On leave due to Burnout? When and how to go back to work

If you've been on sick leave due to burnout, you might be wondering when it would be the best time to start working again.

Lots of us end up having to take sick leave due to burnout, which is a great opportunity to find some space to start recovering.

However, we don't really receive enough education and support with regard to "reintegration" into work.

For this reason, today, I'd like to tackle this aspect of burnout: going back to work after sick leave.

So read on and/or share the information below with the people who might need it.

If you've been on sick leave due to burnout, you might be wondering when it would be the best time to start working again.

Good news: You don't have to wait until you're fully symptom-free!

In fact, it's counterproductive to wait that long. (I'll explain why in another email.)

Then, you might ask, after how long you can go back to work?

The answer depends on many factors; some of which are below:

  • Are you sleeping well?
  • Did the mental fog lessen?
  • Is your mood under control?
  • Can you concentrate?
  • How does your memory function?
  • Do you socialize regularly?
  • Can you expect ongoing support from your boos and colleagues?

These are just a few factors you need to take into account when contemplating reintegration after a burnout leave.

But there's more!

Next, you need to spend time to think about the best arrangement for you, for a sustainable return to work.

You may not need to choose between 100% sick leave versus 100% work. There are lots of 'in-between' possibilities.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What work percentage would work for you? (depending on where you live, returning to work part-time is an option and increases your chances for sustainable recovery)
  • Which tasks are you willing to take on and which tasks would you prefer to keep at distance? (especially, for the time being)
  • With which colleagues do you have a trust relationship? Who can you rely on for help and support?
  • Do you require some structural or fundamental change in your work content or regime?

You may say, "How will I know if I need any of these?!!"

This is exactly why you need support from multiple sources.

... including a coach who is trained in stress physiology and stress psychology...

These decisions are best done together with the professionals helping you (your physician, psychologist, burnout coach, etc.) to increase the chance of success.

Did you know that you can also get your coach speak with your manager in order to make a good arrangement so that you can build a healthier work environment?

And you, are you getting the support you need?

Feel free to get in touch, if you need more support around your recovery from burnout.

PS: Let me know whether you had to go back to work after a burnout leave and how you did that.

Credit: Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash.

Categories: Burnout, Reintegration, Sick leave

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