Suffering a workplace injury can be a total life change. And this type of change is often accompanied by many emotions and, oftentimes, extra time on your hands. However, just because you may not be 100 percent doesn’t mean you can’t make good use of your time.
Below are four tips for keeping your mind, body and pocketbook afloat amidst a personal injury.
Don’t seclude yourself
For many people, their jobs are their sense of livelihood. Jobs give people purpose and keep them busy. So when you are no longer at your job due to an injury, you may feel depressed, lonely or without purpose. As such, it’s more important than ever not to go into seclusion while you’re recovering.
Whether it’s talking on the phone with loved ones, inviting a friend or family members over, getting out of the house whenever possible or even joining an online chat group, be sure to surround yourself with people as much as you can.
Further, think of your time off as a way to catch up on the things you normally wouldn’t have time for — cleaning that closet, starting a good book you’ve been wanting to read or even catching up on TV shows you normally wouldn’t have time for.
By including things you like in your daily routine, you are less likely to become depressed or bored.
Work from home
For many people who are unable to work their traditional on-site job after being hurt, finding work is a necessity. Bills need to be paid regardless of your ability to do the job you had previously done.
Despite the uncertainty that can come with not being able to do your normal job, there are options for working from home. With technology getting better each day and companies cutting costs by hiring remote workers, making money right from your home is possible.
First, identify your skill set and then brainstorm virtual opportunities that match. If you are good at typing, perhaps a transcription position would be a good fit. If you have specific industry knowledge, maybe a consulting job would be ideal. For those with a history in journalism or communications, there are a plethora of freelance writing gigs out there. If you’re extremely organized, a virtual assistant role may be right for you. Some good sites to look for virtual employment include Elance.com, zirtual.com, fiverr.com, freelancer.com and ODesk.com.
Keep in mind, though, while searching and applying online for jobs, it is important to keep your identity safe. Experts suggest not including your home address on your resume and avoiding giving anyone your Social Security number online. Identity theft is real, so exercising caution while on a job search is crucial.
Focus on your health
An injury and abrupt change in your daily routine can be tough, especially if it’s difficult to get around physically. But focusing on your health should still remain a top priority.
If you are immobile or have only partial mobility, it’s key to make a healthy diet part of your regimen to avoid gaining weight from being sedentary. Sticking to fresh foods, nutritional smoothies and juices, and avoiding sugary desserts can help you maintain your health.
If you are able to move, any type of exercise you’re able to do is vital. For example, if you have a broken leg, you can still exercise your upper half with arm weights. If you have a sprained arm, you can still go for a brisk walk.
If you are completely unable to exercise, meditation or even light stretching can help get blood and oxygen flowing in the body, as well as relieve stress. Whatever you are able to do, do it!
For many people, being stuck inside all day can induce feelings of self-pity. To avoid this, experts say to try to help someone else.
Perhaps you have a friend who could use a listening ear. Other ideas are brightening the day of sick children by sending cards to children’s hospitals or mailing care packages to deployed service men and women. When you help others, you not only feel a sense of fulfillment, but you are also doing something for the greater good.
And isn’t that what life is all about — helping one another?
Author information: Sheryl Coonan is a lifestyle and wellness writer and reporter out of Metro Detroit.