Navigating the Return to Work - A Guide for Neurodivergent Individuals

Navigating the Return to Work - A Guide for Neurodivergent Individuals

As a neurodivergent individual, returning to work after a break can feel overwhelming. Adjusting to the workplace again involves managing sensory inputs, executive functioning, and social interactions. Here are some self-help strategies to ease this transition.

Personal Strategies for Transition:

  1. Establish a Routine: Reinstate a familiar work routine. This includes consistent sleep schedules, preparing for the next day, and setting up a structured workday plan. Using our Remindables Set can help with organising everything you need for the day ahead.
  2. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Incorporate mindfulness exercises such as meditation or deep breathing into your daily routine. These practices can reduce stress and improve focus.
  3. Sensory Management: Identify and mitigate sensory stressors in your workspace. Use noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs if auditory inputs are overwhelming, or create a visually calming space.
  4. Breaks and Self-Regulation: Schedule regular breaks to prevent sensory overload. During these breaks, engage in activities that soothe you, such as reading, stretching, or using a tactile stress-reliever.
  5. Healthy Habits: Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and ensure you get enough sleep. These habits are crucial for mental and physical well-being. If you have trouble with noise or lights when trying to sleep, try our sleep masks or our deep sleeping earplugs.
  6. Communication: Communicate your needs and challenges to your employer or colleagues as needed. Seeking understanding and possible accommodations can greatly improve your work experience.
  7. Seek Support: If available, consider professional support like a therapist or a workplace mentor. They can provide personalised strategies and help in navigating workplace challenges.
  8. Positive Reinforcement: Recognise and celebrate small achievements in your daily work life. Positive reinforcement can boost your confidence and motivation. Try a set of our Affirmation Cards for inspiration. 
  9. Flexible Work Arrangements: If possible, discuss flexible working options with your employer, like working from home or adjusting work hours, to find a balance that works best for you.

Returning to work is a process, and it's important to be patient with yourself as you adjust. By employing some of these strategies, you can hopefully create a work environment and routine that supports your neurodivergence, making the transition smoother and more manageable. Remember, your well-being is paramount, and taking steps to look after yourself in the workplace is a key part of your success and happiness.


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