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Words By Tara Wagner

Emotional Sponginess & 5 Ways to Show Up In a Draining World

Coffee cup on bed with quote "i woke up like this #tired"
Emotional Sponginess & 5 Ways to Show Up In a Draining World Click To Tweet

Empath problems…soaking up allllll the juju, goodor bad. Carrying it around with you. Letting it affect your equilibrium, your sense of self, and oh my goodness, your motivation to do any of the things.

If you’re a conscious women AND a business owner, this can be both your superpower and your kryptonite.

I call it “emotional sponginess”…absorbing all the feels.

(And it happens to more than just introverts, yo!)

It’s what leads my traveling soul to stay in the hotel room instead of go explore, or sneak away to a mellower corner of the party I really did want to enjoy.

It’s when we go quiet, or go dark, having the emotional capacity for Netflix or Pinterest, but not much else.

And it can hit from a million directions:

  • Political ugliness
  • Worrying what others think
  • Racial injustice and ignorance
  • Facebook trolls (which is pretty much anyone these days)
  • Family and friend drama
  • Senseless violence
  • And most especially the pseudo-consciousness of people who just want to pick a fight instead of solve a problem

Dude, the world is on fire right now (literally) and it’s not the good kind.

And we can become absolutely useless, unable to stay involved, to stay rational, to listen, and to problem-solve when all we feel our energy doing is fielding against these spiritual attacks.

Empath or not, we can’t make a difference by hiding away.

But we can’t stop hiding away if we don’t first fortify ourselves, nurture our own deepest human needs, and stay empowered enough to show up in our business and the world as a force of good.

We all have our own ways of handling the madness, but here are some of my and my clients favorites strategies to stay awake, aware, and involved without losing our shizz.

Empath or not, we can’t make a difference by hiding away. Click To Tweet

1. Choose your news sources carefully.
Let’s be honest. “News” in the US isn’t news anymore. It’s entertainment, designed to grab the limited attention span of humans, boost ratings, and make advertisers happy. And the strategies they use to do this are increasingly appalling. But you can be an informed and involved business owner without giving into the drama.

My personal strategy: We do not have cable television. I do my best to avoid the click bait. And I read newspaper articles and magazines online that present a calm and rational story and allow me to draw my own conclusions. I read from multiple sources, and both sides of an issue, because you can’t argue your own side if you can’t argue the side of those who oppose you.

2. Weekly unplug time.
You need time away from the noise. And I mean completely away. As business owners, we deal with input all week long, and need to balance that with either quiet time, creative time, active time, or social time. Whatever works for you to leave you feeling actually refreshed.

My personal strategy: From Saturday afternoon through Monday morning, I go dark. No phone, no internet, no work, no outside media of any kind. This is my cup refilling time. I might binge Netflix, or go for walks, or read through old letters. Sometimes I go out and do something, or sink my feet in at home and ground myself in my surroundings. (I also have notifications turned off on my phone and most days keep it on silent throughout the day.)

3. My DIY Emotional Sponginess blend.
I actually call this “Magic” because I can’t believe how powerfully it works. You could also call it BOUNDARIES. Because, boundaries. (I even used it when I had to deal with a particular narcissistic and true gaslighting man recently and it’s stunning how calm, confident, impenetrable, and unshakable I felt.)

Each oil in this DIY blend does something slightly different, but together they help to maintain energetic boundaries, release emotional vampires, stay in touch with and honor who we are.

Apply this to your solar plexus, pulse points, heart, or feet 2-3x a day. Be sure you’re inhaling deeply to really flood the limbic system. Over time you’ll notice you can begin to use less, but stay pretty consistent for the first roller bottle you make.

4. Diaphragmatic Breathing.
In short, this is breathing into your rib cage, and can take some practice getting there when you’re new to it. I learned it by lying on my stomach with my hands on my ribcage to get the feel.

Breathwork sends all these little signals to our brain telling it to calm the F down. Add in your essential oils and it hits your limbic system (the emotional center) about a gazillion times stronger.

When everything seems to be going down around you and you’re feeling like you might just spiral with it, focus on breathing into your rib cage slowly and observe the rest of your body settle in with it.

5. Meditation and Visualization
Back in my LMT days, I use to absorb my client’s energy so well that I would take on their physical pain. They’d walk out happy and high as a kite, leaving a big tip behind, and I would limp away carrying their emotions and all the physical manifestations of their stress. It was really fun. (That was sarcasm.)

I learned a little trick to apply before each session that made a huge difference. I started by practicing outside of my massage sessions, meditating on a white light in the shape of an egg slowly forming around me, starting from above my head and slowly sliding down to below my feet. I visualized it being strong and firm and also wisely selective. It would allow joy and light to enter my sphere, but fear or pain or attacks, or anything unhealthy couldn’t penetrate it.

The more I practiced this outside my sessions, the easier I could put it up before my appts. I would stand at the head of the massage table and within seconds, envision my bright white egg-shaped light surrounding me, creating a healthy boundary (not a wall; there’s a difference). I was able to give a great massage, still taking their pain, but dropping it back into the earth.

I know, I know. Hippie-woo-woo stuff. But try it y’all. You’ll see what I mean. Your mind is powerful.


I have a free download called Self-Care in Seconds. It teaches:

  • Why you MUST shift your perspective on self-care
  • 5 rules to follow to never feel drained again
  • 2 effective AF strategies to help you build a self-care lifestyle
  • And literally DOZENS of self-care ideas you can do in as little as 30 seconds

It’s 100% free. Click below to download.


What helps you continue to show up in your business and the world when it all feels like too much?

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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
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How To Upgrade Your Business
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(3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

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