There comes a point when your body and soul need to rest. As we are approaching the winter solstice, maximum darkness cradles us in serenity and quiet. Your heart may long to go inward. It deserves a break from worry and striving. You want to daydream and gaze at the empty spaces between things. 

There is tremendous wisdom in not pushing yourself so hard. You deserve a break. Though you may socialize more during the holidays, leave a resting place for your heart and your body. 

        4 Strategies to Slow Down  from “Thriving as an Empath”

  • Mark empty periods in your schedule so nothing can intrude
  • Journal about your empath needs and how you can meet them
  • Spend time in meditation and reflection. 
  • Ideally, take some time off from work so your metabolism can slow, your stress can decrease, and your heart and spirit can flourish in the holy spaciousness of unplanned time.

Winter welcomes you to quiet your mind, be still and listen to your intuition. It is associated with the element water and its properties of conserving energy and tranquility. It is the season of the recluse or hermit, which suits many empaths who adore retreating into their caves. You can also gather in front of cozy fireplaces and bundle up in warm clothing outside.

During the dark of winter, icy winds blow. Trees slow their metabolism to become dormant. Bears and other animals enter the long sleep of hibernation. Similarly, you can focus on building your internal energy.

Since empaths are often light-sensitive, a challenge of winter is feeling depressed–your body’s response to less daylight. Also, you may isolate socially, feel lonely, or be overwhelmed by holiday crowds, gatherings, and a frenetic pace. It’s vital to balance the natural rhythms of winter with a busy world.  

The Winter Solstice marks the first day of this season. It’s the darkest point of the year when the Earth tilts furthest from the Sun. As days grow longer again, there is a gradual ascent into light. Winter invites you to heal your shadow side, including fears or self-doubts.

Winter is exciting because it takes you to your depths which helps you thrive as an empath. Reflect on your progress and areas that need growth. I love conducting this life-review in December to evaluate my life and move on with more clarity to the year ahead. 

Set your intention. I will practice the wisdom of slowing down. I will stop pushing and striving. I will arrange periods to decrease my pace, hibernate, and safeguard periods for rest and reflection. 

(Excerpted from Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD)


  • Judith Orloff MD

    Judith Orloff MD

    Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk with over half a million views. Her other books are Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People, The Empowered Empath’s Journal,  Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Dr Orloff now offers a 7-module online course, Awakening Your Intuitive Healing Power.  Harness your intuition to become a vessel for healing-as you transmute life’s challenges through surrender, self-care, centering techniques, and more. For a complete list of Dr Orloff’s workshops and lecture schedule go to: Schedule Explore more information about empaths and intuition on Connect with Judith on Facebook ( and Twitter.