When you’re experiencing emotional overwhelm, trauma, or burnout from chronic stress, it’s difficult to know what kind of help to seek out, especially when you don’t know what support is available or what will work for you. The Center Method’s belief that healing is not linear and the many modalities offered within one location are what drew me to them as I sought help from unhealed trauma and immense burnout.

Burnout is what happens when chronically high-demands meet low to no resources or support. In the final stage of chronic stress, burnout is a condition of accumulation, unresolved stress that piles up day after day for months and years until it drains all coping resources—emotional, physical, and mental. And, it’s easy to get caught up in because chronic stress floods the body with adrenaline that masks the physiological impacts and makes us think we’re handling it, at least for a while—until we’re not.

The funny thing is just six short months ago if you asked me if I was burnt out, I would have adamantly denied it. I was a top executive in my organization, and to be frank, I didn’t have time for burnout, which meant I especially didn’t have the time to heal from it.

 Maybe it was the massive amount of adrenaline surging through my body, or the fact that I had grown accustomed to feeling exhausted, but I just wasn’t willing to admit that in my drive to “make something of myself” I had gone way beyond what was healthy or truly needed to be proactive in my work.  No one aspires to a state of exhaustion so complete you don’t want to get out of bed; no one wants to live life without a feeling of purpose; no one wants to feel cynicism take over or deal with a host of medical issues due to chronic stress. But yet there I was, with all of the symptoms and issues staring me in the face, and with no energy to deal with any of them.

After pulling into work one day, and sitting in my car crying for 20 minutes before I mustered up the energy and spirit to walk into the building and face the day, I knew I had to find some help. I had to resolve whatever was going on.

Enter The Center Method (TCM).

During my time at TCM, I learned there are situational factors that trigger burnout—the structure of the work, unrealistic deadlines, excess workload, and insufficient reward or support. I also learned, and this is where the healing of my past trauma came in, that there can be individual causes rooted in our personality traits and our responses (or lack of them) to demands that causes burnout to take place.  The key to not falling prey to reflex burnout triggers is to be aware of the daily issues that drive stress, and resolve, dispute, communicate, and adjust them so they don’t push your buttons. Easier said than done.

Yet as I got reacquainted with myself and explored TCM’s yoga classes, nutrition support, acupuncture and, of course, therapy–all offered under one roof–I began to feel a bit more like myself. I began to feel alive. Bonus points for the fact that everything I needed was contained under one roof, there was no trekking from provider to provider or treatment to treatment in maddening Los Angeles traffic–that alone was a very small victory.

My one-to-one trauma-informed therapy sessions with founder and head therapist Nicole Moore left me feeling completely “held.”  This experience was a gentle, yet life-altering, wake up call to a part of me I had inadvertently turned off after years of unresolved trauma and a decade of working 60+ hour weeks. It was a beautiful reconnection to the power of my resiliency and a safe place to explore bottled-up feelings and help give them meaning.

And more than anything, it was purposeful repatterning.  I gained tools and techniques and was supported by resources that provided a beautiful re-introduction to human connection, attunement, self-confidence, and helped me build healthy relationships, including a healthy relationship with my work life.  

I was seen. 

I was heard. 

I was fully supported and while I am still healing I am in a much better place than I was 6 months ago. In fact, I really don’t know where I would be without TCM.  It took a lot for me to reach out for help. I thought burnout wasn’t “real” and that I would just get over it.

Interestingly, The Guardian (British Newspaper) says that:

“Often the only people who don’t recognize burnout are those who are exhibiting all of the symptoms, because highly motivated, driven, high-functioning, ambitious people can have great difficulty believing they are breakable.”

But burnout is a real epidemic and has real costs. I had to stop trying to ‘out-busy’ everyone. I had to give myself a break and heal patterns from past trauma, which I learned tend to become more prominent and act as my default when I am particularly exhausted.

In a fascinating study, Arnold Bakker and Patricia Costa examined the individual side of burnout. They found that “People with higher levels of daily exhaustion show self-undermining behavior…Chronically burned-out employees are less able to manage their own emotions, and more likely to encounter conflicts at work. These self-undermining behaviors and high levels of daily exhaustion result in mistakes that had to be done over, create more time urgency, and more pressure in an ever-repeating cycle.

As you can see the cycle is hard to break once you are in it and even harder to break alone.

If you are feeling the signs of burnout, I highly encourage you to reach out and seek help from a professional. Let someone help you get off the burnout treadmill and get back to feeling joy and purpose in your life again.

Author:Dawn AndreasIG: @dmandreas