Tip #1: Dont take a job you know you can’t handle. Be honest with yourself when you consider the physical demands of a position. Ask enough questions prior to accepting to determine whether you can meet the demands. Hiding your needs/limitations that will impact your job will only get you in trouble later if you can’t keep up.
Tip #2: Keep it a secret. If it’s feasible to hide (i.e. nothing outwardly obvious), it may be in your best interest to do so. Why invite coworkers or bosses to pity you when you don’t need it, be suspicious when you take a sick day, or underestimate you when you’re just as capable as anybody else? Again, I do not recommend keeping things a secret that will impact your ability to do the job.
Tip #3: BE PREPARED. Keep an emergency bag with you. Painkillers, Pepto, pain patches, arthritis cream, nasal spray, eye drops–whatever you might need on a bad day, bring it with you. Since we already deal with problems on a daily basis, a seemingly small problem can tip us over the edge from a day where we’re coping to a bad day indeed. So keep these things on hand for quick and easy access.
Tip #4: Keep hydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and keep it filled and on hand. Most conditions are aggravated by dehydration.
Tip #5: Keep your tummy happy. Have ready-to-eat snacks on hand such as granola bars, to eat in-between meals. Bring foods easier on the stomach, such as chicken noodle soup, a bland sandwich, etc. You can always run out and get more exciting food on your lunch break if you’re feeling up to it. But if lunch time comes around and you’re feeling under the weather and all you have is a greasy pizza, you’re in for it!
Tip #6: Buy the comfiest pair of shoes your dress code will allow. Memory foam or an equivalent would be a good option; they feel like little pillows hugging your feet on each step. If you can’t afford a brand-new pair of comfy shoes, or you dress code is too strict too bother; consider getting a set of gel inserts. Depending on the variety, they can be pulled out and switched between shoes, and make any pair of uncomfortably cute flats like walking on clouds.
Tip#7: Know when to ask for help. Most workplaces will have government laws and/or company rules that require them to accommodate within reason an employee’s needs to do a job. Such as a special adjustable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a standing desk, additional breaks, etc.
Tip#8: Know your company’s time off and sick leave policies. How many sick days do you get? How do you use them? How many times can you call out in a given period of time? Depending on your company, your condition may even qualify for intermittent leave of absence to protect you when you call out periodically.
Tip#9: Take care of yourself outside of work. Know your triggers and work against them. Go to the gym periodically if keeping your body moving helps. Set a bedtime and get enough sleep. Avoid coffee, milk, sugar, gluten. Stretch when you wake up. Schedule a massage once a month or see a chiropractor.
Tip#10: Know when to leave. If you start to find that the demands of your job are starting to be more taxing on your body and it’s impacting the quality of your life, it’s time to start thinking of moving on. Look around you for a different position that will be more suitable for your needs. Before you leave, have an honest conversation with your boss. Maybe some changes can be made to enable you to stay?
How do you keep yourself alive and doing well at work? Comment below!