As #mentalhealthawarenessweek draws to a close I thought it be important for me to share a post about returning to the workplace after dealing with trauma.
Life is full of unpredictable twists and turns.
One minute, we may be cruising along, settled into our daily routines, and the next, everything can be turned upside down.
A traumatic event/experience especially a near-death has the power to shatter our world, leaving us physically, emotionally and mentally scarred.
The journey to recovery can be arduous, but it is a testament to the human spirit's resilience.
In this blog, we will explore my story of returning to work after a near-death traumatic experience, and how I found the strength to rise and embrace life again.
The Aftermath: Facing the Abyss: Surviving a near-death traumatic experience left me with a wide range of emotions, from fear, anxiety, and survivor's guilt to coping with the physical and emotional scars, as well as the memories of the incident which was overwhelming. Returning to the workplace was a huge challenge, but it was an important step for me to reclaim life.
Seeking Support: The Healing Power of Connection:During such difficult times, support from loved ones, friends, and colleagues is invaluable. Being able to share experiences and therapy, helped me to express emotions and gain strength from others who could relate. It's crucial to be surrounded with a supportive network that understands and able to emphasize with the journey to recovery.
Overcoming Fear and Rebuilding Confidence:Returning to work after traumatic experience required courage. I was faced with anxiety due to certain triggers. However, confronting these fears gradually and exposing myself to the workplace environment aided in rebuilding confidence. Setting realistic goals, and focusing on self-care were vital steps toward re-establishing a sense of normalcy.
The Role of Employers: It’s important to create a safe and supportive environment. Employers play a significant role in facilitating the successful return of employees after a traumatic experience. Implementing workplace policies that prioritize on mental health, necessary resources for employees to seek therapy or counselling, and offering flexibility in work arrangements are essential for creating a safe and supportive environment. I was fortunate in my time at my previous workplace to have a supportive team who provided regular communication and a culture of empathy that helped navigate the challenges I faced during my journey back to work.
Redefining Success: What I’ve realised is that the road to recovery is not linear, and setbacks are part of the healing process. It's essential to redefine success and celebrate the small wins along the way.
Each step taken towards returning to work, regardless of its magnitude, should be acknowledged and appreciated. This journey becomes an opportunity for personal growth, and rediscovering one's inner strength.
Have you experienced a similar situation and had to return to work after?
What support do you give your employees who experienced a traumatic event ?
Please share your experience and how you managed to navigate through the transition.
By Sewa Adebayo