Ask Grace: What are the symptoms of spiritual burnout and how to avoid psychic burnout
Spiritual burn-out is a real risk for spiritual leaders, counsellors, caregivers, healers and psychics. Grace, a psychic, gives advice on how to avoid it (and she should know because she has suffered from it). I have suffered from this myself (in 2011), and have found in the past that if I was getting nurtured by others, and receiving energy from the universe, it didn’t happen, whereas if you fail to do these things, you will get burn-out, and the symptoms can be quite nasty.
She first identifies the symptoms of spiritual burn-out, and then identifies how to avoid it, or how to recover from it if you already have it.
The symptoms of spiritual burnout or psychic burnout can include exhaustion, depression, dread before or after working, feelings of unbearable responsibility, feeling overwhelmed, crying for no reason, crying often, being overtired, insomnia, difficulty getting out of bed, restlessness, procrastination, avoidance, constant illness, problems with the heart, difficulty breathing, anxiety and panic attacks, extreme weight loss or weight gain, hair loss, irritability, and a desire to avoid people.
Grace’s advice can be summed up in six key points:
- Take a break and rest – Grace says “take a sabbatical from everyone and everything, and really nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually”.
- Make sure your needs are met – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Breathe properly.
- Draw your energy from the universe – don’t use up all your personal energy; make sure to be replenished from the source.
- Charge for your services – either in money or in kind – Grace says “there always has to be an exchange of energy, which is what money is – it is the energy of worth and value given in exchange for the service received.”
See my article on Pagans and money for a discussion of when charging for spiritual services is appropriate and when it’s not. Most Wiccans agree that it’s inappropriate to charge for training because you received your training for free, it’s a continuing relationship, and you get as much out of it as your coveners. But it’s okay to charge for services where you don’t receive energy in return, like Tarot readings.
- Maintain strong boundaries – visualise yourself surrounded by white light; set aside a special room for your clients; set fixed working hours. If there’s an emergency, calm the client down first. Have a website which answers all the obvious questions about what you do.
- Only work when you can give 100% – don’t deplete yourself by working when you are ill, distracted, etc.
It’s well worth reading the whole article, which gives more examples and some excellent techniques and advice.
If you think you are suffering spiritual burn-out, get help – don’t leave it until you are absolutely exhausted.
(This article was originally published on UK Spirituality)
Self care for activists
Pagans and money
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books, Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft and The Night Journey: witchcraft as transformation.