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  • Writer's pictureDana Arcuri

Work Wiser Not Harder

Hello friends! Today's blog post is advanced notification about my summer coaching hours. After being a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach for close to two years, I've learned what has worked good for me versus what wasn't best for me.

Keeping that in mind, I am planning my summer coaching schedule differently this year. Based on my experience last summer (I was swamped!), I am going to be working wiser; not harder. Summertime is my busiest season in my coaching practice. Last summer, I didn't anticipate so many clients wanting to work with me. While I appreciate each of my clients, I have learned some valuable lessons along the way.

The first life lesson as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach is understanding that statistics are high for the burnout rate in mental health professionals. This includes my work, which does specialize in the mental health industry working with abuse and trauma survivors.

Burnout in the Mental Health Industry

What most people are not aware of is the stressful impact of coaches, therapists, and other professionals who work in the mental health industry. According to Banyon Treatment Centers, "The rates of burnout in mental health professionals have increased in recent years. Across several studies, it’s been found that 21% to 67% of mental health workers have experienced high levels of burnout."

Another fact that most people don't know is that mental health professionals who are a trauma survivor and who work with other trauma survivors will be triggered, have a normal trauma response, and they may experience chronic pain, increased stress, insomnia, and other health conditions. Trauma survivors, (including coaches & therapists) cannot always avoid triggers, flashbacks, and having a trauma response when they listen to their clients who disclose their abuse and trauma stories. Most of the stories of my clients are devastating. They have endured and suffered ongoing pain, loss, grief, manipulation, violence, and betrayal. Of course, I do understand it because I've experienced a similar situation in my own trauma history.

Here's one fact about burnout, it isn't only emotional. Burnout is also on a physical and spiritual level. You can feel depleted, fatigued, and worn out.

Emotional burnout happens when you have faced such high levels of stress that your body literally can shut down. You may not be able to accommodate extra challenges.

Psychology Today stated, "Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. Those in helping professionals may notice burnout."

They go on to say, "When you have too many conflicting responsibilities, simply saying “no” to new tasks is an important (albeit challenging) way to reduce your workload. Scheduling regular breaks, starting and stopping at set times, and minimizing multi-tasking can all help maintain boundaries and reduce feelings of burnout."

Burnout is a Sign of Unbalanced Energy

"Burnout is the result of too much energy output and not enough energy self-invested. In other words, it's burning too much fuel than you've put in your tank." ~ Melissa Steginus

There is no shame that sometimes it's hard to balance our lives with our careers. When we are working in helping professionals, we want to serve others. This is our life purpose, which we take seriously.

We want to be there for our clients, especially since abuse survivors are not usually supported in our society. We desire to help our clients be seen, heard, validated, and understood. Most importantly, we genuinely want to offer our clients emotional support.

Our business is flourishing! It's in demand. We feel pressured to take on extra clients. We work longer and later hours. We give and we give and we give.

Yet, at what high cost will this have a toll on our own bodies, minds, and spirits? At what cost will this have on us, our lives, our health, and our own personal relationships?

This is a friendly reminder that "doing our best" doesn't mean working ourselves so hard that we reach a breaking point. The goal is to always build awareness about our schedules and to avoid burnout.

Give Yourself Permission to Unplug

Author, Anne Lamott, eloquently reminds us to take frequent breaks. She said, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes...including you."

This is precisely what I have focused on in 2023. To take more time off of work. To practice professional boundaries with my business and my clients. To learn to say, "No." To learn to rest. To give myself permission to not people-please.

This year, I've practiced balancing my work with my private life. Spending more time in nature. Practicing self-care. Connecting more to my friends and loved ones. Creating sacred space to relish in soul care for my spiritual growth and to do energy work for balancing myself.

Summer Coaching Announcement

This summer, from June through August, I will be limiting my number of clients to work with. Signing up to coach with me will be on a "first come first serve basis." Once my schedule is full, there will be no openings. I will have a waiting list for those extra clients to work with me in the autumn.

In the summer of 2023, I am working on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My hours will be from 12 PM EST to 5 PM EST. If someone needs evening hours, I will only take a limited amount. It will be on a first come first serve basis.

For anyone who is seriously interested in working with me for Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching in the near future, I recommend that you don't procrastinate. Once my schedule is filled in the summer, I won't be able to take on anymore clients.

Travel is Good for the Soul

I have good news. It's official. I have scheduled my summer vacation. I am so excited and I can't wait!!!

I don't consider a summer vacation to be a luxury. I consider it soul care. It is a necessity to increase my quality of life and health. Plus, what's not to love about making happy memories with my beautiful children and husband?

"The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you're on vacation."

I love this inspiring quote. It is very true.

As I reflect on when I first got certified as a Trauma Recovery Coach, my teacher who is a licensed therapist said, "It's important for all coaches to carve out time for breaks, especially in the mental health field. To avoid burnout, take frequent breaks. Learn to practice self-care."

I wholeheartedly agree with her. I've come to understand how essential it is for me to take breaks and time off work. Working with trauma survivors is very rewarding and sacred work. But it can also be extremely stressful, too.

Now I truly "get it." Now I know why other coaches intentionally take off entire months. They do what they believe is healthiest and best for them. I validate it.

Even if you don't work in the mental health industry, it's still vital to carve out time for yourself. It's not selfish to practice self-care. It is a big part of your health; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

You can't pour from an empty cup. Remember to take care of yourself first. Unwind. Relax. Stroll barefoot along the beach. Visit a waterfall. Make positive memories with loved ones.

Breathe in the salty air. Take a walk in the forest. Dance. Write. Tap into your creativity. Soak in the natural vitamin D from sunshine. It's time to pour into yourself. Do whatever sets your soul on fire!

To learn more about Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching, visit this page:

For coaching prices and packages, visit this page:

I look forward to a fantastic summer. Cheers for an incredibly beautiful and enjoyable summer!

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