How to cope with returning to work

  • It is important that you are honest with your employer and close colleagues so that you do not put yourself under too much pressure. Flexible working patterns can be useful to begin with.
  • Build up both physical and mental activity gradually.
  • Be honest and realistic about how you are getting on.
  • You may feel unexpectedly tired by your work at first; avoid stressful situations and go to bed early.
  • Where physical requirements are too much for you, it may be necessary to retrain or find alternative duties at your workplace. If your work has an occupational health department, they can be a useful source of support and information.
  • If you are told you cannot continue in your previous employment there is help available for retraining or changing occupation. Ask for an appointment to discuss this at your local job centre or careers advice department.

When your job is mentally demanding or stressful it is important to learn some stress management skills, including time management. A simple rule of thumb regarding time management is to split your day into thirds: one third sleep, one third work and one third social and leisure activities.

You may find it useful to learn relaxation techniques and practice breathing control exercises. These can help minimise the effects that stress and anxiety have on your life.