Updated: Mar 23
Let's lighten things up, shall we? It's our 20th article together! And guess what? Yes, Life can be dreadful when you're going through a burnout *and* it can be wonderful to know that you're not alone. In fact, the good news is that you can absolutely get to experience wonderful things in the midst of recovery *and* once you're on the other side. So, let's keep going. Together.
Today, we'll chat through the third step we outlined in last week's How To Recover from Burnout Part 1 :
Don't believe the part of you that says that you're a failure for not being able to "get it together" or "get over it"
Believe your body when it tells you that there needs to be another way
Ask for help
Practice different types of rest and encourage others to practice different types of rest with you
3. Ask for help
Asking for help is like any other skill. It takes six ingredients:
- Practicing and an ongoing exploration of what works for you
- Noticing who is best equipped to help you with what and when
- Experimenting with different personal and/or professional supports
- Giving yourself and others around you grace when you/we/they inevitably get things wrong
- Being explicit about what we're going through, what we need, and what our capacity to show up for others is at any given time
- Letting go of the idea that we were meant to white knuckle and lone wolf our way through Life to prove our strength and worthiness
Yes, this includes asking for help from both professional and personal supports. This seems obvious until we realize that we need to be strategic about who to share our experiences with to prevent further harm.
In terms of personal supports, I invite you to think about friends, chosen family, biological family, support groups, online communities, interest communities, and/or faith communities, for example. When thinking about who to talk to, ask 3 questions:
a) Is this a person I feel safe being myself with?
b) What do I need from this interaction? For example, sometimes we simply need people to listen, to sit with, to think things through with, to do an activity with, or to help us figure out what we even need in the first place.
c) How might vulnerability in the short-term create opportunities for greater connection and reciprocity in the long-term with this person?
When it comes to professional supports, I invite you to ask 4 questions:
a) Is this practitioner trauma-informed or trauma-trained? For the purposes of this article, 'trauma-informed' refers to a practitioner who studies (on an ongoing basis) the ways in which trauma impacts a client, how it affects their quality of life, and the tools that can help them through it. Again, for the purposes of this article, 'trauma-trained' refers to someone who has received formal training on how to treat trauma. For example, a coach/Yoga therapist/Yoga teacher/osteopath/massage therapist/physiotherapist/social worker can be trauma-informed, whereas a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist/doctor can be trauma-trained. Disclaimer: not everyone in a helping profession is trauma-trained or even trauma-informed.
Here, the invitation is to work with someone who understands the nervous system, the ways in which your past experiences influence your day to day life, the ways in which your identity intersects with what you're experiencing, and someone who can help you find a path forward that does *not* require you to override your body's cues or deep wisdom.
b) Does this practitioner practice the ABCs? I invite you to check in with your practitioner as to how they practice Accountability, Boundaries, and Consistency. You can ask them about how they typically work with clients, what the scope of their expertise is, and what ongoing support includes, for example.
c) What's their previous experience?
d) What's the Why behind why they do what they do?
It takes great courage, strength, and wisdom to ask for help. You're not alone. And. You don't have to be.
For trauma-informed coaching support on breaking the cycle of chronic overwhelm, book a Discovery Call with me here!