When we’re struck down by an illness or an injury which means we have to take sick leave from work, it can feel like our whole world has been turned upside down. We are suddenly faced with all this time and if we don’t manage it correctly, we can find our mental health start to suffer alongside our physical health. 


Depending on the nature of your injury or illness you may not want to do anything too strenuous or demanding, but that doesn’t mean you need to be confined to your bed 24/7. Here are 6 simple but essential things to do while you’re on sick leave.


Rest, rest and rest some more




Your first priority needs to be your recovery, so rest and relax as much as you can. Everyone relaxes differently, so whether you’re listening to music, reading, practicing meditation or watching TV, do whatever you can to keep your stress hormones as low as possible. 


Find out if you’re eligible for compensation




If you’re on sick leave because of an injury or illness which has been caused by the negligence of your employer or someone else, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. You could use the time you have on sick leave to find out if you’re eligible and get the ball rolling by visiting the-compensation-experts.co.uk


Keep in touch with your employer




When we’re off work for a long time we can lose touch with what’s going on in the workplace and of any changes which we may have to deal with when we return. This can make returning to work a more daunting challenge, so it’s often better to keep in touch with your employer from time to time. This could be a weekly or monthly email updating them about your progress which also asks for any key changes you should be aware of. It shows your employer you’re still engaged with the company and removes any concerns they might have about initiating contact with you in case they are accused of pressurizing or harassing you.


Plan your next vacation




Often having a positive goal to work towards can be a great motivator and a mood enhancer, so why not start researching and planning a vacation you’ll take when you’ve recovered? Simply thinking about how you’ll feel when you’re there and all the things you’ll do can reduce your stress hormones and keep your mind distracted from the injury or illness you’re suffering from.


Keep your mind active




When we are on sick leave, boredom can quickly lead to demotivation, a loss of confidence in ourselves and even mental health issues. Try to keep your mind as active as possible while you’re off work. This could be as simple as training your brain with online games on Luminosity or Brain Metrix, reading more books or you could even start writing that novel you’ve been thinking about for years. Some people even find they can join online courses to gain a new qualification or simply to learn more about a subject which interests them.


Stay social




Being on sick leave can be a very lonely time if you don’t have a support network of friends and family around you. While social media platforms are a great way to stay in touch when you’re unwell or recovering from an accident, there’s no substitute for face to face interaction when you’re down. Invite people over or, if you’re up to it, meet them somewhere relaxing where you can catch up and reconnect.