India-First-Global-Insights-Analysis -Sharing-PlatformIndia-First-Global-Insights-Analysis -Sharing-Platform

Managing a medical sabbatical; Be a thriver

, June 4, 2015, 2 Comments

Medical sabbatical thriver MarketExpress-inHow are you placed for the next two weeks? Do you have important meetings lined up? Review calls, closures helping you inch towards the quarter’s performance bonus? Is your calendar packed with travel plans, do you have a nephew’s wedding on your card? Amidst all this what if …. You end up with a fractured limb, a benign (thankfully) tumor, a cyst in your spine or a stage one colon cancer needing six rounds of chemotherapy. Have you ever given such a possibility a thought?

Most people believe that medical problems are things which “hit others” and not oneself. However, sudden medical distractions have become a harsh reality of today’s work life. Today, thanks to employee centric policies of organizations and medical coverages picked up by individuals, the financial load of such stumbling blocks are taken off our chest. The major challenge lies in coping with a sense of emptiness, helplessness and frustration of facing days of inaction and dependency ahead and a movement from a fast lane to a slow one, almost a parking lot for a short period.

Research indicates that most working adults, who face such medical sabbaticals, go through frequent periods of depression, anxiety and reduced self-worth. In fact, it takes more muscles to deal with the psychological roller coaster than the actual physical pain stemming from such illness. Assuming that we are currently talking about briefly debilitating medical conditions which are not life-threatening, a very healthy and positive mindset is what is needed to weather off this hurricane. Thus, while coping with such sabbaticals it is worth keeping the following in mind:

Pick up a “thriver” and not a “survivor” perspective

Very often than not, post-surgery days create a sense of foreboding gloom in a person. Soon one starts looking at oneself as a survivor. What’s wrong? Nothing. Except that there is a distinct ring of negativity and self-pity in this perspective. One the other hand a thriver looks at this occurrence more as a setback and surges ahead to “set life back” on track. A survivor broods; a thriver gets out of the poor pussy syndrome and resolves to make the best of what lies ahead.

Never forget that “this too shall pass”

Most often bad times makes us overgeneralize and create a delusion of permanence of the weak state that we find ourselves in. The reality, however, is that each new day of recovery brings with it an extra ounce of energy, a new ray of hope and a renewed feeling of control. So keep reminding oneself that “happy days are here to come”.

Get into the mental gym

“How are you today?” asked the doctor to a patient yet to be mobilized after a knee replacement. “Am great, had been to interesting meetings since morning. Was just back in time to meet you during your visit”, he replied. The doctor was astounded. What became clear after some prodding was that the patient was using his mind’s eye to see and do all sorts of things that were physically not possible. This is what Richard Bandler, the

This is what Richard Bandler, the cofounder of Neuro lingual programming calls as the vast spaces of the mind available to us. The magic of positive visualization is supreme. It provides one a control on all the worldly resources and the opportunity to choose the pace, content and context of all interactions impossible at that point of time. Practicing in this mental gym allows you to keep your spirits high and get a vicarious satisfaction of enjoying what you are missing.

Befriend yourself

Today’s times are full noise that can alienate us from our own self. The time away from the world of action can be a good time to befriended oneself, self-introspect, rediscovery, rejuvenate and realign oneself with life goals.

Decide what you would like these days to be recorded in your memory lane for

It is very important to realize that days of house/ hospital arrest need to be taken with a “one day at a time” mantra. You may not be set to create history, or come up with earth shattering business solutions, nor would you end up as great writers, artists and musicians who would have their creative juices flowing. But you can find great meaning in f simple things the otherwise mundane life, provided you decide how you want to remember these days.

Take a gratitude trip and not a grumpy/ guilt tripDebilitating medical conditions can render someone completely dependent on others for the smallest of the life supporting task. Many “recoverers” are left with extreme emotions of guilt, disgust and repulsion at the end of it. However, such feelings create unnecessary anxiety and stress and may make the care-giver feel worried that their act is in some way offending you. Many times patients are seen to be cross with the care givers and envious of them as they enjoy life’s ultimate gift, freedom and mobility. A constant comparison of how they are blessed while you wait to be given a

Debilitating medical conditions can render someone completely dependent on others for the smallest of the life supporting task. Many “recoverers” are left with extreme emotions of guilt, disgust and repulsion at the end of it. However, such feelings create unnecessary anxiety and stress and may make the caregiver feel worried that their act is in some way offending you. Many times patients are seen to be cross with the caregivers and envious of them as they enjoy life’s ultimate gift,

Many times patients are seen to be cross with the caregivers and envious of them as they enjoy life’s ultimate gift, freedom and mobility. A constant comparison of how they are blessed while you wait to be given a bed pan can create a deep sense of resentment and anger causing relations to strain. So while a constant need to be “waited upon” is not a heartening thought, one can have a sense of gratitude towards such individuals and a resolve to thank them and acknowledge their contribution through kind gestures and words.

Thank what you have

Finally the most important thing is to be happy for what you have than what you are missing. Most often people are so busy whining about things that they lack, that they hardly manage to enjoy and feel good about things that they are bestowed upon. Words of Helen Keller, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” can be a great reminder to be thankful for what we possess.

To sum up, life is full of its bounties and beauty and a few weeks of non-action does not really make a dent in the larger scheme. What is important is that we live each day of this trying period with hope, optimism and composure and brace ourselves for a better tomorrow.






  • RaviRaman

    Wow An Amazing Perspective

  • Sanket Patole

    Medical sabbatical is the need of hour in today’s stressful work conditions. This article aptly provides the ways to cope.