Strategies to deal with a critical illness

Develop day-to-day strategies to help you stay positive, to deal with the stress of having a critical illness.

Adjust your working environment:

  • write down your goals at the beginning of each week
  • keep track of daily tasks
  • delegate tasks to key staff members
  • arrange a flexible working environment that includes working from home
  • if you're working normal business hours, schedule treatment at times which best suit you
  • ask for text message reminders about appointments to be sent to your mobile
  • make sure you schedule rest periods throughout your day and do essential business tasks at times when you have the most energy
  • check with your doctor about what you should be eating and drinking at work, and if you should be exercising

Communicate effectively to staff:

  • decide how much information you want to share with your staff
  • let your staff know to keep the information confidential and within the workplace, or whether they can extend it to their families and/or customers
  • be prepared for staff to react in different ways — some people will be totally supportive and offer to do anything they can to help, others may withdraw
  • consider encouraging staff to make suggestions as to how the business can continue to operate effectively throughout this challenging time

Get more out of your meetings:

  • arrange face-to-face meetings at your desk to conserve energy
  • be prepared for meetings by listing points you want to discuss
  • consider having a support person with you for important meetings
  • spend time writing up key points immediately following an important meeting

Take care of yourself:

  • consider getting some ongoing, professional grief counselling
  • set aside regular times to meditate
  • find a mentor who has recovered from a critical illness
  • keep your daily routine as simple as you can, and take it one step at a time