You're welcome! Yeah, I'd love to share some things...
So I moved recently from a dorm room back home, and I feel like this is much of the reason why I'm doing better. Here are the differences in lifestyle/environment
Stuffy, cramped living space
2 roommates (one was my sister, so that was awesome, but the other one had major issues. She lied to us and stole our food, for example..)
Hardly any time alone
Lots of sitting, and not much time outside (with hardly any time in nature)
An okay diet, but with not enough fruits and vegetables
A huge contrast...
Free, open living space, with lots more light coming in
High level of cleanliness - my Mom cares about this a ton, which I love
My own room
Time alone in the morning and before bed (I find that not sleeping in the same space as someone else really helps me - because it's possible to absorb their energy throughout the night, which can lead to waking up feeling drained)
A much lighter workload, which is temporary, but I'm really grateful for it
Plenty of time to be creative and to spend time in nature
No toxic energy anymore - since that one roommate is out of my life
A much better diet - with more variety and produce (I actually try to keep my diet mostly organic, which helps a lot, but it's totally understandable if that's too expensive. I have a reaction to nonorganic food that is not pleasant, so it's a big priority for me)
A way more active lifestyle - getting exercise almost every day and walking around more
These are the things I think have helped me the most. Hopefully there are a couple suggestions here that might be helpful for you.
Also, here are some more general tips:
I'm not sure what your health problems are, but if they relate to your back and digestive system, this is really common with empaths.
One of the best pieces of advice I've received comes from Trevor Lewis' articleThriving as an Empath. It basically says that if we focus on sending out positive energy then we will be far more protected from negative energy. So far I think this is really true! And I think that by taking care of ourselves physically, having a healthy environment, seeking out the best and most uplifting entertainment..etc. we can fill our souls with light, which can then be shared.
And lastly, I think you're right to not try to block your empathy. We have these gifts for a reason, so that we can help others in the world who are suffering. The most happiness I've found is from using my abilities to help other people.. It doesn't get better than that