We all suffer setbacks in life. Sometimes, they’re avoidable and sometimes they come out of nowhere. Illness and injuries often fall in the latter category and even after we recover, our exposure to that kind of vulnerability and the lack of mobility or agency that result from them can have a big impact on our confidence. If you’ve been injured or had a serious illness, it’s time to start looking at how to get back into the swing of things.
Be realistic, be prepared
We would like to think we can bounce back from anything without too much fuss, but sometimes there’s no avoiding the consequences of an injury or illness. It may mean you have to take more time off work than you would like, to the point that your finances are endangered. Be realistic about how long you might be out of action, as it can help you plan around things like social security disability benefits and encourage you to budget around your temporary lack of income.
Give yourself the care you deserve
Many illnesses and injuries have mental and physical effects that persist long after they are initially treated. Rather than rushing back to work and your everyday life, it’s worth considering rehabilitation to take a closer look at the therapy options that could help you get back to full strength. It can take a lot of time, especially on the emotional or mental side of things. However, if you try to throw yourself back into your old responsibilities without taking the proper care of yourself, it can lead to complications that set you back weeks or even months.
Keep maintaining healthy habits
Even healthy people get sick and get into accidents. You might not have any control over what put you out of work, to begin with, but by getting into exercise, eating right, and cutting back on bad habits, it can help you grow a sense of agency over your own body. It’s helpful to see that you still have a lot of control over different aspects of your health. There’s also the benefit that a healthier body is less likely to be as deeply affected by a different illness or injury in future.
Get back out there
Health issues can be isolating, and in the time spent recovering, many people can grow anxious or fearful of getting back into society and the workplace. Socialize yourself carefully, taking baby steps if you need to. Go out for a meal at a café. Spend an hour at a bar. Meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Start expanding your circle and once you get comfortable, expand it further. Move on to chatting with a stranger, then find a social hobby, and keep going. Take the same approach to the workplace. Know that you’re not going to be able to immediately pick up where you left off. Take little steps to get back to where you’re supposed to be.
While you shouldn’t force yourself through the steps of recovery before you’re ready, it’s important to continue to try making progress. One step at a time is fast enough if it helps you get your life back in balance.