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WHAT ARE THE "SYMPTOMS OF SPIRITUAL BURNOUT" AND HOW TO "AVOID PSYCHIC BURNOUT" Psychic Advice Column addresses inquiries related to: "causes of and burnout", "how to recover from burnout", "burnout sydrome", "counselor burnout", "caregiver burnout", "avoiding burnout", "depression and burnout", and more
WHAT ARE THE
SYMPTOMS OF SPIRITUAL BURNOUT
AND HOW TO AVOID PSYCHIC BURNOUT
Question: "What is the best remedy for psychic burnout? Is there any preventative measures to be taken so I can keep giving my clients what they need?"
There are some differences between spiritual burnout and psychic burnout, but there are similar ways of avoiding both. Spiritual burnout often occurs for people who are working in service professions, especially caregivers and healers. Any profession in which someone gives a great deal to others and does not receive much in the way of compensation or appreciation can lead to spiritual burnout. People who work in healthcare, teaching, healing arts, counselors, social workers and those who work in the justice system can be highly prone to spiritual burnout if they don't take care of their own needs or nurture themselves.
Psychics and healers can be susceptible to psychic burnout if they give too much to too many people too often. Psychics and healers are usually givers who care deeply about others, so they want to be of service and assist as many people as possible. The most important thing for psychics and healers to do is to protect their energetic space and maintain proper boundaries to avoid psychic burnout.
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.
Once you have reached that point, the best remedy for burnout is to take a break and rest. During that time, take a sabbatical from everyone and everything, and really nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Attend to your own needs and make sure you do things that give you joy - and give yourself permission to do nothing at all for awhile, if that's what you need. People often ignore the signs of burnout and exhaustion, and refuse to take care of themselves until they actually become ill, but it doesn't have to get to that point. Burnout can be avoided.
The best way to avoid spiritual or psychic burnout is to make sure that your life is balanced, and that your needs are being met on all levels. Make sure you meet your physical needs by eating really good and wholesome food, drinking lots of water (dehydration can cause many of the symptoms of burnout), and getting plenty of exercise to move energy out of the body and raise endorphins. Make sure you meet your emotional needs by spending time with friends and loved ones, and making time for recreation and the things that give you joy. Meet your mental needs by reading, or going to classes or lectures - keep things fresh by learning new things. Meet your spiritual needs by connecting with others who are like-minded and like-hearted, and by communing with the divine.
Many caregivers, psychics and healers are givers who can tend to give of themselves until there is nothing left. You must receive from the Universe in order to replenish your energy - you must fill yourself until your cup overflows, then give to others from what is overflowing. We live in an abundant and divine Universe, and you must remain in the flow of that. If you give all of the time without receiving in return, then you will become empty and exhausted, and you won't be able to give anything to anyone anymore.
Some healers, counselors and psychics can have a tendency to undervalue their work, or give it away for free, especially to friends. This can be very exhausting and can contribute to burnout. In our world of duality, 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. If you don't receive adequate payment for your work, you will ultimately end up paying for it.
(Some people hold the belief that one shouldn't charge for psychic work because it is a gift from God. Being a psychic is a Calling, but in order for it to serve the greatest number of people, it needs to be handled professionally so people can find you and receive this gift from you. If you do not charge adequately for it, it means that you have to support your needs in some other way, which will leave you very little energy for helping others with your psychic gift in your "spare time". Certain people are endowed with divine psychic gifts so they can help others, but they must be able to support themselves in order to keep doing that.)
In order to avoid burnout, you must take time off periodically to recharge your batteries. Clients may not like having to wait, but you will be able to serve them better if you are energized rather than exhausted. Psychic work takes a great deal of energy. You are connecting with another person's soul, reading what is going on in their body and in their emotions, and are often connecting with a number of other people who are connected to your client at the same time. (A reading for one person can actually involve reading the 10 other people they ask about. This can be even more draining if you are performing mediumship and connecting to those who have passed on.) You are helping people heal their wounds and past traumas, often addressing things they've never addressed with anyone else. If you are empathic, you have to be particularly careful of burnout, because you are taking all of these energies into your body and feeling through your heart. It is important to fully release and disengage from clients after each session. If you do any hands-on healing, you should wash your hands up to the elbows in cold water to release other people's energies from your body.
No matter what kind of work you do, maintaining strong boundaries is vitally important to maintaining wellbeing. Each morning, you should surround yourself with a bubble of white light that is your protective shield and forcefield in the world that protects your personal space. You can imagine that you are receiving a beam of white light from the great central Sun that enters your body through the top of your head and fills your body with light, wisdom, guidance and energy - imagine that light pouring into your body until it overflows from the top of your head and completely surrounds you with the Divine Light of Love and Protection. Always maintain this bubble of light around you whenever you are working with others.
Another aspect of maintaining healthy boundaries is to set firm parameters for your work. Set fixed hours for working with clients and stick to that schedule as much as possible, making sure that the hours that you work are the times when you have the most energy in the day. Sometimes you will need to be flexible, but be careful because people will naturally take as much as they can. Most people are only concerned with getting their needs met, so you need to give clients what they need without sacrificing what you need. Givers can find it difficult to say "no", but if you are giving out of sacrifice then you are not giving love - sometimes saying "no" is the most loving and honest gift you can give to yourself and to others.
Be mindful of clients who have emergencies or who are in desperation - sometimes it is vital to attend to these situations immediately, but it takes a tremendous amount of energy, and you must calm them down first. When people are desperate, it is like they are drowning, and as any lifeguard knows, they could take you down with them if you are not careful. Sometimes you will need to let a little time pass so things can cool down or balance out a little bit - you must trust your intuitive guidance as to when and how to respond in such situations. It is important to have compassion, but dealing with a constant sense of emergency will quickly lead to burnout.
Keeping everything as professional as possible helps you maintain your boundaries and stay grounded. This not only serves you, but also serves your clients, because the more professional you are, the more relaxed and confident your clients will feel in your hands. Clearly state your terms, policies and preferences up front, while also being clear about how you work and what your clients can expect. This makes sure that everyone has a clear understanding from the beginning, which ultimately puts everyone at ease. If you lose a client by doing this, you aren't really the right person for them anyway.
Have a website that lets people find out about you and your services, and answers many of their questions, so you can use your time and energy to provide those services. Keep a separate phone number for your business, and only speak to clients when you are in the right energy. Avoid giving clients your cell phone number or your home number, because you need time and space for yourself in order to properly be of service to others.
Only work when you can give 100%. If you are feeling sick or exhausted, reschedule your appointments - it may be inconvenient, but you and your clients need you to be at your best so you can truly be of service to them. It does not serve anyone to give a half-hearted reading or healing. Make sure you take care of your own health and wellbeing so you can continue to take care of others.
It is best if you have a specific place where you do your work, and don't do anything else in that space. That creates a sacred space for your work, and keeps it separate from your life. That way, when you enter that space, you start to naturally resonate at the frequency of your work. It also allows the Universe to better protect that space, and confines other people's energies to that space.
Grounding is one of the most important things for avoiding spiritual burnout. Grounding before, during and after work makes sure that energy keeps moving through you without getting stuck in your body. It will also keep you from being "flaky" by making sure that you remain "down to earth" throughout your work. You can raise your vibration and still remain grounded - this allows you to access the highest levels of guidance and bring them into this dimension.
One of the easiest ways to maintain grounding and energy is to breathe deeply and slowly. Most people do not breathe adequately - improper breathing can lead to burnout as the body and the brain become starved of oxygen and can no longer function properly. You can use the breath to center yourself in your body and to ground yourself to the Earth. You can also use the breath to raise your frequency and vibration. You can use breathing to cleanse your body of other people's energies, allowing all that is not yours to flow out from the bottoms of your feet and into the Earth. Most importantly, you can use the breath to receive infinitely from the Divine Universe - the more you breathe, the more you receive vital energy, and receive everything else you need to sustain your prosperity and wellbeing. The key to avoiding spiritual burnout is to avoid becoming empty, so allow yourself to receive infinitely and abundantly so you can continue to give freely and serve others.
Many years ago, I suffered from severe psychic burnout because I put other people's needs so far ahead of my own that I did not heed the warnings that I was receiving to take better care of myself. At that time, I did readings for too many clients in a day, too many days per week, and still had people waiting for up to four months for readings. The pressure was tremendous, and I felt deeply responsible to help everyone as quickly as I could. I started to develop an irregular heartbeat, which is not uncommon among psychics. It got so bad that it would take my breath away, and almost triggered panic attacks. Still I kept working until the cardiologist told me I was under too much stress. I ended up being unable to work for eighteen months, and during that time was unable to help anyone but myself.
When I wanted to return to serving others with my psychic gifts, my guides told me that I could only continue to do so if I followed certain guidelines. First, I had to set a clear schedule for myself that took my needs into account. I could not work as many hours as I had before (because I work from the heart as an empath, psychic work can take a great toll on the heart and body, and requires time for rest and recovery). I had to let go of feeling responsible for others - my sole responsibility was to be the clearest channel to provide the highest information for the best good of my clients and all those connected with them, and I had to accept that I had no power or responsibility after that. I had to release my clients completely after each session, which often meant forgetting everything that was said in order not to carry their energy with me. (I deeply care about my clients, so whenever clients come to mind, I send them blessings and energy for their wellbeing.)
I was also told only to wear white clothing when working with clients as white does not absorb energy. I always burn a white candle for purification and protection. I always invoke the assistance and support of guides, angels, and higher powers, and I always connect directly with Source, filling myself full with divine light, healing, wisdom and guidance, so that I can give to others from what infinitely overflows from me.
I do my best to pay attention to my physical needs, although when I am working, I am in an altered state and can't really feel my body, so I must remind myself to keep drinking water. I take time off when I need to, and give myself lots of time to recover my energy between workdays. I maintain a strong distinction between my personal life and my work, so that going to work becomes a ritual of attuning to higher frequencies, and completing work becomes a process of grounding and release. Ultimately, the key to avoiding spiritual burnout or psychic burnout is to take care of yourself first, and make sure that you keep the energy flowing through you, and that you protect yourself psychically and spiritually.
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