There are very few true empaths, about two percent of the population. However, many people can attest to having empathic traits. While some of the empathic traits like creativity, problem-solving, and intuition are wonderful, being empathic also has a down side. One of the biggest issues empaths face is empath fatigue. This is also known as burnout and can be due to a short term, intense situation or just a steady drain of energy over time. This empath fatigue can have strong negative effects on you physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. All empaths need to learn to spot this and prevent it. Many empaths feel largely misunderstood except by other empaths. They can “get” others, but few understand them. This happens often in caring fields where empaths can do well, but their energy can also be quickly drained. This happens because the empath cannot turn off their abilities.
Empaths experience burnout most times because of their role in life and where family and friends are concerned, it can be hard to avoid. However, choosing a field where caring for others is largely avoided can help to some extent. Empaths are inherently passive and laid back. They like to watch and understand instead of offering opinions. They also prefer to put the emotional needs of others above their own. This can mean it is a struggle to be heard and get needs met leading to empathic fatigue. In addition, others can be draining when they have expectations or assumptions about the empath. Empaths are valuable to family and friends, often the ones others turn to for support. However, this can lead others to unintentionally take the gift for granted and neglect to reciprocate. Few realize, outside of other empaths, that the ability cannot be turned off. This leaves an empath tuned in 24/7 all the time. This is why managing energy levels carefully is of the greatest importance. Keep reading to learn how to know if you are suffering from empathic burnout.
The following is a list of signs you are suffering from burnout as an empath.
- You feel irritable and numb instead of compassionate
- You feel mentally and/or emotionally exhausted
- You struggle to sleep and do not feel rested when you do sleep
- You are hypersensitive to emotional scenes in books, television, or movies
- You struggle with intimacy with your partner
- You self-isolate or become withdrawn
- You have intrusive thoughts or experience brain fog
- You dread work or time with friends
- You are using unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking or drinking
- Poor skin condition or complexion change
If several of these apply, then you are struggling with some level of burnout. If this becomes severe, empaths can have adrenal fatigue. This results in aches and pains, exhaustion, brain fog, anxiety, and insomnia. If you feel this way, consult with a doctor or holistic specialist.
Fighting Empath Fatigue
While all empaths have some fatigue in their lives, there are ways to lessen the effects and at times, prevent the feelings from building. Try the techniques below to help restore energy levels and stop that drained feeling.
- Know Yourself – We need to understand who we are and what type of empath we are to battle fatigue. Use your intuition when responding to fatigue prevention to find balance that works for you.
- Be Aware and Acknowledge – Recognize the signs of burnout and deal with the underlying issues. It is better to take a few minutes a day to balance yourself then to have a meltdown and have to deal with everything at once. When your emotional reserves dwindle, acknowledge it and take action.
- Self-Care – Self-care is vital, but it can be difficult for the empath. You are so busy caring for others that you forget to take care of yourself. The empathic gift is not limitless and you must recharge through consistent self-care. Choose self-care that works for you.
- Good In/Good Out – Empaths are more sensitive to stimulants like alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Indulging in these things can send you into overdrive. While it can be tempting to reach for these things when exhausted, it is not a long-term solution. Make some small changes to move these out of your diet over time.
- Water – Water is a source of relaxation, peace, and healing for the empath. Whether you swim, soak in a tub, or look at crashing waves, it can recharge the empath.
- Create Boundaries – Setting healthy boundaries with people who take your gift for granted can be helpful in preventing fatigue. This is especially important when it comes to energy vampires who may need totally removed from your life.
- Identify Triggers – Every empath has different triggers. Pay attention to what is draining and what reinvigorates you in life.
Burnout is not inevitable. You can make changes to battle this fatigue if you are willing. Remember to care for yourself first or you will be unable to give to others.