Tick-tock…the time has come for me to return to work full-time. Along with this return to work comes an extensive “to do” list and a rollercoaster of emotions.
During this transitional period, it is important to take care of YOU.
Change means stress…cancer feeds on stress. The name of the game is to mitigate your stress to keep the cancer at bay.
Break down your “to do” list so it is manageable, find a healthy outlet for your range of emotions and get ready to establish a new normal for you and your family.
What can you do to take care of yourself to make the transition back to work easier for you and your family?
Two weeks before you return to work
- Set your alarm for the time you will be needing to get up for work.
- Prepare freezer meals.
- Dust off the Crock Pot. Invest in an Insta-Pot.
- Set up a family schedule.
- Chore chart for your children.
- Schedule your cancer treatments, appointments for when you are back at work.
- Get your children in for needed appointments.
- Establish a bed time that is conducive for getting up for work.
- Clean the house: Hire a housekeeper. Better yet, hire your children.
- Wash your bedding.
- Get work clothes ready.
- Treat yourself to a new article of clothing that “you just gotta have!”
- Get your hair done.
- Amp up on your Vitamin D and Vitamin C to get your immune system beefed up.
- Journal to work through your emotions that surround your return to work, set up extra therapy appointments.
- Take time for you as this may be a stressful time preparing for your return to work.
When You Return to Work
- Update your colleagues on your health status. I sent an email letting them know my return to work date and my health update. This will alleviate many questions when returning to work.
- Keep up your self-care.
- Get up one hour earlier: meditate, yoga, walk dogs.
- Prepare the snacks and meals you will be bringing to work the night before.
- Keep up with your cancer appointments, therapy, other appointments.
- Rest when you return home.
- Cook the freezer meals you made.
- Take an Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil in the evenings.
- Ask for help from family and friends, when needed.
- Use the weekends for your self-care that you are not able to do during the week.
- Sleep in on the weekends and nap.
- Family meetings on Sunday to check in with your family, update agendas/calendars, discuss upcoming week.
During Your Work Day
- Take your breaks. This is not the time to be a “hero” and work without resting.
- Leave the building for your lunch break: go for a walk, listen to music in your car.
- Take a few minutes throughout the day to “breathe.”
- Practice mindfulness:
Put lotion on your hands and rub it in for about two minutes noticing the feel,
the smell. Take deep breaths. Relax.
- Write affirmations on a sticky note that resonate with you. Put the sticky note where you can reflect on it throughout your work day. *See the bottom of this blog for the affirmation I use in my office.
- Invest in a diffuser with essential oils.
- Himalayan salt lamp to detox your office.
- Keep up your energy with green smoothies, ORGANO coffee, healthy snacks.
- Ask for help, when needed.
- Leave work at a reasonable time. No extra hours. Be clear with your boss and colleagues that you will be working your contracted hours and no more due to your health.
Most of all, love yourself as you establish your “new normal.”
*Affirmation: My job is a peaceful haven. I bless my job with love. I put love in every corner and my job lovingly responds with warmth and comfort. I am at peace.
~ Louise Hay