Advocating for Yourself at Work Part 2

Home ThinkSpace Week 7: Conveying What Your Body Tells You in Life Contexts Advocating for Yourself at Work Part 2

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  • I learnt pretty quickly that for me to be the best employee that I could be I had to be able to advocate for myself in the workplace. This also meant understanding that not every work environment will be supportive or understanding. Step one to advocating for myself was disclosing that I live with a chronic pain condition and that it was essential that I find a flexible and manageable way to do my work. Before I even got to this point I spent months tracking my symptoms in an excel spreadsheet jotting down how I felt at work. Through this process I was able to identify my peak moments and I was able to start brainstorming how I would address the foggy days and the days when I might not be at my peak but still functional enough to work on something. On foggy days I mostly organized files and did the simplest of tasks. On very tough days I had to learn to step away and take the necessary rest that I needed otherwise I knew my body would make me pay for it. Regular stretch breaks, quick naps, accepting that some days nothing will get accomplished, and very clear communication with my supervisor are a few of the things I have done to find balance.

    How have you gone about managing the challenges of multiple symptoms in the workplace? How do you learn to stop and take inventory of how your body is reacting to your work environment or the stresses of your task at hand? What are some of your work survival hacks?

    #advocate4yourself

    A few simple resources for the workplace:

    http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-work-and-disability

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/fibromyalgia/coping-physically/fibromyalgia-at-work.aspx

    Jerrie Kumalah

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