Tips on returning to work after an absence

Jun 17, 2016

If you’ve taken a break to recover from anxiety or depression, making the transition back to the workplace can be daunting. It’s important to build up gradually, set reasonable limits and take care of yourself as you get back into the swing of things.

This article from US-based health site Empowher.com lists ten great tips for managing a smooth return to the workplace.

We especially like its focus on consulting with managers about workloads, keeping healthy boundaries around what you choose to share, and using time away from work to seek professional support and get a treatment plan in place.    

Candice Conroy, a counsellor interviewed for the article, points out that crisis situations tend to happen when a person feels overwhelmed, alone, helpless and powerless. Reaching out to colleagues, friends, family or even a support group to share what you're going through can be really beneficial, and help you feel less isolated.

Number four in the list is also a good one to remember. Just like the US, Australia has privacy laws in place to protect you in the workplace. It's up to you what your colleagues know about your condition, so be clear about what level of detail you're happy being shared with the rest of your team. 

Finally, if your depression or anxiety is work-related, it's important to talk to your manager or employer about any sources of job stress that may have contributed to your mental health condition. While it's their responsibility to take steps to address these stresses, it's helpful for you to come up with a plan together.

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