Going back to work after a disability can be made less stressful with these tips
June 7, 2019
Going back to work after a disability can be stressful. Life changes in many ways and one has to deal with both well-meaning and intrusive looks and comments. But it is important not to let that deter you.
When you return to work after a disability, there are some things you may no longer be able to do, or you may be able to perform your role with certain accommodations. So, for starters have a talk with your HR department or manager about what you may want to change.
Have the talk in a positive frame of mind because while there may be some initial struggles, returning to regular routine is important for the following reasons:
- Being employed makes you financially independent.
- Having a set routine and meeting people is a welcome distraction from the mundane worries can help lift spirits and bring positivity.
Take the case of Nawab Khan. His leg was amputated after an accident but Nawab does not allow that to come in the way of living life king size. He is a para marathoner and motivational speaker and firmly believes that self-confidence is the key to survival.
I feel that for a disabled person it is important to stay positive and continue working even in the face of physical and mental hurdles. My job as a teacher has given me a positive outlook towards life and now I try and motivate others to stay strong. - Nawab Khan, Teacher
If you are going back to work after disability, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Have faith in your abilities and stay positive.
- Be mentally prepared for changes in life.
- Some co-workers may empathise, while others may not. Don't let that get you down.
- Discuss the accommodations you need at the workplace in a positive and open manner.
- Talk to the management/HR frankly if you feel a role change may help.
- Do talk to your doctor about recovery, medication and what to expect.
- Try and talk to other people who may have returned to work after a similar experience.
- Understand your own abilities and the impact it may have on your work.
- Seek help from friends and family when needed. Support from loved ones can go a long way in making the transition smoother.
- Some days may be frustrating and stressful, don't give up.
- Stay away from negative people who want to focus on your weaknesses, not strengths
"You will find that people behave differently once you go back to work after disability, says Amresh Kumar Singh, government employee... While some have genuine concern and understanding, others will only pretend to be nice. It is advisable to trust your own abilities and never lose hope. Every person is not a friend and can try to cause negative impact on your work life. Stay strong and face challenges head on.
Singh also says that it is important to have people you can lean on and share your stresses.
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