Returning to work after completing treatment can be daunting and stressful, but action can be taken to make the process more manageable. After getting sober and completing a treatment program, our old lives may seem foreign. Indeed, facing daily life stressors and juggling the stressors accompanying work, family and friends were lightened whilst in treatment.
With careful planning and support, returning to work after completing a long-term treatment program can be a successful and rewarding experience. We have taken the time to gather some of our top tips to help with the transition process allowing you to continue your sober life and promote long-term recovery.
1) Have a Plan
Before returning to work, having a plan is a bright idea. At Transitions, we endeavour to set our clients up for long-term recovery with our relapse prevention plans. We are committed to helping our clients on every step of their journey, even beyond the doors. We have found that formulating a plan whilst in treatment with strategies to manage the challenges that may arise as they return to work is a helpful and essential tool.
2) Go Gently
Remember, we didn’t get sick in one day, so there is no “rush” to return to everything at the same capacity we maintained in our old lives. Returning to full-time work may be too much initially. Consider starting part-time or on a flexible schedule that allows you to ease back into the workspace at your own pace. If you were not working before treatment, we would suggest a “get well” job with minimal stress but enough responsibility to build self-esteem and efficacy.
3) Prioritise Self-Care
Making our mental, emotional and physical health a priority is essential when returning to the workplace. Transitions take a holistic approach to the client’s recovery. We focus on all areas of a client’s health and well-being, including physical, mental and emotional health. After graduation, we encourage clients to maintain a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as yoga or meditation. We know our body is happier when looked after, and we are here to teach our clients how to do so.
4) Identify Personal Triggers
In our carefully formulated relapse prevention plans, we help our clients to identify potential triggers that may lead to relapse and the steps required to avoid them. From after-work drinks to workplace stressors, we help prepare our clients to handle such situations.
5) Have a Solid Support Network
Remember, you are not alone. Everyone’s experience transitioning back to work after rehab differs, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We encourage our clients to continue with as much support as possible. Whether this comes from professionals or networks such as 12-step programs, help is available to all income brackets.
Recovery can transform your life. It’s worth every bit of work it takes to keep it. Be patient and celebrate every bit of progress along the way. Transitions have helped many people return to the workplace after treatment. Please speak to one of our friendly staff today about how we can support you on your journey.