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If you have a chronic illness, trying to maintain a full-time job alongside other commitments can be challenging. Pushing yourself to the limits can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. However, what you may not realize is chronic illnesses are much more common than you think. Your health should be your number one priority so with that in mind, here are a few ways to handle a demanding job when living with chronic illness.
Be Honest with Yourself
It’s important to get a hold on your illness so you can figure out how best to deal with it. If you are experiencing symptoms at work, make sure to acknowledge what’s happening so you can confront them and stop them in their tracks, rather than working yourself down to the ground. You need to be physically and emotionally honest with yourself, so your health isn’t at risk. Accepting that you have a chronic illness can make a huge difference and give you the tools you need to go forward in your career.
Find the Right Balance
While many people choose to put work before their health, you may not realize the negative impact this can have on your illness. While your condition does not mean you aren’t able to thrive in your career, you should take some time to find the right balance between your health and work. Pushing yourself to the limits can cause a decrease in your quality of work and increase health risks. If things are getting too much, there are various things that you can do to reduce your stress levels, helping you to feel more relaxed at work. You may also benefit from a medical alert system which you can wear on your wrist in case of an emergency. When you work from home, having a good system to use for medical issues is important.
Disclosing Your Diagnosis
You should only disclose your diagnosis to your employer if you feel comfortable doing so. However, if your chronic illness is severe and you are finding it hard to be at work, you may benefit from telling your boss. You should be mindful of what and how much you disclose to your employer, especially if it’s linked with mental health issues. Only you can make the right decision, but if you feel your boss will be understanding and helpful, it’s better to get it off your chest, rather than bottling it up inside.
If you feel that your chronic illness is going to have a severe impact on your working schedule, it’s best to let your employer know as soon as you can. Once your boss is aware of your situation, you can come up with a plan that you can follow should you need to have some time off work.
Know Your Rights
You need to remember that as an employee with a chronic illness, you are entitled to flexibility, supervision or feedback time, as well as support from your company. Knowing your rights can make a huge difference and help you feel more settled at work. Don’t hesitate to exercise your rights if you feel you aren’t being treated fairly. If you feel you are being discriminated, you can reach to the ADA who can help you with your case.
If you are struggling with your chronic illness and feel it’s having a major impact on your work output, it’s best to be honest and open with your employer. There are various tips and techniques that you can use to manage your symptoms, helping you feel more comfortable and happier at work. Try not to let your chronic illness take over your life. Instead, seek out necessary support and help for when you need it most.
This article is just a rough guide, and nothing should be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.
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