Depleted. Overwhelmed. Stuck. Anxious.

All feelings that an empath has faced at one time or another.

Empaths face overwhelm and fatigue on a regular basis. Most of the time we can recover with basic self-care practices. 

But this does not always work.

When it doesn’t, we find ourselves facing empath overload and shutdown.

Once here, it takes some extra time and tools to allow us to restore our energy and health. In this article I am going to share with you how to know if you are overloaded, and how to fix it.

Let’s get started with better understanding of empath overload.

empath overload

What is Empath Overload?

Empath overload is when you have taken on too much of other people’s emotions and energy. Thus, depleting your system. This includes physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It makes it difficult to function in your life. It is like burnout, where it becomes difficult to engage in any area of your life. 

Empath Overload Symptoms

Below are some of the specific symptoms that empaths can experience when suffering from overload. Remember, we are all different, so if you feel depleted but don't have some of these systems trust your instincts and take care of yourself. After all, one of the benefits of being an empath is having strong intuition! Use it!

  • Fatigue/Exhaustion -this can manifest in a few ways. It could be your sleep is bad. Or your body can’t handle the workouts you normally do. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to find the energy you used to have. Everything feels like a chore.
  • Anxiety – are you more stressed than normal and it can’t be tied back to a specific life situation? Then it may be that you are carrying too many other people’s stress. Triggering a constant state of anxiety. (Anxiety and worry are often confused for being an empath!)
  • Depression – feeling lethargic, sad and stuck? It’s easy to get here as an empath. Not because you are taking on other people’s stuff. But because it can make your own feelings overwhelming. If you feel like you are always at a disadvantage because of being an empath, you can become discouraged and depressed. Leading to hopelessness. (If at any time you feel suicidal, please get helps ASAP.)
  • Physical problems – having continual headaches or keep getting sick? This could be a sign your body can’t take on anymore. For some empaths, this can be one of your empaths traits that you can feel other people's physical problems. Remember to seek help from your doctor if you are experiencing physical problems. Don’t assume it is due to empath overload. If anything physical is changing, schedule a visit with your doctor. You need to rule out health issues not tied to empath overload. I always approach physical problems from all aspects. So, when I feel a pain, I go to the doctor, do an empath overload break and consider other spiritual problems such as possession.
  • Confusion/can’t make a decision – this is a big one for me! If I am struggling to make decisions that are normally easy, I stop and do a quick assessment to see if it is overload. Or if it is something specific to do with the problem. Such as I need more information.
  • Disassociation or disconnecting– when you are in overload you may experience a desire to be away from everything and everyone. Or it can manifest as not being able to connect to the emotions and feelings you used to be able to. Including accessing your intuition. As a protective measure we end up tuning out and stepping away from everything.
  • Overly emotional – the opposite of disassociation is that you become quickly angered, saddened or any other emotional reaction. Instead of being able to process an emotion you find yourself reacting. An example would be starting to cry at small things, or even instantly when something happens. I know as empaths our emotions can be high at any moment. But when your system is on overload these emotions are on the next level. The feelings are very intense. And we can't control them.
  • Increased use of addictive coping tools. Unfortunately, empaths tend to self-medicate to numb our feelings. If you find that you are turning to your numbing tool of choice more, you may be overloaded. Get help if you need it!
  • No motivation with no clear reason why. Always love to work out, but can’t seem to get it done. Want to plan a vacation, but even that seems like too much? This can be empath overload.
  • Decreased efficiency – what might normally take you two hours to do, now takes 10 hours. It feels harder to do what you need done.

Empath Overload Tool Kit

Download my personal process for getting rid of empath overload!

How to Overcome Empath Overload

Schedule extra downtime

Cancel everything that is not critical to your daily life. Make sure you challenge yourself on what is critical. Every little bit of extra downtime helps you. So be ruthless in only adding to your schedule what must be done.

Extra Self Care

Add in extra healing and self-care practices.  Beyond what you normally do. My favorites are journaling to explore what triggered the overload. Review each situation and try to understand it more. Meditation to help ground and center. Reiki to keep your energy system clear.

Overcome empath overload

Remove Other’s Energies

Make sure to clear yourself of other’s energies. It is hard to come out of overload when you are still surrounded by other’s energies. This one can be difficult, even when alone. This is because the stronger an empath you are. And the more connected you are to someone. You can pick up their energy from a distance. This makes protection, that much more important.


Energetic and emotional protection are critical. Learn about tools you can use to protect your own energy. My favorite easy go to is carrying crystals that protect me. You can put them in a pocket or wear them as jewelry. My favorite is moss agate. You can also use just about any black crystal. Go to a reputable local crystal shop to get assistance. If ordering online first use a resource such as The Crystal Bible to know what the crystals do.

Get Help

When we are in overload it can be very hard to do our own clearing and protection. If you are struggling, ask for help.

Check out my energy healing services if you are stuck!

Do What Nourishes You

It might be a walk outside in nature, painting, writing or it is watching comedy shows. Look for things that bring you joy. When you are full of your own positive energy, and feel balanced, it is much easier to overcome overload.

Empath Overload Example

Here is an example from one of my own experiences with overload.

How I Knew I Was In Empath Overload

  • Couldn't Sleep - my mind would race (more than normal) and I was consistently awake till 3 AM even though I turned my lights out at 11P.M.
  • Overly Emotional - I would cry easier than normal, I would react more to small things. Overall, my emotional reactions were in overdrive!
  • Lack of Focus - I struggled to get anything done. My energy and motivation were also gone.

How I Overcame Empath Overload

  • Cleared My Schedule - I only kept must do items on my schedule. Everything else was me time.
  • Uninstalled Apps -  for this particular time part of the issue was too much news and social media. I was stuck in a cycle of bad energy. So, I uninstalled all social media and news apps from my phone.
  • Extra Self-Care - I added more of the tools that help balance me. For this cycle it was a lot more meditation!

I knew I was better when my sleep started to get back to normal and I was excited for work. It took about two weeks to get back to normal.

In my experience every time is slightly different. Each time will require different time frames. And different tools to balance.

Play around with what works best for you.

How to Avoid Empath Overload

Once you have recovered from overload it is important to make sure you don't end up overloaded again! These tips will help you avoid overload.

Daily Self Care Routine

Managing your empath gifts has a lot to do with maintaining a regular spiritual and self-care routine. As you do this, it is harder to get overwhelmed. I have an entire article dedicated to self-care for empaths. If you don't have a self-care routine, check this article out!

Listen to Your Intuition

It is important to pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. It is trying to keep you safe and clear. If you get the sense, you should not go to a work party – then don’t! If you feel like you should drive a different way to the gym, then do it! Sometimes it does not make sense but following it will help keep you balanced.

Watch for Toxic Energy

Pay attention to the energy of the people and spaces you are around. If you walk into a store and it feels bad. Then walk out. If your boss is having a bad day, try and stay away as much as you can. Every time you put yourself into a situation that is toxic, you will pick up stuff and have problems getting back to your base line.

Protective Energy

Make sure you are protecting your energy.  Protection ensures you are not picking up other people’s stuff. Find the right tools for you and use them daily. 

Learning to manage your empath energy is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Once you master this, you can begin to elevate and use your gifts. Or at a minimum find more joy and happiness in your life!

Empath Overload Toolkit

Download my guide with specific items that I use for the steps above. My personal process for getting rid of empath overload!

Last Updated: 5/25/24

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