I was the kid who would go to the long awaited summer state fair and just freeze like a deer in headlights. 

The noises. The popping of balloons. The flashing lights. The screeches of glee. The… people. 

It was completely overwhelming. 

It wasn’t just state fairs. It was anywhere there were other people.

I would exit the mall in tears and with a major headache. The fluorescent lighting, the overwhelming scents and crowds of people. I can still picture it, the crowds looked like a giant blur of color, like a time lapse picture where all you see are streaks of light from people walking. 

I could never really make sense of what was happening or what I was feeling, only adding to my parents confusion. 

For a long time, they just thought I needed glasses…

I had no idea I was an empath. I had been told I was “too sensitive” or “very shy” or “too quiet” and those labels stuck. I couldn’t understand why no one around me seemed to experience the world the way I did. I just figured something was wrong with me and I lacked whatever everyone else seemed to possess that made them cut out for this world.

I’ve since learned that there is nothing wrong with me, and my sensitivity is actually my greatest strength. It does require some tending-to, though.

Empaths are sometimes described as sponges because it is as if we absorb the energies and emotions around us, like a sponge absorbing water, feeling those energies and emotions as our own.  

And beyond that, since empaths are, well, empathic, people will often seek us out to share (or dump) their energies and emotions on us, and we take on even more grief, anger, and sadness, that is just not ours to carry.

So, Why does energy hygiene matter? 

When we can’t separate what is ours from what belongs to others, it can weigh pretty heavy on us. Just like a sponge that has absorbed a lot of muck and grease and needs to be squeezed out and rinsed well. 

Same goes for our energetic field. I have always resonated with how Alla Svirinskaya, a world renowned energy healer, describes it. She explains that if we don’t practice good energy hygiene, that muck and heaviness can actually start to cause the little holes in our energetic field (or pores in the sponge) to enlarge, causing us to absorb even more unwanted energy, emotions, and gunk. 

We can also think about the effect on our immune systems here. 

Our immune systems are greatly connected to our thoughts, emotions, and stress levels. An overwhelmed nervous system and even just repeated feelings of fear, anger, and sadness (our own and the ones we are absorbing from others) can begin to weaken the immune system. 

That’s why I believe practicing energy hygiene is so important. Plus, it just helps to lighten the load and make us feel better, whether we are empaths or not.

What are some signs that you might be due for an energy cleanse?

These can all be signs that you have some muck in the sponge.

Alright, Let’s Get into it: How Do I Practice Energy Hygiene

Like any daily hygiene you perform, energy hygiene is simply the rituals you perform everyday (or week) to maintain and cleanse your energy.

Here are 9 examples to get you started:

  1. A Salt Bath: Both salt and water have been used as cleansing properties for centuries. Make sure you allow yourself time and space so you wont be disturbed. Light candles, keep lights low or off, and make the atmosphere as relaxing as possible. You can add in some essential oils as well. Set an intention to remove any energetic debris or negativity that might be attached to you. Then just relax and soak.  
  2. Smudging: Smudging is a Native American tradition of cleansing energies from a space using the smoke from a sacred plant. White Sage and Palo Santo are probably the most well known, however there are more sustainable and ethical options that work just as well. Dried Rosemary has worked well for me. When using smoke to cleanse your space, it is important to set an intention to remove any negative or unwanted energies. Moving slowly through your space, you can ask your Angels or Spirit Guides to assist in removing anything from your space that is not serving your highest good.
  3. Alone Time: Solitude is must for us sensitives and empaths, time alone and in silence is like an automatic recharge of our energy. Being out in crowded spaces or around a lot of people, even the people we WANT to be around, can be draining. So setting aside time (each day!) to be with yourself, is important.
  4. Visualizations: Our visualizations can be very powerful, especially for energetic protection and clearing. Find a quiet spot, and comfortable position. You can picture energetic strings or cords coming out of your body that may be attached to unwanted energies, or even thoughts. Picture a giant sword or pair of scissors severing those cords and freeing you. Another powerful visualization is to picture yourself surrounded in a bubble of bright, cleansing energetic light, almost like a protection from unwanted energies coming in.
  5. Movement: Movement can be a very practice for releasing energies. Have you ever needed to go for a run to clear your head? Or felt lighter after an impromptu dance party with your kids? It’s because we hold onto energy and emotions in our physical bodies. Movement can be anything you are comfortable with. It could be jumping up and down, shaking, dancing, running, or simple and gentle movements. Anything that gets the physical body moving will help to release stuck energy in the body.
  6. Decluttering: Our physical spaces are an extension of our energetic space. That’s why when we clear out all the clutter and tidy things, we just feel lighter. When decluttering, start small, don’t set out to declutter the whole house. Choose a room, or a section, and mindfully make decisions to let go of what needs letting go of. When decluttering, I think it’s important not to simply throw stuff in a box and shove it in the back of a closet… It’s still there, taking up physical and mental space. Really think about what is serving a purpose in your life, and what is just stuff taking up valuable real estate in your mind and physical space.
  7. Detox From Screens: We do not need to be physically in someones presence to pick up their energies. We can do this scrolling social media. As sensitives, we might be unknowingly connecting to the energy of a person or even a highly charged post, and that stays with us. The internet is like a giant pool of energies, swirling about. Taking breaks from social media can be very effective in cleansing our energetic fields.
  8. Time in Nature: Every empath and sensitive knows that spending time in nature is the best remedy, for basically anything. The stillness of the trees can be very grounding. The sounds of birds singing and chirping have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and help calm us. The wide open spaces ease us after being cramped in doors. Getting outside is a proven way to help shake off stagnant energy.
  9. Limiting Time With Energy Vampires: We’ve all been in the presence of an energy vampire, where we can literally feel our life force draining from us. These people can be endlessly negative, petty, gossipy, you know the type. Being mindful about who you spend your time with and what you spend your time doing is like the ultimate energy hack. Surround yourself with people that support you, encourage you, and want the very best for you. And limit your time with those that don’t.

The list could go on, but this is a good place to start. Choose one or two that feel comfortable and doable for you. Good energy hygiene works when we are intentional about it. Create a ritual for yourself, incorporating your own elements that soothe and calm, and begin to feel the benefits.

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