Keeping well at work
Ensure you have a clear job description and know what your roles and responsibilities are – and are not. Also be aware of work procedures and any particular rules and regulations that may be difficult to adhere to because of your health issues.
Self-management – Learn to pace, plan and prioritise your work load. Most people find making notes or lists helpful. Confirm information or instructions – do seek clarification where necessary. There should be opportunities to speak to your supervisor/manager and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
In most situations you can take a few minutes to think things through. Be prepared and work out a plan of action. Recognise limitations and stay within them. If you need training, ask for it. But knowing where/from whom to get help and being able to talk things through can be very helpful.
Avoid becoming overtired or fatigued by ensuring you take breaks. You have legal entitlements, but good employers know that breaks and pacing lead to happier more productive employees. Move around and change posture regularly.
Good communication is at the heart of most of the issues we’ve flagged up so far. What can be difficult for some is learning to say ‘no’. This can be when deadlines or requests are unrealistic and demands generally become too much.
Being assertive isn’t just about saying no. It’s about expressing your needs and how you feel in a non-aggressive manner. About being heard, rather than passively accepting (and inwardly resenting) a situation.
Staying well at work isn’t just about what you do whilst within the workplace. It’s now a much used phrase, but maintaining a healthy work/life balance is vitally important. Managing work stressors is easier if you have other activities (hobbies, interests) and other relationships (family, friends) to engage with.
Some of the other familiar messages – get enough sleep; eat a healthy, balanced diet; take regular exercise – are too easy to neglect. There are some good health apps for phones that can help with these and other issues. Dorset Healthcare have produced this leaflet, but you can also search for NHS recommended apps here to help improve wellbeing.
Livewell Dorset is a service to support the health and wellbeing of residents in Dorset with free advice and coaching. There are also many resources online to help learn useful techniques such as relaxation and mindfulness, as well as the apps mentioned above.