field, ask Archangel Michael to release it. Physically, when you feel a twinge in your stomach, light headed or a sensation of heat, ask him to come and vacuum it out. Emotionally , when you feel guilty, angry or fatigued ask him to help you release that. Ask for his help to identify and release other’s resentments, jealousies and expectations. He will also help you protect your boundaries with assertiveness. Learn what you need in these situations and then follow through with taking care of yourself.

After the event: Remember Who You Are

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When you leave an event, you may notice fatigue, irritability or sadness. At times you may feel insecure and obsess about what you said or what others said to you. Ask Archangel Michael to cut any attachments to other’s energies. He does this by slicing through any cords that others subconsciously or consciously have attached to your energy field. This cutting action on his part releases this residual energy. “Remind yourself that you are a powerful, loving and creative child of God, You are very loved.” Thank Archangel Michael for his protection and support. Remember that he is with you anytime you need him., all you have to do is ask!

Share with me any intentions in the comment section that you will use prior to holiday events.

All angel cards featured in this blog are from the Archangel Oracle Card Deck from Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.   If you would like to purchase click this Amazon link.  I receive a small portion of the sale, with no additional cost to you. Thank you if you choose to purchase through me.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC work for empathic healers who want to recharge their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others through angel card readings, psychotherapy sessions and writing coaching. She offers angel card readings by phone and in person; contact her at lisadhutch@verizon.net for more information or visit http://www.lisahutchison.net/Services  

 

How to Overcome the Shame of Wanting More

As an empath, you need more self-care than others in order to nurture your gift of sensitivity and many people will not get it. Some people will seem confused by your need for solitude or special requests, while others will get downright nasty. No matter what others’ reactions are, it is essential that you take care of yourself. It is not your job to make others understand you, it is your job to protect and rejuvenate your energies. The good news is other people do not need to understand your need for more, but you do!

Why do people shame others?

People who shame, were shamed and are doing to you what they were taught. They were fed big ol’ shame sandwiches most likely by their parents and did not question or have awareness of this destructive emotion. Shame stunts personal growth by halting self-development. You cannot grow bigger under a cloud of shame.

People who shame others do not take responsibility for their feelings. When they feel insecure or uncomfortable, they will project that negativity onto you. Remember when this happens, it is not personal and take steps to protect your energies.

A personal story

I kept myself small because of shame. As a child, I was shamed for wanting more out of life and as an adult for taking care of my own needs. The message I received from my step father was;”You want too much.” Today, I wonder why wanting more caused so much fear in this man? I can only surmise that he felt unworthy of having more himself.

As a psychotherapist, I have spent a lot of time analyzing this man’s behavior to understand myself. According to people like him, I want a lot. I learned to say; so what? People who are on the path of self-development require a richer life. I accept my need for more without apology or shame.

To be crystal clear, when I talk about more it is not necessarily in the form of stuff because that has never brought me happiness. I am pretty low maintenance on most things yet I don’t budge on certain aspects of comfort/self-care. When traveling with others besides my husband, I need my own room because I require space by myself to relax and unwind. I know I can absorb a lot of energy from other travelers, people and places, therefore I take the necessary steps to care for myself.

 5 Steps to Overcome Shame & Shine

  • Know your real self– Do you identify as an empath or highly sensitive person? If yes, what does that mean for you?
  • Know what you need– What are your self- care requirements (regardless of how other people respond to them)?
  • Know that you deserve it– You are worthy of having what you want and need. Yes, it is okay to want more!
  • Assert yourself and hold those boundaries– Speak up about what you need without stepping on other’s boundaries and stand in your power.
  • Learn the signs and feelings of shame- Put shame squarely in its place by recognizing it and not absorbing it into your body. Look at it as an outdated emotion that no longer has a purpose in your life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who want to recharge and replenish their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others. Lisa is an intuitive psychotherapist who offers counseling, certified angel card readings and writing coaching sessions to compassionate helpers by phone and in person. Help yourself to her FREE 10 page E-book 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net  

How to Maintain Your Energy When Helping Others

Holding the space is a healthy way of interacting with others who are hurting, without getting depleted energy wise. It is a type of boundary for sensitive healers that benefits both parties because you are not getting entangled or engulfed in another’s emotions. Trust is built through the consistent action of keeping limits on the energy being exchanged and not on the words that are spoken.

How does it work?

Holding the space is about mindfulness. When you are in your body, in the present moment you become a witness to what is happening. Sounds simple, it takes practice to be in this frame of mind and a lot of people cannot offer this because they don’t remember how to slow their energy down. Being hectic, anxious and on the go with your thoughts and actions has become a habit for many people today.

It means letting go of the ego who thinks she knows best and allowing the feeling process to unfold without trying to fix it or make it better. Feelings don’t always make sense, drop any judgments as to what is the right or wrong way a person can express themselves. Remember these 3 words; Listen, allow and be present.

Choose carefully who you allow in your energy field to help you heal. Trust your instincts and get recommendations from others that you trust. I have been blessed with friends who also happen to be therapists, like myself, (no surprise) who hold the space for me. I hold the space for them and for all of my clients. We have learned that there is a time and place for professional suggestions but also a time to be silent and in the moment. By saying minimal at emotional times of releasing, it lets the person know you are with them and that she can share the pain that is in her heart. This is empathy in action! If you feel compelled to say something, validate what she is saying by rephrasing important points and ask her to tell you more about an important part of the story.

What are the benefits?

When a person receives the space, you feel seen, honored and acknowledged for who you are, not who someone wants you to be. In the heart space, you are comfortable in your skin and who you are. This helps you maintain your energy while you are healing and helping others.

It has to be all about YOU!

Whenever I say it is all about you, empaths cringe. The last thing an empath wants is to be considered selfish or self-absorbed, like that could ever happen. Focusing on you is about being healthy. In order to give space to others, you have to work on yourself. This means getting your own healing and therapy in order to take care of yourself and your energy first. Therapy helps you uncover patterns and learn about your gifts and how they work, in addition to setting boundaries and being assertive.

Claim your space

As a sensitive person, are you taking up enough space? Often empaths close off their physical space in an effort to protect from other’s energy invading your thoughts and feelings. You may find yourself sitting with crossed arms or hunched over. This type of protection works temporarily to a point, unfortunately, over time you close yourself off from receiving the good stuff, meaning love. I recently read Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy:  a great resource to show you how to take up more space through power poses with lots of  interesting research and case studies(if you are into that kind of stuff like I am). For those that are interested, you can buy your copy by clicking the title link for the book.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC also known as the therapist’s therapist, actually works with all sensitive and compassionate healers/helpers. Whether it is an angel card reading or counseling session, Lisa holds the space and gives you useful information that helps you protect your energy in your life’s work and personal life. To learn more and GET 8 Simple ways to Release Chaos visit http://www.lisahutchison.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Recognize Manipulation & Protect Your Energy

We have all been fooled at one time or another by manipulative behaviors. Sometimes it is so subtle, you can’t see it coming until it is too late. When you feel its influence in your life, know you are not failing at your inner work. Remember when another tries to control you in order to suit their needs, it is a reflection of their lower energy and not your own.

Manipulative behavior is found in chaotic situations and is often used to divert attention away from the real issue. There will be times when you feel frustrated because you see what is going on yet no one else gets it. Just because no one else sees it, does not mean it isn’t happening. Trust your instincts.

Do you know the signs of manipulative behaviors?

Power– Where there is power, look for manipulations. You are being influenced every single day. No, not me, you say! How many times have you bought a product that you saw online or on TV that was hyped and it frankly sucked? News and advertisements are two outlets that work to manipulate your emotions. The most popular emotion is fear; how many products are on the market because of our fear of aging or death?

That is too good to be true! The song, Little lies from Fleetwood Mack plays in my head as I write this,”Tell me lies Tell me sweet little lies.” When you are feeling vulnerable, you are more susceptible to this. It is understandable that when you are in pain that you want to hear the good. Sometimes in this state, you ignore your better judgment knowing in the end, whatever is promised is not going to be delivered upon. Watch for this one in the upcoming months as there will be an increase with these lies during the political season.

Guilt trips Woe is me! When someone acts like a victim, it is a manipulative invitation to help or rescue them. Do not do for others what they can do for themselves. Read more about that here. How to Best Serve Your Client’s Internal Growth. Other guilt trips can be uncomfortable sojourns in which the person goes radio silent and there is no communication at all. Some will threaten themselves with harm or others, in these instances contact the police and your local mental health crisis center.

Oh, you sweet talker! This person tries to make a connection with you before it has authentically developed. For example; calling you a friend upon first meeting you, telling you what they think you want to hear; you are so smart, so beautiful etc. The best one I have heard recently was, I am not trying to sell to you and 10 minutes later she was trying to sell me something! To answer your question, no, I did not buy from her.

 4 Ways to Protect Your Energy from Getting Depleted:

  1. Remember and have awareness of a person’s history and their behavioral tactics.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you only focus on what a person says, you will be an easy target for manipulation. It is through your intuition that you will know these lies. When something feels off, trust in that, no matter who that person is.
  3. Decide whether you will speak up or detach.
  4. Consult a professional counselor. As an intuitive psychotherapist, I can feel in my body when a client tells me her story and someone else is attempting to manipulate her. There are many times, especially in instances of family and romantic relationships, in which you are too close to see what is going on, yet you know it doesn’t feel good. I can assist you with what to say, how to respond and how to protect your energies in these types of instances.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC, intuitive psychotherapist, works for empaths who want to recharge their depleted energy in order to serve with their unique gifts of sensitivity. Want 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from your Life NOW! Get it here FREE http://www.lisahutchison.net

Important information about how your senses get overloaded

In American culture, we need at least an arm’s length of space between us and other people in order to feel comfortable. As a sensitive soul, there are times you will need even more space than that. Your personal space is an invisible bubble that surrounds you. When you connect with someone’s energy that is groovy, you feel good. However, when you connect with a lower energy frequency, you can feel drained rather quickly.

Psychic invaders

As a psychotherapist and lifelong intuitive empath, I can reassure you that this type of personal space invasion is rare. I write about it because it happens and it has happened to me numerous times throughout my life. To clarify a bit, what I am writing about is not space invaders or invaders of the extraterrestrial variety.

Psychic invasions occur when another’s energy intrudes upon your energy field, when you are in danger. You will feel this sensation as a sudden twinge or cramping in your second or third chakra (respectively your reproductive area and stomach) quickly upon meeting them. When you recognize this signal within, leave as soon as possible. This is an indication that your gut intuition has been activated and its job is to keep you safe.

Other’s content

Empaths feel invaded by others energy on a daily basis. Due to your sensitivity, you pick up and feel whatever is around you. This includes other’s physical pain, depression, anxiety and anger. This type of constant inflow of feeling creates fatigue in an empath. This is why it is essential self-care to learn boundaries and protect your energies.

Enough to turn up your nose

Psychologically, the sense of smell is most strongly connected to your past memories and emotions. For this reason, anyone, not only sensitive people, can easily get triggered by a smell in a positive or negative way. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress can be transported back to traumatic memories from a certain smell. Some odoriferous offenders that overtake sensitive souls are smoking, spicy foods and fragrances.

Can’t touch this

Unwanted touching can range from irritating to inappropriate. Touches that bother sensitive people can include resting your arm or leaning against someone on a train or airplane to having certain types of fabric rub against your skin. Some people use touch as a means to intimate or control, such as in the case of sexual harassment or physical assault. These types of intrusions are against the law and should be reported.

A sight for sore eyes

Empaths have a difficult time with not only the sounds on the news but also the visual footage. Anything that is violent, hurts people or animals can invade a sensitive person’s space. Rapid images can also overload your nervous system sending it into a tail spin such as fast clips shown in certain movies or TV shows and rapid scrolling of social media newsfeeds.

When it is not music to your ears

Sounds can easily invade the personal space of a sensitive soul. These can include loud music, sirens, dogs barking, horns blaring, screaming and fireworks. Any sound that does not resonate with your personal frequency will disconnect you from your spirit.

Fascinating studies have been done by Dr. Masaru Emoto using high-speed photography which captured how crystals formed in water when specific thoughts were directed toward them. He found that water exposed to loving words and sounds showed beautifully complex, colorful snowflake patterns. While water exposed to negative thoughts, formed fragmented incomplete, patterns with dull colors. Overtime too much sound that does not resonate with you not only depletes you of energy but also puts your health at risk. I highly recommend this specific healing book and cd source, it is a favorite that I have used: Water Crystal Healing: Music and Images to Restore Your Well-Being by Masaru Emoto

What is a sensitive soul to do?

  • Have awareness of your personal level of space that you need.
  • Assert yourself when needed.
  • Learn to protect your energies.
  • Heal your energy when you are overexposed.

I can help you with all of these techniques and much more through intuitive psychotherapy sessions and individualized angel card readings by phone or in person. Go ahead and check out my website and feel free to help yourself to 8 Simple Ways that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to Successfully Deal with Passive Aggressive Behavior

Empaths can read people really well due to their sensitivity. Yet, there is a personality type that continues to baffle you and yes sometimes even me. You know the type, a seemingly agreeable person who smiles and acts kind yet speaks with cutting remarks, misplaces or forgets important items or consistently arrives late. Passive aggressive behavior causes chaos in relationships and is an energy drain for everyone, not only empaths, due to their denial, procrastination, pouting, silent treatments and lack of responsibility for one’s emotions and behaviors.

The psychology behind this

This person is not evil, just scared. She or he has not learned how to express anger in healthy ways and most likely was shamed or threatened for any outward expression of this feeling as a child. There is a feeling of powerlessness, which is why this person seeks to have power in indirect ways. In order to feel safe, this person denies and represses the feeling. As the saying goes, what gets repressed gets expressed in one form or another. That is why the underhanded comments slip out, the tasks go unfinished or appointments are missed.

What can you do?

Step 1: Trust your instincts. When interacting with this type of person, it is difficult to put their resistant behavior into words. You know that there is a disconnection between what a person says and what a person does. You feel their hidden hostility, yet when you confront this person on their behavior she or he will deny it to the hills.

Step 2: Recognize the pattern. Many empaths go the avoidance route because you don’t know what to do. You will leave the situation politely but feel confused and exhausted. A part of my job is to teach you how to maintain your energy despite outside influences. Avoidance can be a good start although I would like to help you choose your behaviors from a place of power.

For those that get stuck in a dance of frustration or freeze because of an inability to detach from energy; begin to become aware of what is happening even if it is after the situation is over. Learn to see the patterns and refuse to participate in them. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. You are the one who needs to change because they won’t.

Step 3:  Become like Spock. Remind yourself that their behavior is not personal. Do not react even though every fiber of your being wants to. Take a breather, walk away and practice relaxation techniques. Once you emotionally disengage and detach from the situation, identify that this person is angry and not you.

Step 4: Flood them with light and love. This is for the light workers and enlightened ones out there. The dynamics of a relationship can change from one person detaching. I have witnessed miracles in my own and my client’s lives when they are able to send blessings to those that trigger them.

Two ways to do this is imagine them surrounded in white light and pray for them. Don’t forget to give yourself the same kindness and compassion. This is not easy to do, if you are struggling with this one take heart that most people do not get to this level of being around difficult people.

Step 5: Learn assertiveness skills. For those relationships that are close to you such as family and friends you will want to come to a sense of peace and empowerment. A gentle but direct approach that focuses on the behavior is what works because these people fear confrontation and anger. If they suspect any type of perceived challenge or threat they will avoid and deny. In the end, you may handle the situation with the utmost tact and diplomacy and still the person denies their behavior.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works specifically with sensitive healers who want to recharge and refuel their energies from challenging relationships such as these through phone counseling and angel card readings. I will address your specific situation and we will come up with a step by step plan to empower you for a future interaction. The more you step into your power, you will deal more successfully with this type of relationship dynamic without getting drained.

To break free from the chaos of relationship dynamics go to www.lisahutchison.net and help yourself to 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from your Life Now!