22 May

Strategies To Help When You’re on Leave From Work

We see clients who due to injury or illness need to take some time off work.  It can be difficult but there are some strategies to help get through a challenging time while on leave.

Taking Care of Yourself Is The Most Important Priority

For some people missing work can make them feel like they are letting others down. Treat yourself like you would treat your coworkers if they were in the same situation. People appreciate kindness and thoughtfulness. Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to restore.

Set The Pace

Pushing yourself beyond limits can slow the recovery process.  Listen to your healthcare team and to what your body and mind is telling you.  The pace will change as you recover but start slow and increase as you’re able to. Take your time and rest when you need to. Increase what you do slowly and as directed.

Have a Routine

Being away from work means a change in your routine and schedule.  You may need more time to sleep but you may also be impacted by your household members schedules too. Create a routine to restore and relax. Try to keep a schedule that includes a sleep routine, exercise and social time. Figure out what works and create a new “normal”.

Don’t Isolate

You may find yourself feeling a bit down or low in spirits. Being socially connected can really help in the recovery process.  Say yes if someone offers to drop by if you are feeling up to it.  Take time to chat with people you don’t always have time to talk to.  Perhaps you have a friend who lives far away.  It is a great time to reconnect.  Having connection can help keep you feeling positive and speed up the healing process.

Recognize Opportunity

Being at home without expectation and a jam packed “to do” list is pretty rare for most.  Read the book you’ve been wanting to read.  Take time to start a meditation routine. Find new recipes and enlist others in your household to cook.  This may be a chance to start something new with family members.  We often think they can’t do things without our help but use this opportunity to let them grow and learn.

Remember your goal is the same as your employer. You both want to see you get back to work feeling healthy, strong and regenerated.


28 Jun

Work Life Balance


Work life balance are three words I often hear and use as a counsellor.  Honestly we are bombarded with the idea that we all must have a perfect balance between these two things.  We all wonder how this is done and whether this is true. Can it really be achieved?

The subjective answer is most of us will need to give more energy to certain areas of our life at certain times.  In short it all depends.  Objectively we can try to strive for some sort of balance but knowing that all things are not always equal. As Worklifebalance.com points out, it is not really about spending equal hours on each area,  truly that wouldn’t be so much fun.

A quick Google search tells me that we are all searching for a way to find this perfect balance but our lives and needs are all so different. In Entrepreneur they share 5 Secrets to Achieving and Maintaining Work-Life Balance.  An interesting read that made me think about one of my favourite topics setting limits.  Respecting boundaries is where many of us get into difficulties achieving balance. Do you really need to answer that email at 11:00 p.m.?   With the summer finally here, try secret #4 and embrace the off button! Spend time with someone that makes you smile. Put away that cell phone and just enjoy the birds, the beautiful weather and just relax.

Sometimes we just need to break it down and look at what is important and achievable. Start small and the big stuff often falls into place.  Put time into your schedule to ride your bike, have tea with a friend or clean your office.  Small things can make big change. In 12 Keys to Achieving Work-Life Balance they concur that tackling and achieving small tasks gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Canadian Mental Health Association has a Work-Life Balance Quiz that let’s us know how we’re doing. I took the quiz and well let’s say things are in balance but they could use a little work!  My favourite and most self fulfilling find while writing this was a Ted Talks video by Nigel Marsh the author of Fat, Forty and Fired. Watch his short 10 minute video about How to make work-life balance work and you will be glad you did!


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