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Lots of our readers will have experienced time off from work. This may have been short term, long term, or, you may be off now as you read this. The reasons for absenteeism are numerous and very individual to the person experiencing them. Factors which may, for one person, precipitate a period off work, may not for another. There is no set equation, there is no right or wrong as to the amount of time needed off and there is no telling when it will happen. It could be for a variety of different reasons – bereavement, maternity, stress or a physical or mental health problem. You would think, in the grander scheme of things that returning to work was the ‘easy’ part but, often, if it is rushed or you feel you have to, rather than being ready, it can result in a further or longer period off work. Whatever the reasons for being off, there are similar themes that come up for our clients: guilt, financial implications, being reliable, concerns over whether they can still do the job, how their colleagues will react, anxiety, stress, embarrassment – they go on and on… So, what can we do differently while off work that helps us feel more in control and prepared? Check out our tips below…

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The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Absence from Work

  • We cannot stress this enough – follow your absence from work procedure. Communicate with who you need to, in the correct way, as soon as you are able. If for any reason you are unable to, get a family member or friend to do this on your behalf.
  • Let go of any feelings of guilt by challenging your own negative beliefs. We are often our own harshest critics. If you find yourself being critical to yourself, try and speak to yourself with more compassion. Imagine you are speaking to your best friend or a loved one.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Many workplaces offer support with physiotherapy or counselling for example. If not look for community support groups or even those on social media. Reaching out can be hard but trying to handle things on your own can be harder in the long term.
  • Rest and recuperate, physically and mentally. This is where all the self care comes in. Part of that self care is not rushing back to work too soon, but taking steps to ensure you can when the time is right by getting professional medical or alternative support.
  • Ask yourself deeper questions about returning to work and take time to reflect in the support you need. Do not leave it to your boss, or the Occupational Health department. Take time to think about this first and they can support you and tell you if what you would like can be accommodated.
  • Look after your wellbeing. No matter what the reason is behind your absence, if you do not look after your wellbeing, what started out as one issue can become several and then it becomes much harder to return to work. It may be connecting with a friend, getting out for a walk or practising a strategy to manage a symptom. Whatever it is, take time out of your day to do it.
  • Keep a routine in place. Even if you can manage very little in a day, set time aside for different things, and, if you can manage it for self-development or being creative. It may be that you can do very little but keeping to a routine, even if it is one focused on recovery will give you a boost!

If you would like further support on returning to work, contact us to find out about our one to one therapy 😊

The OutdoorCureOnline Team x

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