By Mary Jaksch
Do you sometimes feel droopy, exhausted, dry, joyless, irritated or anxious? Is life sometimes on fast-forward, and you can’t catch up? Are you sometimes too tired to be inspired, motivated, or uplifted?
You may be suffering from spiritual fatigue.
It means that your soul is exhausted, not just your body. Spiritual fatigue is a sign that we have become separated from ourselves somewhere along the way and need to reconnect. Luckily, you don’t need an expensive holiday on a tropical island in order to recover. If you follow the steps below, you will notice a definite improvement after even just one day.
There is a simple way to replenish our spiritual energy: through stillness.
Stillness is a beautiful word. It conjures up images of a relaxed body, a peaceful mind, and silence. In the busy world of today, stillness tends to get lost. However, there are simple ways to include stillness in our life. Even just one day with some stillness goes a long way to help you recover from spiritual fatigue.
To recover from spiritual fatigue is isn’t difficult. All you have to do, is to follow the seven (and-a- half) tips below
1. Rest the body.
When we suffer from fatigue, we feel as if we could sleep for a whole week. 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.
In order to feel rested, power naps are more useful than long sleeps. I use a sleep hypnosis tape in order 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, created by Jon Rhodes.
2. Find the mind of peace.
When the mind is at rest, we 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 like a rock in the midst of a turbulent stream: we remain steady even when everything around us is turbulent. Here are three simple things you can do to quieten your mind.
- Spend a day without reading newspapers or watching the news on TV or reading about it on the Internet.
- Spend a day interacting as little as possible with people who make you feel agitated.
- Use the Three Breaths Meditation at least 3 times a day in order to calm your mind. The Three Breath Meditation only takes about one minute. It consists of paying tender regard to three complete breaths (watch the short video below on how to do it).
3. Let silence heal you.
Noise is a stress factor. If you live in a big city, you are constantly bombarded with noise. We also add to the constant assault of sounds through listening to the radio or TV, playing music, and so on. Silence can heal because it brings us to our center. Here are some simple ways you can invite silence into your day in order to recover:
- Eliminate background music
- Go on a TV diet and turn it off for a complete day.
- Only speak when you really want to communicate. Otherwise be silent. Try to use a smile instead of words.
4. Have a laugh with friends.
Laughter is a great way to let go of tension. And good friends have a way of putting things back into perspective. Ring up a friend, or connect with them on the Internet.
Going for a walk in nature is a wonderful way to connect with ourselves and with the world around us. There are some important points to remember: keep your head up, and let go of anxious thoughts. You can find tips on how to use walking as a spiritual practice here.
6. Use your comfort rituals.
Each one of us has some private comfort rituals. Maybe you enjoy drinking a cup of tea first thing in the morning, or doing a stretch at the open window, eating something you particularly enjoy, or tucking up in bed and reading a novel. Whatever your comfort rituals are, make sure that you take the time to do them. All to often we forget to take our small pleasures because they seem ‘unimportant’. But actually, they are a way to show kindness to ourselves.
To feel the hands of another on our skin is a basic human need. Babies fail to thrive – or even die – if they are deprived of human touch. In order to recover from spiritual fatigue, it is good to feel the gentle touch of a hand, or a warm, friendly hug. Ask your loved one for a soft embrace, hug a friend, or arrange a massage. It will refresh and relax you.
As you can see the seven things we need to attend to in order to recover from spiritual fatigue are simple. If we allow the body to rest, the mind to quieten, and let silence be the balm that heals us – we recover quickly. And then there is tip number seven-and-a-half:
Enjoy stolen moments
In each day you can find stolen moments. Maybe you get stuck in a traffic jam, or you need to wait at the dentist. Instead of fuming at the wait, close your eyes and enjoy this little gift that life has offered you. These are perfect times to do the Three Breath Meditation, or even have a tiny nap. (I tried the ‘stolen moment’ technique at the dentist today. It worked in the waiting room, but I must admit that once the drill got going, I started to hyperventilate…)
What is your experience of spiritual fatigue? What helps you to recover?