Returning to Work After Injury or Illness (Things to Consider)
Very recently I personally experienced a severe injury that impacts my ability to and effectiveness at work, for a short-term period. Looking at several weeks before I can return to full capabilities, I'm concerned about the impact the downtime for healing will have on my productivity, pipeline of opportunities, and the perception that coworkers and clients alike will have of me after being away for such a stretch.
Returning to work after an injury or illness can be a difficult and challenging process. Not only are there physical and medical challenges to overcome, but there may also be emotional and psychological hurdles to face. In order to successfully return to work after an injury or illness, it's important to take a holistic approach that addresses all of these factors.
Here are some tips for successfully returning to work after an injury or illness, that I myself am also implementing:
- Communicate with Your Employer about any physical limitations or accommodations that may be necessary. This can include modifications to your work environment or schedule, or adjustments to your job duties.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Your return should be a gradual process, and it's important to set realistic expectations for yourself. Don't push yourself too hard too soon, and be patient with the recovery process.
- Seek Support from Colleagues and Family: Recovering from serious injury or illness can be emotionally challenging, and it's important to seek support from colleagues and family members. This can include talking through your concerns and feelings, or seeking practical assistance with transportation or other logistical issues.
- Take Care of Your Physical Health: This may involve physical therapy, regular exercise, or other treatments as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Address any Psychological or Emotional Issues: Particularly issues that may be related to your injury or illness. This can include seeking therapy or counseling to help manage anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.
- Gradually Increase Work Hours and Responsibilities: When returning to work, it's important to gradually increase work hours and responsibilities over time. This can help ensure that you don't overexert yourself and that you have time to adjust to your new routine.
- Celebrate Your Successes: Returning to work after an injury or illness can be a major accomplishment, and it's important to celebrate your successes along the way. Take time to acknowledge your progress and give yourself credit for the hard work you've done.
Yes, returning to work after an injury or illness can be a challenging and complex process, but with the right approach and support, it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. By communicating with your employer, setting realistic expectations, seeking support, taking care of your physical and mental health, gradually increasing work hours and responsibilities, and celebrating your successes, you can get back to what you do to earn a living, and maybe even be better than ever at it!