|What work stress?|
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to approach your workplace with a light heart and a clear mind? No worrying about having to take days off for migraines (or children, or other ills), just feeling good about what needs to be done that day.
This dream may seem miles away for the average worker, let alone one who gets Migraine Headaches. Speaking from the perspective of a current migraine sufferer and a former Manager of a medium size workplace, I believe there are a few simple steps the average person with a chronic illness can take to make their workplace more supportive of their struggle.
- Look for ways to highlight your contribution, not just the hours you have worked. Often high performers are just more effective than their peers, they are not necessarily the person who arrives at 6am and leaves at 10pm ,six days a week.
- Be openly proactive about your efforts to improve your condition (and by this I don't mean become a 'Migraine Bore'). Subtly let your boss and colleagues know you are active about your endeavours to defeat the Migraine plague.
- If your Boss is supportive and understanding of your condition and it's inherent difficulties, privately let them know you appreciate their assistance in your life.
- Investigate flexible working arrangements, are there extra hours you can work when you are well to compensate for those when you are not?
- Be supportive of your colleagues and their own issues, build a bank of good will, you will need to draw on it!
- If you find yourself in a particularly bad migraine phase, discuss this with your boss, maybe they will be willing to let you take annual leave to recover, helping alleviate the stress and guilt of taking lots of days off. This makes it easier for your boss too as they have more time to arrange projects and other staffing to suit your absence.
- Remember to work on your own sense of self worth, it is hard to be effective at work if you are feeling guilty and unworthy because of your health.
- Finally, make sure you have 'your ladder on the right wall'. By this I mean, where you are able, invest your time and effort into work you believe in and enjoy. It is much easier to fight for the right to work when you genuinely do want to be there.