Being a sensitive is such a blessing but without careful attention to your energy, it can feel like a curse.
If I have a very busy, cluttered week (like I’m having this week) and I don’t take time to mellow out and spend alone time resting, guaranteed I will pay a hefty price with my energy and clarity.
I start thinking about EVERY-thing I have to do (in my entire lifetime) and my head starts to spin. I see all the unfinished projects around me and it chokes my energy.
I am currently teetering on the edge of burnout right now which is probably why I’m writing on this topic. Because yes, it happens to me too, but I’ve learned to recognize the signs and take action – as in, no action.
That’s why I preach so much on self-care, I know the damage and recovery is harsh if you don’t make time to do it – notice I said make time to do it.
I get asked by other sensitives if I ever experience the things they do and how I handle it. Yes I do experience the same things. That is why I do what I do at Big Dream Awakening – so you don’t have to go as far down the rabbit hole of burnout as I have in the past.
I also get asked how I manage to “get it all done” or I’ll hear “boy, you’re a go-getter”. I do not say that to brag, because that’s completely not my nature. I share this with you to be absolutely transparent.
Because the truth is – I don’t get it ALL done. I have piles of laundry to be done, a house to clean, a workout missed here and there – just like anyone else. I get moody and want to stay in bed some days so I don’t have to go out peopling. Hello, I’m an empath!!
It’s not that I’m a “go-getter” driven by achievement. I just don’t know how to stop doing what I do to help more sensitives and I will not give up doing the things I love that bring me joy.
So I do what I can, when I can. I reset my expectations to “normal for an empath”. I feed my soul and sometimes I just stop…doing…and…let…myself…just….be.
I’ve learned to read my energy and even though I don’t always listen – I said I was going to be transparent here, I’ve learned that if I ignore (because I’m stubborn) my energy needs – I pay a price and am forced to slow…way…down…and…take…a…break.
And that is not always pretty. It may look like a day of not moving from the couch or a quiet day of talking to no one other than my dog. It’s not “fun” alone time at that point.
Recovery from burnout is uncomfortable because I love to be moving and doing. But it’s in those moments that I realize I way over-did, over-pushed and over-ignored my energy.
So when I hear a sensitive say they feel overwhelmed or too tired or a little crazy from it all…I really do get it, I understand because I have been there.
My reality looks like this. I work a full time job, run my business, work with clients, host a radio show and I’m writing a book. That does not include the everyday life tasks, trying to have a social life, stay in shape or spend time with my family. And throw in there that we’re in the midst of moving to a new home while living temporarily in a rental.
Again I’m sharing because the tools I teach – I use in my own life. I could not do all that I do without them. They work for me and they can work for you. One of the best tools I can share is awareness.
Be aware of your energy at all times.
When I give TLC to my energy, all flows pretty well and I can handle a lot, a lot. When I’m over-extended, I’m a freakin’ mess, my energy drains and my light goes dim.
This is something I see in my clients. They take on so much, with no “me-time”, that energetically they get wiped out. There’s no room for anything else but they push themselves thinking they should just keep going and do more. Wrong!
Even your cell phone will shut down and force you to plug it in for more juice. Your body will force you to unplug for more juice.
What is Empath burnout?
Well first, it is real. I’ve heard people say that burnout is not real, it’s a frame of mind. Obviously they’re not a sensitive. Nothing feels more real than burnout to an empath.
Burnout is not in your head. You can’t just ignore it and keep going. It’s your body’s way of giving you a message – You need to slow it down or I will shut it down. It will scream at you if you don’t listen.
The good news is it can be avoided and you can learn to recognize burnout signs early to bounce back quickly.
The definition of burnout is best described as physical or emotional exhaustion as a result of long-term stress. For an empath stress can come from a number of things that seem everyday-normal to other people.
- Attending a large social function or group event
- A few hours of running errands through busy stores or the mall
- Spending time around negative or crabby people
- Experiencing a harsh discussion
- Trying to meet multiple deadlines
- Too many ‘people’ meetings
- Going through someone else’s trauma or heartache
Signs of Empath Burnout
There are real signs and symptoms of empathic/emotional burnout.
Side note: Let me make it clear, this does not mean you are weak, crazy or lazy. Because those are the terrible things I hear empaths say about themselves, and I used to talk to myself that way too.
“Your inner chatter does matter.”
If you are telling yourself you need to get it together or you’re blaming yourself, etc. just stop. Some organizing and energy management would be good but talking down to yourself will not help.
If you are experiencing or heading for burnout, you might feel:
- Physical, mental and emotional exhaustion which spins into thoughts and feelings of shame, self-doubt, failure and can snowball into feeling like you’re in a crisis.
- There’s too much at one time and you feel like you’re drowning emotionally.
- You feel zapped of any motivation, wanting to withdraw from everyday life.
- Heavy thoughts and feelings, you’re starting to question if you are depressed.
- Like you cannot put a string of thoughts together, nothing seems to click and you’re finding it difficult to focus on one thing let alone everything you need to accomplish today.
- You feel very heavy in your body, weighed down. Your steps feel heavy and take extra effort when walking.
- You have physical pain like headaches, joint aches and pains.
- You are extra jumpy or cranky, everything around you seems to set you off.
- You just don’t give a crud about much even though it feels like everyone is coming at you from all sides asking what you think.
- Your first thought when your alarm goes off is “already? I wish I could just sleep all day”
- Everything feels like a huge project, even simple things like folding the laundry or getting the mail.
- You can’t seem to make a decision to save your life, you’re completely over-stimulated with choices and feel paralyzed.
- There’s nothing about being around people that appeals to you right now, you just wish you could shut the door to the world for awhile.
Here are a few more questions to help you determine if you are in or heading for burnout right now:
Do you feel completely overwhelmed? One thought snowballs into another, collecting everything you need to take care of with no end in sight and you feel crushed from the pressure?
Do you feel like you can’t get your thoughts straight? Even though you have projects to complete, nothing flows, your mind feels clunky and it almost hurts to think?
Does your body feel extra heavy? Like you’re dragging around invisible bricks and you feel heavy from head to toe?
Has your motivation left the building? You have no desire to do anything, not even the fun things you used to enjoy because it all feels like work?
Time For Energetic Hygiene
Just like you brush your teeth to avoid the buildup of plaque, you must do quick and efficient clearings of other energies to avoid buildup in your body, mind and emotions.
Here’s a quick list of energy tools to get you back to your centered, amazing, bright-shining sensitive self!
- Stop moving. That’s right, veg out and rest your physical body. Your mind and your emotions will follow.
- Close your eyes. This stops the visual stimulation and brings you right into your quiet space.
- Sleep and then sleep some more. This will help reset your energy centers and naturally slow your systems down.
- Eat for energy by color. Whole foods by color to balance your chakras. (avoid fast food, the chemicals will create more work for your body to detox)
- Carve out alone time to do nothing.
- Work your creative muscle – only if you feel inspired to do so.
- Spend time in nature. Just be, no thinking allowed.
- Watch a favorite, uplifting or inspiring movie.
- Do something that makes you laugh.
- Say no to things that don’t feel right for you. You will be so glad you did.
- Just do what feels right for you in this moment. That may be nothing at all. Your energy knows best, trust what you feel.
And finally, schedule a Sensitivity Scan with me. We’ll address what’s going on with your energy, where the holes are that are draining you. I’ll make recommendations for your personal care plan to get you back to feeling good again.
When you tend to your energy on a regular basis – that being as close to every second you can – you will literally feel like you are born new again. Your outlook will be brighter, you’ll feel excited to take on the world and do all the things that felt so heavy during burnout.
You’ll rise up from burnout and start living again. You got this!