When we’re not feeling well physically, we go to see a doctor. When we’re mentally exhausted we see counsellors and psychologists. When we need to get our life in order in all aspects, we see life coaches. But what do we do when we’re feeling spiritually exhausted? In an age where there are fewer people in the Western world avidy following organised religion, where do we find spiritual healing?
For some, working with spiritual healers like Reiki practitioners can help shift the energies that they can’t shift themselves. As an energy worker myself, I have my own healers that I go to when I’m feeling spiritually depleted through the work that I do.
But spiritual exhaustion is more common than just amongst healers. It’s when your soul is fatigued, not just your body and is a sign that we have disconnected from our Inner Being, our Higher Self. So, how do you know if you’re spiritually exhausted, or just burnt out? Here are the signs of spiritual exhaustion:
1. You feel undervalued, under appreciated and under recognised for the work that you do
Whilst anyone can suffer from spiritual burnout, this most often occurs for people who are working in a service profession such as caregiver or healer, in which you give a great deal and don’t always receive much in the way of compensation or appreciation. If you work in healthcare, teaching, healing arts, as a counsellor, social work or even in the justice system, you’re more prone to spiritual burn out as you tend to put other people’s needs before your own, forgetting as carers often do, that one cannot give from an empty cup.
Even though this isn’t really a symptom of spiritual exhaustion, it certainly is a trigger of which to be mindful.
2. Crying for no reason or crying often
Sudden bouts of unexplainable crying can be a sign of spiritual exhaustion too. Tears are a the body’s stress relief valve. It let’s go of sadness, grief, anxiety, frustration but also release joy or relief. It’s the cleanser of the soul and a way to purse pent up emotions so they don’t lodge in the body as an illness. Increased teariness is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage and strength for both men and women.
Biochemist Dr. William Frey from Ramsey Medical Centre also discovered that whilst reflex tears (such as when you get something in your eye) is 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones and other toxins which are excreted from the body through crying. Further studies also indicate that crying produces more endorphins which is the body’s “feel-good” hormones.
Emotional tears also heal the heart and holding back tears can be spiritually harmful. We’re taught that it’s not good to cry – but in this new enlightened era we should be more comfortable, self-aware and strong enough to cry.
If you find yourself crying often and for no reason, this could be a sign that you’re spiritually exhausted and stressed out, your soul needs to release the build up of stress, anxiety and sorrow and it does this best through tears.
3. Overtiredness, insomnia and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
Basically a lot to do with your sleep patterns. You might find yourself exhausted all day, and then as soon as you get into bed your entire body is wired. Or you might find yourself so tired that you can’t actually fall asleep and you’re restless. Meditation might not even help much to calm your mind and it may even cause you to become more frustrated. When you finally do fall asleep it might feel like you’re body is covered by bricks when you wake up in the morning and you can barely move.
There are lots of shifts in energy happening and these surges can be a sign of spiritual exhaustion.
4. Heaviness in the chest
Of course, any chest pain should be checked out by a medical practitioner for any underlying cause of illness, however, a “heavy” chest can also be a sign of spiritual exhaustion. This can be a sign that the heart chakra is closing up and not functioning at
it’s optimal level, or that it’s overactive and sending out too much energy.
The tightness can also come from holding in emotions and denying that we feel the need to be nurtured and cared for. When we give too much and don’t receive in return, the energy feels more depleted.
5. Desire to avoid people
Being around others becomes too exhausting and we feel like retreating. It could be because we feel people are asking too much from us, or that we merely feel drained when we’re around other people. We need time alone where we can recoup without having to put on a mask and behave in certain ways to make other people feel comfortable.
How do overcome spiritual exhaustion
So, how do you recover from spiritual exhaustion? The first step is to take a break and take rest. Take a sabbatical from everyone and everything and really nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This doesn’t have to be at some fancy retreat. You can easily take this type of break on your own at home.
Do things that bring you joy or even given yourself permission to do absolutely nothing for awhile. Usually when people notice the first signs of burnout, they tend to ignore it and push through until they actually become ill and don’t have a choice to take care of themselves. This can be avoided if you listen to you body and understand that it’s okay to put yourself first. You can’t give from an empty cup.
Nutrition is important, so make sure to eat wholesome, nutritious foods, drink lots of water and get plenty of gentle exercise – such as walking in nature and yoga. Connection with nature is another important and vital role for the soul. Connecting with the natural environment, whether through hikes or by merely sitting in the park can revitalise your soul.
When you feel ready, spent time with the people that bring you joy, and make time for activities you love doing – whether that’s reading, or watching movies or going to a certain class and learning something new. Walking meditations might be another easy tip to use, since sometimes during period of spiritual exhaustion it’s harder to connect with your