Episode 026 – Recharging Empathy

This week, Navigators, we’re talking about how to make the most of your empathetic nature and regain energy by using your gifts effectively.

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Hello Navigators, and welcome back to Writer Roadmap. I’m Holly Lyne, and today we’re focusing on a topic that’s especially relevant as we navigate the holiday season. For those of us with highly empathetic natures, this time of year can be both rewarding and challenging. We’re going to talk about how to use this deep sense of empathy to energize ourselves and our writing.

Empathy During the Holidays

The holiday season, with its emphasis on social gatherings and emotional connections, can significantly drain those of us who naturally tune into others’ emotions. It’s a time when our empathy is in high demand, from understanding family dynamics to absorbing the heightened emotions that often accompany holiday events. This can leave us feeling depleted, making it essential to find ways to recharge and rejuvenate.

Recognizing this challenge is the first step. The next is to consciously implement strategies that not only allow us to offer our empathy where it’s most needed but also to protect and replenish our own emotional reserves. Let’s explore how we can achieve this balance, ensuring that our empathy remains a source of strength and inspiration, rather than leading to burnout.

Harnessing Empathy for Energy

Empathy, that ability to sense and understand others’ emotions, is a powerful tool. But how do we use this gift to gain energy and not get drained? Let’s explore some strategies.

Engaging in Altruistic Activities

One of the most fulfilling aspects of being highly empathetic is the joy derived from helping others. Volunteering, mentoring, or coaching can be incredibly energizing. These acts of kindness and support allow us to connect deeply with others, giving us a sense of purpose and fulfilment that fuels our own emotional tanks. Acts of compassion can be deeply rejuvenating.

Practising Active Listening

Active listening is a superpower for empathetic individuals. When engaging in conversations, focus on understanding the other person’s perspective and feelings. This deep level of engagement is not only rewarding but also provides a rich source of inspiration and connection, which can be transformative for our writing. Keeping an eye on close friends and family so that we notice when their buckets need filling can be a valuable use of our skill.

Finding Like-minded Communities

Seek out groups and communities that share your values and passions. Whether it’s a local book club, a support group, or a networking event, being around people who ‘get’ you creates a supportive environment that can recharge your emotional batteries. You may particularly benefit from connecting with someone who provides upbeat and positive vibes, especially if you’re feeling depleted by the challenges of this season. Watching a heartwarming movie can fill this role too.

Use Your Empathy in Your Writing

Consider how your characters are feeling in the scene you’re working on. What led them to these feelings? Consider their emotional journey from start to finish and the transformation along the way. A strong character arc will usually include some sort of loss and subsequent discovery. Go deep here and channel your strong awareness of emotions into your writing. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of opportunities to express yourself, be it to a trusted friend, therapist or coach; in writing fiction; or perhaps in a journal or another creative pursuit such as art or music.

Self-Reflection and Self-Care

Empathy must be balanced with self-awareness and self-care. Regularly take time to reflect on your own feelings and needs. Engage in activities like journalling, meditation, or any practice that helps you process your emotions and experiences. This introspection is vital in maintaining your emotional well-being.

Having a ritual to help clear out the less useful emotions in the evening can help you to get good quality sleep, so consider burning a scented candle, doing some gentle yoga, or losing yourself in a book before trying to sleep. You could also shower or take a bath and wash away the emotions that are clinging to you.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Lastly, and importantly, set healthy boundaries. Your empathetic nature is a gift, but it should not come at the cost of your own well-being. Learn to say no when needed, and prioritize your self-care. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Consider limiting your input sources and shedding the negative ones. Take a social media break, turn off notifications, switch off the news and give yourself a rest from all of the stresses that pour into us from all angles.


Navigators, if you’re high in Empathy, remember that your ability to connect and feel deeply is a strength. By engaging in empathetic activities, practising active listening, connecting with like-minded individuals, and prioritizing your self-care, you can turn this trait into a source of immense energy and inspiration for your writing.

If you’re looking for more tips or a community that understands and shares your empathetic nature, join us on Patreon at patreon.com/hollylyne.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Writer Roadmap, and share this episode with someone who might need it. Until next time, keep embracing your empathy, setting boundaries, and writing your incredible stories.

Writer Roadmap intro and outro music used under license from Pixabay. Music track “Salangseuleoun” was Created by “Dayfox”.

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