No one likes sustaining injuries; they can really knock you down, figuratively and literally. But with that said, your whole life temporarily changes, sometimes permanently, too. Your whole routine is changed for a few months, and some of the most basic things that you do every day become a major hurdle that you have to overcome. Sadly, some of these are working at your job, still making an income.
While yes, when you’re injured, it’s so important to rest and recover, every healthcare professional will tell you that not everyone has the luxury of choosing when they can go back to work; sometimes there is no choosing; they just need to go back to it immediately. But how can you manage this? What can you do to try to make this a little easier on yourself while you’re on the road to physically recovering from this all? Well, here’s what you need to know!
You Need to Know That Your Health Comes First
Your well-being should always come first. Ignoring your injury in favor of work can exacerbate the problem and potentially lead to a more prolonged recovery. If you have to, you should absolutely seek immediate medical attention and follow your healthcare provider's advice diligently.
This is also going to mean that you’ll need to rest and adhere to any prescribed treatments or therapies. Seriously, you could be doing far more harm to yourself if you don’t follow this! Your health is more important; seriously, you won’t be able to recover fast if you’re exerting yourself. This is a major mistake that so many working professionals make! Put yourself first!
Your Employer Has to Know
If you’re working under an employer, they’ll absolutely need to know about this; you just can’t hide it from them. So, just keep in mind that communication is essential when dealing with an injury at work. As soon as you're aware of your injury, notify your employer or even your HR department. You’re going to want to tell them of the nature of the injury, any restrictions, and the expected duration of your recovery.
Overall, just be transparent about your situation to avoid misunderstandings. So, what about being an entrepreneur? Well, the situation is totally different for you. You might need to inform customers and clients, and anyone that you’re working with, but regardless, communication is still going to be very important.
Use Your PTO Wisely
If you have accrued paid time off (such as vacation days or sick leave), consider using it strategically to allow for rest and recovery. If you’re lucky, then you might be able to combine PTO with short-term disability benefits, which, if available, can provide financial stability during your injury-related absence from work. As stated earlier, you need to put yourself first; it’s 100% absolutely dire, so if you can use that time off to help yourself out and if you feel like you can manage the injury while working, then try to slowly get back to it. So, do not feel guilty about using your PTO; it’s there for a reason!
Prepare and Plan for Your Workload
Regardless of what type of injury you have, if you’re trying to deal with your injury while working at the same time, then you need to keep in mind what you can do to prepare and how you can manage and plan with workload out effectively. This might mean needing extra time in the morning to get ready for work, it might mean needing to wear compression wraps all throughout the day, or changing your diet, your mobility, or even your workload in general. You need to plan all of this out and prepare.
When you’re injured, you’re not going to be able to work and function the same way, so don’t give yourself the expectation that you’re able to. So, just keep in mind when it comes to the road to recovering from this injury, you’ll need to prioritize essential tasks, delegate when possible, and communicate any limitations you may have due to your injury. Overall, just setting realistic expectations can reduce stress and prevent overexertion.
Just Keep On Communicating
It’s best to just keep your employer (or clients) updated on your progress and any changes in your condition. The same goes for any coworkers or employees that you might have. While it’s fairly obvious, having clear and consistent communication fosters understanding and can lead to adjustments in your work arrangements if needed. Work for you during this time might become a lot easier, but you’ll have to communicate about it first.