“I don’t know why I feel so drained these days.”
It’s past midnight as I sit down to write this. I’m feeling anxious and antsy, wired, and far too jittery to even contemplate laying down and trying to sleep. I know, if tonight is like the last few, that I’ll eventually knock out around five in the morning and then possibly sleep ’til around noon or thereabouts (edit: that’s exactly what happened). It isn’t that I’m not tired. I’m exhausted. In fact, I feel like I’m always exhausted now. And I know that I’m not alone. I’ve seen it all over social media. People wondering why they don’t feel motivated to do the things they love, why it’s so hard to concentrate, why they suddenly have anxiety or feel lost. Disconnected.
Humans are, by nature, empaths. In Reiki classes, we are taught that all of us (witch or not) inherently have the ability to work with the universal energies to help heal and ease suffering. As we grow older, these channels become blocked, and we become less attuned to it. However, for many of us, it remains an instinct. This is why when our children fall down, we try to make them feel better with a touch or a kiss. Even if we don’t realize it, many of us employ the power of touch and nearness to help others. We have also all heard the phrase ‘energy vampire.’ We know that when we are around predominantly positive people, we will, for the most part, feel energized and motivated. Conversely, when we are around cynical people, a lot of the time, we tend to feel discouraged or ambivalent. We feed off the energies around us whether we want to or not.
So why would this be any different if the circumstances and environment we experience and live in seem like they are constantly uncertain or outright dismal?
While I hope to give some advice on how to cope with this, I first want to say that I am not a doctor or psychologist. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or any mental health complication and you feel it has interfered with your daily life, I would urge you to seek help. I know in the past, and perhaps even now, there is a stigma associated with doing this, but know that your mind can get sick, just like your body can, and there is no shame in seeking the help of trained professionals in order to feel well.
Meditate and Ground
There are many things you can do to supplement your mental wellness. As witches, we share a special connection with the earth and the elements that govern our magic and our lives. I’ve shared in a recent post how grounding can help us reconnect with and tap into the unlimited energies of the earth. So, in a lot of cases, something as simple as finding a time and place where you can be alone to meditate, ground, and calibrate your energies is enough to help you feel like yourself again. It is a generally accepted belief among most practitioners that whenever we feel off kilter, sluggish, or ill it has to do with something within being out of balance, so this is a good place to start.
Change Your Scene
Sometimes, it goes beyond meditation and grounding. In this case, it may be worth it to consider a change of scene. Try going somewhere you don’t normally meditate. Maybe go for a walk or hike and really take in the little things around you. The wind, the trees, the flowers, the bugs, birds, etc. If you can, take some time to go out at night, find somewhere comfortable, and look up at the stars. I know this can be tough to do at times. I live near a big city, so star gazing isn’t as magical as it used to be, but just the act of going outside can go a long way.
For me, a change of scene means going to the beach, away from the light pollution of the big city. Of course, I will be practicing social distancing and keeping myself and others safe, but even if I don’t get to go into the water or lounge out on the sand, just being near it, hearing the waves is enough to help me feel centered.
Spells and Rituals
As witches, we have many tools available to us that can help us feel energized and grounded. Burning incense or herbs, creating or performing a spell, practicing divination, or taking part in a ritual can often be precisely what we need to get back on track. Drinking herbal teas, Reiki or spiritual healing, cleansing baths or showers are also extremely beneficial.
The new moon also happens to be this week. This is a great time for new beginnings and setting intentions. A simple way to do this is to get a white candle and a bowl of water. You can set the candle upright in the bowl of water or near it and light it. As it burns, meditate and think on the things you hope to accomplish and goals you want to set for yourself. Also consider things, people, or feelings that no longer serve you. After you’ve grounded and finished your meditation, write on a piece of paper all the things you want to let go. Fold it up and hold it over the flame, taking care not to burn your fingers or anything else. Allow it to burn as long as you feel comfortable (I cannot stress enough, be careful) and then drop the paper in the water. You can also do this in a fire pit or with sand. On a separate piece of paper, write down your intentions and keep hold of it until the full moon. You can place it on your altar, keep it in your pocket, or place it under your pillow. Read it every night before you go to bed or any other time you need to remind yourself of your goals. Some people will burn it at the full moon, but I prefer to keep mine as a reminder of my intentions and how far I’ve progressed.
It’s been a tough year for many of us, and naturally we are all feeling the weight of that. I know for some, getting away or making time for ourselves is difficult, but it’s absolutely worth it to take some time to reconnect and focus on you. Even if it’s just twenty minutes of reading a book or taking a power nap, do something for yourself. And don’t feel guilty about it either. Give yourself permission to work on your wellness. After all, if you don’t put your health first, nobody else will.