10 tips to improve the return to work after cancer
One of the great challenges of post-cancer is the return to work issue. This step is however crucial because to find one's job, it is also to reinvest in one's life, to find a social life and to guarantee oneself a financial income. Magali Mertens from Wilmars worked in the field of communication when she learned, while pregnant, that she had cancer. Today, as trained professional coach, she founded the association "Work & Cancer" to support workers and employers. She helps us draw up the list of 10 tips for finding the path to work after illness:
- Take the time to recover after the treatments. Cancer is not a big flu. Before reworking, take the time to take care of yourself. Your body and your mind have to deal with the sudden trauma!
- Talk to your doctor about side effects. Intense fatigue, memory problems, pain, nausea ... all the worries that can last for months after the end of treatments. Knowledge is also being able to take the lead and choose the appropriate supportive care to reduce these side effects.
- Promote communication with your employer and your colleagues. The longer the absence, the greater the risk of being "forgotten"; it's the fade-out phenomenon. Maintaining the communication with your professional environment during the treatments, while finding the right distance, facilitates the reintegration.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness. There is evidence that these relaxation techniques have multiple beneficial effects, both physical and psychological. For example, improve memory or reduce pain and fatigue.
- Lighten up your housework. When you return to your workplace, your mind will need to be able to focus on this important step. Try to delegate as much domestic work as possible, this will help you reduce the stress associated with this transition.
- Try the "bullet bullet" technique. It is a diary form that brings together all the events of your life and gives free rein to your creativity. It allows you to have an overview of your schedule and to better define priorities (plan moments to get fresh ideas).
- Accept to have to adapt ... It's not like before, it's different. Of course, there is a mourning of the life before, but any end implies a new beginning. See it as an opportunity to write a new page of your life.
- Enhance your life experience. Your cancer can be an "added value". Make a list of what you are grateful for and the resources you have developed for the event. It will help you to build your confidence and your esteem! According to the barometer of the French association "Cancer @work", for 2 out of 5 employees who had cancer, the disease has revealed qualities and skills that can be valued professionally!
- Do not overestimate yourself. The risk of depression due to too fast return exists. Wanting to go "faster than music" could serve you.
- Do not underestimate yourself. You have gone through a storm, you are amazing!
Read the article on line on the Televie website