Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by empathy you can hardly cope?  Do you find yourself on the verge of tears just thinking about people sometimes?  Your heart feels like it’s going to burst in your chest.  You can physically feel the pain and sadness of everyone around you. You have no idea what has brought this on right now or how to make it go away.  It’ hard to work while fighting back tears.  You tell others your eyes are just watering from allergies.  You have always cared about the people you work with and, of course, those you are closest to–your friends or family.  It’s a survival strategy to block a little bit of yourself away so you don’t get too damaged by what you deal with.  Now you find yourself incredibly sensitive–fragile.  It’s good to have empathy and be glad you can feel compassion for others.  It’s just incredibly uncomfortable sometimes. It’s normal to want to help others although sometimes you have your own sea of sadness inside that’s rising to the surface.  When this happens, take a break from helping or being there for others and take care of yourself.  You matter too and sometimes you do have to put yourself first.  If you don’t, you won’t make it.  Written for webbwisdom.com in October 2016.  You may also like: Top tips for self-care

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