In the time leading up to your first day back, try some of these ideas to make your return feel easier:
- KEEP in touch with colleagues.
If you find this would help, stay in touch with people at work during your time off.
You could contact them by email, social media or chat on the phone;
- CATCH up on news from your workplace.
If your workplace has a staff newsletter, you could ask to be put on the mailing list;
- PLAN to visit work before you return.
It might help to say hello to colleagues and re-familiarise yourself with the workplace. If you work remotely or from home, you could join a virtual team meeting;
- ARANGE for someone to meet you at the entrance.
After being off for a while, you might be worried about entering a busy work environment alone.
Ask a colleague, your manager or someone at work who you trust;
- ASK to return to work gradually.
With your manager, discuss the option of working part-time or on certain days to begin with.
This is sometimes called a “phased return” to work;
- START to readjust to your working hours.
In the days leading up to your return, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time as if you were going to work; and,
- MAKE use of peer support services. By sharing with
others going through similar
experiences, you might feel less alone.
Staying well after your return to work from a mental health problem, try to make use of any support you can to stay well.
- Next week’s edition: Preparing to return to work (continued)