It’s true that life cycles in phases from energetic and joyful to tired and withdrawn. Do you sometimes feel flat, exhausted, weak, joyless, angsty or anxious? Does it feel like life is on fast-forward, and you simply can’t catch up? Or is it the other way, where you can lose interest and drift into aimlessness, apathy and ambivalence – too tired to be inspired, motivated, or involved?
You may be suffering from spiritual fatigue, or an emotional drought.
What is Spiritual Fatigue?
An emotional drought means that your soul is actually exhausted, not just your physical body. It’s a sign of separation and disconnect of the energy from the body – where the energy isn’t in flow with the body and they struggle to work in unison.
Spiritual fatigue is a sign that we have become separated from ourselves somewhere along the way and need to reconnect. Going inward is always the answer. Just the same way that chasing an external answer only prolongs the period of separation. So it’s critical from the start that you don’t run away on holiday thinking that there is some geographical solution to this spiritual challenge.
Instead, begin by centering on your breath. Reflect and allow yourself to focus solely on your breath so you no longer have the dazzling distractions of the outside world pulling you every which way. Instead, focus on your breath. Maybe lift your shoulders up and apart and raise your pelvis out of your seat, so you sit high with some core muscle integrity.
Spiritual Healing begins with the Breath
Stillness with the breath is about the beauty of simplicity. Just the simple act of breathing and not fidgeting or moving a single muscle will help to bring down your zazen energy and focus yourself on the calming rhythm of your breath.
As you meditate, allow yourself to drift toward a into stillness, relaxation and silence. In this crazy busy world, stillness is undervalued and not cherished like the precious moment that it is. Instead, we all get lost in the frantic energy of motion as though just by moving we are actually going somewhere – when most often we aren’t going anywhere except a squeaky treadmill.
So you can begin today with some stillness in your life – and especially making time to cherish and attach to your breath. Even just one day with some stillness goes a long way to help you recover from spiritual fatigue.
1. Rest- yes, rest.
- Recline your body.
- Elevate your legs.
- Slow your breathing.
- Time your breathing.
When we are exhausted, our bodies run on a level of energy that gives us the impression we can cope and go onward even longer.
But with fatigue – genuinely acknowledging it and welcoming it like an old friend – we reconnect with our inner self.
And yes, it is indulgent – it is a pure and simple form of self care that many others might overlook as being too simple an answer.
So go ahead and slee[p for a week. Have an afternoon nap.
But when we go to bed, we often toss and turn and can’t get the sleep we so desperately need. In my experience, it isn’t sleep we need, it’s rest. We need to rest our body, and rest our mind.
Don’t avoid an afternoon nap becuase you mightn ‘t sleep that night. Make rest a priority. Just lying around on the lounge reading is often good. Try to put down your digital though.
In order to feel rested, power naps are more useful than long sleeps. I use a sleep hypnosis or guided meditation effectively to relax and nap.
Lie down and cover yourself to stay warm
Set your alarm so that you wake up after not more than 30 minutes
Listen to a relaxation audio. There is a good sleep hypnosis recording and guided meditations at Meditate Australia.
2. Find the Mind of Peace.
Again, we are going for the simple ones to begin here – When your mind is in a restful state, you feel peaceful. But this is sometimes difficult to achieve in a stressful life. There are so many things that disturb the mind. To find stillness is to be the rock in the midst of a turbulent stream: we remain resilient even when everything around us is in chaos. You can quieten your mind and overcome spiritual fatigue.
Embrace a News Detox – it’s simple to pull back from following the news cycle. Who really cares what politician said what – or who is dating whom? Let it go and get back into your own flow. It’s basic self care – why expend your energy outward on others who will never care about you at the sake of neglecting your own needs? Most likely the people you are reading about would never for a single moment wonder or care about you and your circumstances – why send your energy their way in a one sided transaction?
Give space to people who push your buttons. Often we attract people into our sphere of life because we are due to learn lessons from them. But being reminded of our pain points everyday is not comforting. By allowing some space between yourself and those people who trigger your angst, you will have one less prompt for your own discomfort. Sounds like a good idea?
3. Invite Silence to Heal you.
Noise, loud sounds and interruptions are overlooked as stress factors. A radio scratchily playing in the background doesn’t allude to peaceful bliss – but instead a workshop or the nonsense of meaningless background chatter. It’s the same with living the city, you are exposed to the vagaries of random sound interruptions – sirens, motorbikes, neighbours even dogs barking.
Silence is golden. It allows clarity and you can actually hear the sound of the air entering and leaving your nose. It’s a healing moment and spiritually connects your mind with your body. Go silent in the background. No radio. Try driving the car around without any sound – music or especially the poisonous complaining of talkback radio.
Only speak when you really want to communicate. Otherwise be silent. Don’t use mindless chatter as a cover for avoiding introspection or just being quiet. Try to use a smile instead of words.
When you have the silence, be mindful of ruminating on past thoughts or misdeeds or misfortunes. The silnece is to embrace the moment and the simple joy of being.
4.Make Time for Friends.
Laughing with friends is a proven tension release. And good friends have a way of putting things back into perspective that makes the worst seem not so bad.
Social connections have a positive impact on longevity and you can inspire and motivate each other with some thoughtful praise and feedback.
5. Reconnect with Outdoors and Nature.
Going for a walk outside connects y our self with nature and the greater world around us.
Really look at a plant, or tree, or the way the water runs over the rocks or the waves crash into the sand. Connect your breath with the rhthym of the waves, or the movement of the leaves and maintain this kind of natural breathing meditation as you walk.
Be mindful of keeping your posture erect and alert and your shoulders back and chin slightly tucked.
As you walk repeat a simple mantra affirmation like “I am loved I am loved I am loved” with out explaining it or needing a reason for saying it.
Overcoming spiritual fatigue is about finding the edges of your mouth curling upwards into a smile.
6. Embrace your Personal Comfort Ritual.
Everyone has some form of private comfort ritual or self care behaviour. For some it might be enjoying drinking a cup of tea first thing in the morning, or doing a yoga class, or a long hot bath, having a haircut or flossing your teeth. It could be eating something you particularly enjoy, or curling up in bed and reading a novel.
Comfort rituals are accessible and easy to do – so easy, in fact, that we often overlook them and can actually neglect to do them for weeks turing into months.
This is when we begin to experience the edges of fatigue and resentment and bitterness can arise – out of apparently nowhere. But in fact it’s because we are practicing self care often enough!
Go right now and schedule a self care session for yourself AND take the time to alert those around you that you will be unavailable during that time.
Demonstrating kindness at a personal level is a strong indicator that you will be available and present when the opportunity arises to pass on some kindness at some point in the future.
7. Use Physical Touch for Wholeness
Touching the warmth of another human body is an organic pleasure that we deny ourselves. Being present and authentic enough to fully embrace a massage or an erotic interlude is a skill we practice and become better at through familiarity.
8. Be Mindful and Present
Every day, no matter what your personal situation, there are moments of peace and cal that you have the opportunity to embrace as your own private retreat. Instead of sinking into ruminating on old hurts – take a positive step and embrace the simple zen of being mindful.
Washing the dishes, packing away toys, mowing the lawn, raking leaves – all take on an otherworldly dimension when you enlist mindfulness. Spiritual fatigue is a sign of self neglect – and the only way to relieve it is through taking responsibility for our state of being and making changes for the better.
You can re-invigorate yourself, and become inspired and motivated – if only you allow more self care, silence, space and finally, some time to do so.