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Work injuries and stress, part 2: managing symptoms

How do you manage the stress you are feeling about your work injury?

As we noted in part one of this post, the stress you are feeling is entirely understandable. After all, there are many uncertainties involved in recovering from work injuries.

This can cause stress symptoms of many different sorts, ranging from the physical (such as muscle pain) to the more intangible (such as difficulty in focusing your attention). It can also impact your behavior, perhaps by contributing to excessive use of alcohol or other drugs.

In this part of the post, we will discuss strategies for managing these symptoms of stress.

For starters, it can help simply to acknowledge that you are stressed. Don't feel you have to conform to some mythological norm of cool-and-collected conduct. Instead, admitting that you have a challenge on your hands can point the way forward.

It also makes sense to remember the basic principle about how in general it is better to be proactive than reactive. Taking ownership of your situation and exercising the degree of control that you can are important for your personal wellbeing, regardless of where you are in your recovery from a work injury.

Another straightforward point that bears repeating is that getting enough sleep is one of the keys to this recovery.

To be sure, it is easy to get on an irregular sleep schedule when you are off of work following an injury. But it is worth trying to stay on a schedule that is most likely to result in your getting restful sleep.

To summarize, these are only a few basic strategies and suggestions about how to manage stress after a work injury. We encourage you to make use of the ones that yield results for you.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Stress Management," Accessed April 9, 2014

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