I'm sure you've heard of mental or emotional burn-out: Those moments when you're “up to here” with the many things going on in your life or people requiring your expertise or attention.
Sometimes there is a legitimate, clinical (medical) reason behind mental or emotional burnout (i.e. chemical or hormonal imbalances, mental health issues, chronic depression, etc.). Other times it's simply a matter of knowing when to take a “mental health day” from work, or “treating yourself” to something you would never normally do (*ahem* insert the A-Typical “You just need a Spa day!” references here).
The problem with spiritual burn-out is - it's not as cut and dry as other burn-outs can be.
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As a full-time, professional Psychic Medium, I suffer from spiritual burn-out pretty regularly as part of my profession. I'm choosing to write about this particular topic because I'm just coming out of a major bout of burn-out – and I will typically suffer from spiritual burn-out at least 3 times per year (mostly due to all of the travelling I do and the sheer volume of client sessions I book).
I find that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about spiritual burn-out (or, it's just not talked about). This is where (from my own personal experience) I'm hoping to set the record straight.
I believe there are a lot more of us suffering from bouts of burn-out than we care to admit (even to ourselves). I also believe in full disclosure and transparency in this field – and as a “Professional Psychic Medium” I often have people contacting me when they are burnt-out, feeling as though they are weird, strange, or off (and feeling totally disconnected from their intuitive selves / Spirit Guides) when they happen to be going through a spiritual burn-out too.
Who is Affected by Spiritual Burn-out?
(1) Professional Spiritual / Energy Workers
This includes those in the holistic health & wellness industry, such as: Healers, Psychic Mediums, Tarot Readers, Shaman, Reiki Masters, etc.
As well as those that are connected directly to more structured (i.e. religious) professions, such as: Ministers, Reverends, Officiants, High Priests, High Priestesses, etc.
Those in either field are regularly connecting on a spiritual or energetic level, whether knowingly or not, and it is a large part of their life to communicate spiritual messages OR messages about Spirit.
When spirituality or religion is your “job”, then the spiritual burn-outs can come on much more quickly and frequently.
You may start to notice the signs when you dread heading into sessions with clients, try to hurry through a normal appointment, avoid speaking about your profession to others, feel totally completely physically drained after a session (or all of the time), or look for reasons / excuses to NOT book yourself more sessions.
You may even be at a “point of no return” with your spiritual burn-out if you find yourself flipping days, months, weeks, or even years ahead in your calendar, imagining how to escape your current workload.
(2) Super-Duper, Potently-Spiritually-Gifted Individuals, OR Latent Psychics / Mediums (Especially Empaths)
Those that fall into this group know that they are super duper potently gifted because their brains, emotions, thoughts, etc. just won't stop. In fact, it may be hard to focus, stay “tuned into” a current conversation, or maintain a grounded, balanced, emotional or mental state. Because of these added “ups and downs” spiritual burn-out can come on even if you aren't engaging in the use of your spiritual gifts or connecting on a psychic or spiritual level.
Those that are latent psychics or mediums usually have experienced some form of psychic or spiritual phenomena (especially when they were young), and out of fear, lack of acceptance, or lack of support, they have chosen to “close down” their natural extra-sensory gifts.
On top of all of that – those that self-identify as EMPATHIC are almost constantly affected by spiritual burn-out to some degree due to the amount of emotional weight they can carry in excess to their own personal thoughts and feelings. Those that cannot control their empathic ability, may even know that they are never really feeling their own emotions, or sometimes they have had all other emotional disorders ruled out with no other socially accepted labels to affix to their chronic anxiety driven emotional state.
If you happen to have some of these aforementioned gifts (or suspect that you do), you would know that you're dealing with spiritual burn-out if you are feeling less connected to yourself (your own personal wants, needs, and goals), dreading spending time with loved ones (friends and family you normally would love to see), find yourself not sleeping well or feeling as though you are burning the candle at both ends (even if you aren't over-working or your schedule isn't jam-packed), find yourself day-dreaming about hopping on a boat, plane, automobile or ANY form of transportation just to get the heck out of dodge, or can be (at times) less patient (and more sharp-tongued / quick to anger or frustrate) than you normally would be.
(3) Those Suffering from Periodic Identity Crises or Personal Evolution
Hey let's be very real for a moment.
You may not have one single psychic bone in your body but still be affected by spiritual burn-out when you come to that almighty transitionary period that we all hit at one time or another.
I'm talking about that point you hit at the end of your energetic cycle. We all have that moment every 3, 5, 7, or even 10 years when we go through a huge identity crisis, self-evaluation, and overall personal evolution.
Usually this comes along with thoughts like:
“What am I doing with my life?”
“What if things had been different?”
“Who would I be if ______?”
“How did I get here?”
“Where did all of that time go?”
The frequency of spiritual burn-outs while dealing with self-identity crises or re-evaluation, will vary depending on who you are (how you self-identify) going into the burn-out.
Special Note: You may fall into more than one of the categories above. If so, you may suffer from spiritual burn-out on a more frequent and on-going basis.
How to Deal with Spiritual Burnout
(1) Know your Symptoms (and Rule Out any / all possible Medical Causes)
Usually there are signs that a spiritual burn-out is coming. Sometimes it starts gradually with a de-sensitization to your intuitive ability or “gut instincts”. This can come along with crazy, vivid, hectic dreams, or even no dreams at all. You may also suddenly suffer from bouts of anxiety when you are the type of person that never gets stressed out. The idea of going out publicly to an event or function or even to buy groceries or go to the bank may be too much for you.
You may even feel physically, mentally, or emotionally exhausted (typically all 3), OR you could feel totally & utterly stuck at the moment with an inability to perceive a “way out” from your current situation in life.
Depending on the types of psychic or spiritual gifts you have the symptoms can also vary.
As always, it's important to seek out professional medical guidance and advice, as some of these unique symptoms are also related to other physical, emotional or mental conditions that can be appropriately medically treated.
Sometimes you may only know that you are suffering from spiritual burn-out because all other medical avenues have been ruled out.
In my personal experience you may experience any of the following psychic-gift-specific symptoms during a burn-out period:
Clairvoyancy (“Seeing” Spiritually) – Light Sensitivity (you seek out a dark room to be in), Third Eye Headaches, Fuzziness around the edges of your vision, Lacking the ability to “visualize” or think on a big picture basis, Difficulty “visualizing” in meditation with previous success, Going from super vivid, intense dreams to choppy, broken up dreams or no dreaming at all
Clairaudience (“Hearing” Spiritually) – Sound sensitivity (any manufactured noise from a radio, television, traffic, fluorescent overhead lighting, etc. is unbearable), Chronic “Ice-Pick”-Like Headaches, Constant Ringing or “White-Noise” (not the periodic ringing or “white-noise” that comes from intuitive signs from time to time), Popping of the Ears
Empathic Ability (“Feeling” Spiritually) – Severe (debilitating) anxiety when you have have never suffered from anxiety before, Panic Attacks (shortness of breath), Hermit'ting for long periods of time, Depression (when you normally aren't one to suffer from depression), Intolerance of others (when you are normally the most tolerant / compassionate person in the room)
Please keep in mind: When it comes to Psychic Abilities, everyone has a set of gifts that are 100% unique to them, and so symptoms of a spiritual burn-out will of course vary. Some of the symptoms listed above would be cause to seek appropriate medical attention as well. Never rule out physical, emotional, or mental means for what you may be suffering from.
(2) Know your Triggers (and Avoid them like the Plague)
When you have become extra sensitive to energies around you as a result of the spiritual burn-out, it's important to know what can set you off and add to your level of exhaustion.
I can get really temperamental and emotionally turbulent (I'm also a Cancerian so I'm sure that doesn't help matters). At those times I can also have some difficulty communicating my emotions (allowing miscommunications to run rampant in my life). Sometimes I can even be less tolerant of people around me. I'm still compassionate just less empathetic (the whole “everyone's got issues” edict).
So for me, being around people is a HUGE trigger when I'm going through a spiritual burn-out. That includes friends, family members, and even sometimes my beloved partner of life and other half. Don't get me wrong - I love all of these people dearly, I just sometimes can't stand being around them.
Social media, phone calls, and other forms of contact may even be enough to set me off.
Another trigger is my work schedule, or over-working. If you know me at all you know that I am most definitely a workaholic. I have always been and I will always be to some degree (must be my “Type A”, perfectionist side). So in midst of a burnout my work schedule alone can trigger the moody, self-protected, introverted side of myself.
As weird as it may sound, my diet can trigger more spiritual burn-out symptoms for me as well. If I'm already burned out, any junk food or unbalanced eating habits I take on (like skipping meals, eating too much, not eating enough, becoming dehydrated) will add to my feelings of exhaustion almost immediately. I'll even start getting randomly physically nauseated. This will happen for me when I wake up, after I eat, if I haven't eaten. i.e. quite literally ALL OF THE TIME.
Now reflecting back on your own personal periods when you may have suffered with spiritual burn-out – what do you think sets you off emotionally, mentally, or physically in those moments of true soul-deep exhaustion?
(3) Know your Coping Mechanisms (and Apply Liberally as Needed)
The number 1 misconception about spiritual burn-out is that a quick-fix Self-Care “treat” like a “Spa Day” will cure you.
I wish it did.
The truth is, coping mechanisms are very different from the notion of “treating yourself”. Yes, your coping mechanisms may be caring for yourself – but that doesn't work for everyone.
Your own personal coping mechanisms and what will work for you depends on your own personal energies, psychic / medium gifts, how often you suffer from spiritual burn-out, and tons of other variables.
So to get an idea of what you can do while suffering with spiritual burn-out - here are some of my own personal tried & true coping mechanisms:
- HERMITTING 101
During a spiritual burn-out I almost always spend most of my time at home. I avoid spending time with friends or family. I may not even reply to text messages, live chat requests of Facebook, or phone calls. Usually that would be a “bad sign” that someone is not okay. For me it's a coping mechanism (mostly because I'm a classic introvert – I love spending time alone even when I'm not burnt-out). I find healthy doses of hermitting makes it much easier for me to deal with spiritual burn-out because I've made my own personal world really small. It's like nesting or cocooning yourself.
- ENLISTING THE HELP OF OTHERS
I tend to seek out energy healing or psychic readings from other Professional Spirit / Energy Workers during a burn-out. After a few burnout cycles I have my go-to Psychic Friends Network and Physical / Energetic Healers that I frequent. I may even do this as often as once a week for a few weeks (especially with physical / energy healing).
- MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT
I will almost always binge out on Netflix, Funimation, or any other kind of fluff I can get my hands on. Usually I head straight for a television show I've watched before or any form of animation because it gives me a sense of homeyness and comfort.
- SETTING, RESETTING, AND ENFORCING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
I will tell people “No”. Usually I'm a “Yes” person. I over-commit myself to others. This may sound like a weird coping mechanism but I practice the fine art of saying “No” in order to create verbal barriers to go right along side my energetic barriers. When I'm in a burn-out, my go-to response is an immediate “No” versus the typical immediate “Yes” I would give.
- ENERGETIC SELF-PROTECTION
I self-protect… A LOT. This includes smudging, visualizing the Great Wall of China made out of white light around myself, protecting my home with symbols, sigils, salt, egg shell dust, red brick dust, the works. I will wear a ton of Quartz crystal because that is my “power crystal” (i.e. the crystal that makes me feel more like “me”, it makes me happy, calm, blissful, and yes, GROUNDED).
- GETTING RE-AQUAINTED WITH ME
I talk to myself. I do that anyway, all of the time. But when I'm in spiritual burn-out mode I will often tell myself: “Everything is okay”, “I'm not the problem, my energy (or lack thereof) is”, “I don't have to care what people think”, etc. This might even be considered neurolinguistic programming of some kind. As soon as I find myself dwelling on how spiritually depressed I may feel, I start talking to myself to remind myself of what's truly important & encourage myself.
- USING SPIRITUAL OR DIVINATORY TOOLS TO GET FURTHER VALIDATION
I actively seek out assurances from my Spirit Guides; which might sound weird for being in a spiritual burn-out but hey – talking to Spirit is literally my life story. If you know me at all, then you're aware that they are always in my head. However in times of spiritual burn-out I can also feel very Spiritually disconnected. I will seek out more tangible forms of assurance from my Spirit Guides – just like everyone else would do. My usual go-to would be pulling out one or more oracle card decks. Sometimes I'll also search through my “Tarot Essentials” Pinterest board for the right kind of spread. Then I will THOROUGHLY (psychically) read myself. I will look at each card to see if it sparks that inner communication with my Spirit Guides. I will read what's on the card or stare at the pictures. I will read (sometimes several times over) the meanings in the books that accompany my cards.
(4) DO NOT Apologize (or Feel the Need to Explain)
It needs to be said!
There is NOTHING wrong with the core essence of who you are when you're going through a spiritual burn-out. You're not the problem! Where you are in life, what you do for a living, how you may be coping may be the problem. But you, my lovely, are not the problem.
So stop apologizing for feeling sad. Stop saying sorry every time you don't want to spend time with people. You don't have to explain to everyone around you what your coping mechanisms are and how crucial they can be for you.
Forgive yourself for not being on your “A Game” for just a little while, and forgive those that may never understand your perspective.
Own who you are, own your spiritual burn-out, call it what it is, and have gratitude for yourself (and those that are understanding around you) every step of the way.
Or (because you may be spiritually burnt-out while reading this)… don't. Don't overthink, don't interact, don't obsess about the sunnier side of things.
The gratitude part can always come later, once you're coping in a healthy way and through the worst of it.