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Empaths, Energy & Exhaustion: Why Am I So Drained?

Mental Health | 10 comments

I’m curious… What’s your number on the empathic overwhelm scale right now? Put your number in the comments and let us know, how are you managing as an empath ever since the 2020s hit us?

If you’re tired of riding all these waves of emotion and energy constantly hitting us, you’re definitely not alone. I’ve been feeling it and I’ve noticed waves of it in the circles I lead for empathic women and the women’s circles that I belong to. 

In another post, I mentioned that “What’s in the air right now is a whole lot of grief, anxiety, depression, love, excitement, fear, spiritual awakening, spiritual connection, anger, rage even, and Mother Earth literally transforming herself as her frequency rises.” That continues.

Whatever is “in the air” hits empaths a lot harder and faster. With humans all over the world experiencing – and stuffing down or spouting out – high emotion, empaths are left with the desire to help but less capacity to protect their own energy and help, which means their impact decreases and often so does their mental health.

Why do empaths feel drained?

The Planetary Shift:

Whatever Mother Earth is going through, empaths are feeling it on some level. All those fires, earthquakes, floods and extreme weather events affect empaths more than you may realize. If you’re an empath, then you’re likely dealing with the emotional and energetic fallout from all or some of the above. It’s not just the ripple effect of your thoughts and actions that count. The ripple effect of Mother Earth’s growing pains can hit us too.

Energy Vampires:

Even on a good day, if you’re an empath, you might feel drained or overwhelmed. Empathic overwhelm can come from energy vampires, people who energetically feed off your emotions, especially the more dramatic or intense ones.

Energy vampires are so caught up in their own need for drama that they will buck up against your boundaries in a heartbeat to get their “energy fix.” Even in those times you aren’t seeing people in person, you can still be affected.

Being on Zoom, having a conversation, texting, messaging… these are all ways that energy vampires can drain you as an empath. I’ll bet you can think back to at least one conversation you tried to get out of multiple times but they just kept going on and on and on… meanwhile they sucked your energy dry, which brings me to…

Boundaries for Empaths:

As an empath, you need to have even STRONGER boundaries than most people, because it’s everyone else’s energies and emotions you want to keep OUT of your energy field, your heart and your body. I mean hey, other people’s JOY can rub off on you in a good way but even that can get out of control.

Without strong boundaries for empaths, you are literally being a sponge for all those energies and emotions that aren’t even yours… and it’s a LOT to manage!

What do I mean by boundaries? On an energy level, it’s setting up your energy field to allow in only what and who nourish you. On a physical level, it’s saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. If you find people crossing your boundaries often, that’s a sign you need to strengthen them.

Mass Consciousness:

Ever since the Harmonic Convergence back in the 90’s, and even before, in the 60’s, we’ve been hoping and praying to reach the tipping point with enough people having a true spiritual awakening and shifting how they live their lives. If enough of us are living our lives in alignment with who we truly are, things get easier for Mother Earth, and for all of us humans.

Mass consciousness is real. We know for sure now that deep emotion on a large enough scale can affect Mother Earth’s energy. Well, it affects us empaths too! When billions of disconnected humans are feeling confused, angry, lonely, depressed, terrified, traumatized and all kinds of other difficult emotions… it’s like a huge tidal wave that empaths end up feeling like they’re drowning in. We have to find ways to cope and protect our boundaries.

Do you have healthy coping strategies?

With empathic overwhelm, sometimes our go-to strategies aren’t that healthy, especially if you also are Indigenous or racialized or otherwise intentionally marginalized by colonization. Addictions can take hold. Or just like many non-empaths, you might “stuff” your emotions rather than do any shadow work or face any trauma you might be carrying. No judgment here. It’s not easy.

Empaths are being bombarded 24/7 with everyone else’s energies and emotions, and of course, on top of it, we are SEEING it all on social media and other places online.

It’s a good time to work on your discernment skills, on all levels. What and who are you letting into your energy field, consciously or unconsciously? How much body awareness do you have?

Here are a few ways to protect your energy as an empath:

  1. Healing Music. In my last blog post I shared how healing music can help soothe your soul and help with empathic overwhelm and burnout.
  2. Create Light. In the darkness, you can create your own Light. We are made of it!
  3. Here’s my very best blog post on how to protect your energy as an empath: How to Create & Reinforce Energetic & Spiritual Boundaries
  4. Check my events page for upcoming sound healing events for empathic relief.
  5. Get on the waitlist or if the doors are open when you read this, join the next season of the Picking Up the Pieces 13 Moon Program for women.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman


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  1. Athena

    I’m completely drained like a 1

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Athena, I’m so sorry. That’s hard. I have 3 upcoming free virtual events and I’m hoping you see this in time for today because one is tonight at 7pm EDT. You can see them all and register here: https://medicinesongwoman.com/events. Sending love.

  2. Will

    I am primarily male but have been drawn to you internet site. I feels as though that gender has come to a balancing point and both can live in one body/soul but the balancing is difficult and demanding. Though I look European/ male I have traveled many lifetimes in many bodies to this time.
    Right now I am vibrating at a very high level that is difficult to understand and be with, yet I know that I did sign up for this before I entered this lifetime. Every day / night I say “Thank you Creator for another day to love, learn, serve and be creative.”
    Right now I am feeling overwhelmed but not wiped out. I always count on Creator’s presence around and in me, always. So I try to listen to the universe and stay calm.

    • Jordan

      I honestly don’t know why but every time i visit my old place of employment I feel energetically drained every time i leave. Like I’ll be 100% all day and before i go, but right after I leave i get real tired but it fades away after 30 mins – 1 hour, but it happens every time I go

      • Brenda MacIntyre

        Hi Jordan. That could be a lot of things but sounds like your workplace isn’t the best for you. I hope you’re protecting yourself energetically before you leave for work every day? It will help a lot. If you want to dive deeper, feel free to reach out. Blessings, Brenda https://calendly.com/brendamacintyre/15-minute-discovery-call

  3. Raven-Phoenix

    I’m drained all the time

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Raven-Phoenix, I hope the article can help. Creating and maintaining our boundaries is super important as empaths. Sometimes that requires us to find our voice in new ways.

  4. Cleopatra Bridges

    My name is Cleopatra and I’m a transfemale. I say mine is about a ten. I been suffering with it all my life with it. What shall I do I tried many methods of blocking and failed. Please help me. My sign is Scorpio born this month on the 19th of year 72.

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Hi Cleopatra. Have you tried the methods here in the article yet? I get that it can be frustrating and draining to take on other people’s energies and that not every method is going to work for every person. If nothing seems to be working, you’ll need to look at your physical boundaries as well as your energetic ones and work on both at once. If you’d like some support, my one-on-one sessions may be able to help you. We could meet for a free consultation just to see if it makes sense for us to work together if you like. You can book a time here: https://calendly.com/brendamacintyre/15-minute-discovery-call.


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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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