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How To Return To Work After Serious Illness

A serious illness can strike even the healthiest person. There have been cases where someone hasn’t taken a sick day for many years, when a serious illness strikes. This once-healthy person may then need months to recover. When this situation occurs, knowing how to return to work after serious illness is crucial. Let’s look at four significant areas right now.

How To Return To Work After Serious Illness Without Worrying
How To Return To Work After Serious Illness Without Worrying — Photo By Andrea Piacquadio @ pexels.com

How To Return To Work After Serious Illness#1 Accepting You’ve Been Ill

While many people are healthy most of their life, no one is always well. Everyone occasionally needs to take time off work. The need to miss several weeks or even months of work owing to sickness, a medical condition, or having surgery is very different from taking the occasional sick day.

It may be challenging to resume working when serious illness occurs. You could be concerned your employment won’t be the same after being away for a while because things can change. You might also be worried that the job you used to do will be too demanding for you right now. But by accepting that you’ve been Ill and that you’ll need to make adjustments, you can plan to ease yourself back into work. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a strategy to address any worries you may have so that you’re prepared. Plus, it helps you adjust your thinking so you can return to work with greater ease after sickness.

Plan How You'll Adjust After A Serious Illness So You Can Return To Work With Greater Ease
Plan How You’ll Adjust After A Serious Illness So You Can Return To Work With Greater Ease — Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Working After Serious Illness#2 Use Time Wisely 

If your specialist has instructed you take time off to heal and recover, use this time wisely. Ask your doctor or neurosurgeon if you can exercise and what type of movements will be of the greatest benefit. You can also look into nutrition and what foods will assist in your recovery. Also, you can keep up-to-date with what’s happening in your place of employment and industry. This strategy speeds up your recovery. Plus, it lets you feel like you’re in control and of value when you return to work.

If you need additional stimulation, then consider up-skilling while you’re off work. Enrol in a course and earn a new credential to help you move forward. You can examine industry news or new corporate policies to learn about potential workplace changes to prepare for them.

Use Time Wisely To prepare Yourself To Return To Work After Serious Illness
Use Time Wisely To Prepare Yourself To Return To Work After Serious Illness — Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

How To Return To Work After Serious Illness#3 Have Your Paperwork Ready 

Your return to work may or may not necessitate paperwork, depending on your role and the company’s policies. If you’re unsure what to bring on your first day back at work, you should review your contract and the rules of your employment. Typically, a medical clearance certifying that you’re well enough to return to work is a standard part of the paperwork you’ll need. You may also need a doctor’s letter clarifying any special conditions of employment, such as, heavy lifting, bending or mobility restrictions.

Having the proper documentation ready to go on your first day back at work will save you time and frustration. Plus, you’ll make your transition back into working life smoother for yourself and others in your place of employment.

Have Your Documents And Medical Clearance Ready To Go
Have Your Documents And Medical Clearance Ready To Go — Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Working After Serious Illness#4 Arrange A Phased Return 

Some employers and employees assume that you will return to work and pick up precisely where you left off. However, while this is ideal for your employer, it may not be the case for you. Many people find returning to work after a serious illness challenging, especially if they’ve experienced physical or mental trauma.

If you cannot pick up where you left off when you return to work, talk to your manager. You may start by working fewer hours or fewer days per week. Alternatively, you may work from home some or all of the time. As your strength and self-assurance return, you can gradually increase your work hours. This plan will increase your stamina until you’re ready to return to work full time.

Gradually Build Up Your Ability To Work Full Time
Gradually Build Up Your Ability To Work Full Time — Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

How To Return To Work After Serious Illness Key Takeaways

Just to recap, knowing how to return to work after serious illness in 4 steps includes:

  • Accepting You’ve Been Ill – sometimes accepting you’ve been ill is difficult, especically if you’re usually fit, active and extremely healthy. Acknowledging your illness will let you make adjustments. This strategy lets you fit back into your place of employment with greater ease.
  • Use Time Wisely – if you need time to heal and recover, use this time to exercise, eat well and upskill. This approach lets you build a fitter, healthier and wiser you. Of course, before you start building a bigger, better stronger you, run your plans passed your medical practitioner. You don’t want to undo any healing.
  • Have Your Paperwork Ready – you may require medical clearance and other documentation to certify your fitness to return to work. Make sure you have these in order before heading back to work. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, ask your manager.
  • Arrange A Phased Return – you may not be able to pick up where you left off at work. If this is the case, seek to go back to work in stages so that the transition is smoother.

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