Empathy is a wonderful skill that helps us make friends, have better wellbeing and succeed in life; however, empathy without boundaries can be a different story.
When we are highly empathetic but can’t set boundaries, emotional burnout may be on the horizon.
What do I mean by boundaries? Boundaries are actions that prioritise self-care as high as care for others (including your kids). Yes, there are times when we may need to skip our workout or stay late at work to help someone in need, but if your self-care is on the chopping block all the time your body will eventually rebel and you will become the person in need of care.
As humans we are input/output systems and we can only run on empty for so long. Remember when we focus some of our energy on much needed inputs, we become better at outputting energy to those we want to help.
As you teach your children empathy, make sure you are helping them learn to set boundaries. Modelling this behaviour through your own actions is a great place to start!
Check out our related blog article, Are you Headed for Burnout?, for a quick activity that will help you assess your input/output balance.