Receiving a cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on a person's life, including their work life. Cancer patients and survivors may need to take time off work for treatment and recovery, and returning to work after cancer can bring up a range of emotions and challenges. In this article, we'll explore some tips for cancer patients and survivors who are planning to return to work.
Prepare yourself for your return to work
Returning to work after cancer treatment can be both exciting and daunting. You may be eager to get back to a sense of normalcy and routine, but you may also feel anxious about your ability to perform at work or manage your symptoms. Before returning to work, it can be helpful to take some time to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Start by discussing your return to work with a coach. They can help you assess your physical and emotional readiness for work and provide guidance on how to manage any symptoms or side effects you may experience. You may also want to talk to your employer about any accommodations or adjustments that can be made to your work schedule or environment to support your return to work.
Take it slow
It's important to take things slow when returning to work after cancer. You may not be able to jump right back into your pre-cancer routine, and that's okay. Start by easing back into work gradually, perhaps by working part-time or on a modified schedule. This can help you adjust to being back at work and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
Communicate with your employer and coworkers
Effective communication is key when returning to work after cancer. If you feel comfortable with it, let your employer and coworkers know about your cancer diagnosis and treatment, and how it may impact your ability to work. Be clear about any accommodations or adjustments you may need, such as a flexible schedule or additional breaks. Keep your employer and coworkers updated on your progress and any changes to your schedule or work abilities.
Focus on your strengths and abilities
It's common for cancer patients and survivors to experience self-doubt or anxiety about their ability to perform at work. However, it's important to remember that you have valuable skills and experience to offer. Focus on your strengths and abilities, and be proud of what you've accomplished despite the challenges of cancer.
Take care of yourself
Returning to work after cancer can be physically and emotionally demanding, so it's important to take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, and stay active. Consider incorporating stress-relieving activities into your routine, such as meditation or yoga. If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, talk to your healthcare team about getting the support you need.
In summary, returning to work after cancer can be a challenging process, but with the right preparation and support, it can also be a rewarding one. Take things slow, communicate with your employer and coworkers, focus on your strengths, and most importantly, take care of yourself.