Having a concussion can mean you don’t sleep well, get headaches, and are very tired. It can also cause problems with paying attention, concentrating, remembering things, and thinking critically. These problems can make it very hard for you to go back to work after a concussion. Most people recover very well from a concussion in time. But during recovery, you need to manage your symptoms and ease back to your usual activities, including work or school.
Suggestions for Going Back to Work
- Wait until most of your symptoms have gone away, and you feel well enough to start working again.
- Talk to your employer about making a gradual, modified return to work plan that allows you to use your strategies.
- Start with shorter days or work every other day
- At the start of each workday, take some quiet time to plan what you will do that day.
- Start with tasks you know well or that are easy
- You may need extra time to do your work. Give yourself more time to finish tasks or projects.
- Do 1 thing at a time. Deal with 1 person at a time (if your job allows).
- Try not to work directly under florescent lights.
- Get to meetings early so you can get comfortable in the room and choose a seat free from visual and auditory distractions
- Use lunchtime and breaks to take quiet time for yourself.
- Pace yourself throughout the day. Take short breaks
before you feel tired (e.g., 5 to 10 minutes every hour); and take all your regular breaks (e.g., 15 minute coffee breaks, 30 minute lunch breaks).
- If you don’t feel like your normal self and cannot concentrate, it’s better to take a few days off instead of trying to work.
- Keep stress low because stress can make your symptoms worse.
- Make sure you see your doctor regularly to talk about your recovery.
Suggestions for Going Back to School
- You may need to miss some school. You may not be able to attend full days of school right away.
- Ask for copies of lectures or presentations so you can go over them at your own pace.
- Ask for permission to move from 1 class to another before or after everyone else when it’s quiet and you don’t have to deal with crowds.
- Make a plan with your teachers or counsellors for managing your symptoms at school.