I wanted to share a couple more quotes from this fabulous book, Sensitive is the New Strong, by Anita Moorjani.
On how we empaths deplete ourselves:
"I want to stress again a few of the common ways we deplete our life force energy, which may either lead to an illness or prevent our bodies from healing from one: We give of ourselves until we're drained, but we don't know how to receive. We don't know how to recharge our batteries. We feel guilty when we feel happy or do something good for ourselves. We don't believe we're worthy or deserving of positive things. We're stressed out all the time, perhaps by our relationships, our finances, or our jobs. We're lonely or grieving or suffering a trauma of some kind that goes on for a prolonged period of time."
On how to fix that (this is fleshed out much more in the book, another reason to buy it!):
"It's not what you do -- it's what that activity does for you. Everything that nourishes your soul and recharges your light is a spiritual activity."
Moorjani stresses over and over that the key to keep from depleting ourselves is to love ourselves first. That's hard for many empaths, who have spent their lifetime putting others first. But this is crucial, the author argues, and spends a good part of the book showing how we can do that. I can't recommend this book highly enough.