When you’re trying to provide for your family, you need all of the opportunities you can get to cash a paycheck. Unfortunately, you can’t always control what happens. Unforeseen injuries and the sudden onset of illnesses happen. When your condition lingers on for weeks or months, it puts your financial well being and stability in jeopardy.

What are you supposed to do?

It’s a valid, yet scary question. And as much as you might want to focus on something else, it has to be dealt with. Here are some suggestions to help you return to work as soon as possible:

Employee returning from injury

1. Keep Your Employer Updated

Regardless of whether the injury occurred at your business or while you were off the clock, it’s important to keep your employer updated on your condition. Most employers will be understanding of the situation, but you can’t keep them out of the loop. Communicate early and often.

2. Focus on Recovery

When it comes to injuries in particular, you can accelerate your recovery by paying attention to what you feed your body.

“Drinking enough water to stay consistently hydrated will help promote the healing process. Staying hydrated will help keep your joints lubricated and support the delivery of oxygen and nutrients in blood,” Game Ready explains. “Drinking water also helps your body flush out toxins and cellular waste, which is produced more rapidly as tissues repair themselves while healing.”

In addition to staying hydrated, focus on your diet. Quick freezer meals and fast food are convenient when you’re on the mend, but they actually slow down progress. Your body needs the appropriate balance of nutrients to stay healthy. A healthy mix of protein and carbs is paramount. Stick with foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Finally, you need rest – lots of it. When recovering from an injury, eight hours should be considered the minimum. Aim for at least 10 hours so that your body can repair cells and promote healing.

3. Take Care of Logistics

Don’t wait to take care of the logistics related to your injury. If you have medical bills, now is the time to develop a plan for paying them. If you were injured as a result of something like a car crash or slip and fall accident, consider hiring an attorney to see if you may be eligible for some form of financial compensation.

Remote working at home

4. Inquire About Remote Working Opportunities

If you work in a field that doesn’t require you to be in the office, ask your employer for an opportunity to work remotely from your home. Even if it’s not a standard policy, your boss may be willing to offer an exception considering the circumstances.

5. Wait for Clearance From Your Doctor

As much as you’d like to rush back into work and start collecting a paycheck, you can’t return prematurely. Doing so could compromise your long-term health.

It’s frustrating to be patient, but wait for clearance from your doctor. It’s the smartest thing you can do (and could save you from serious complications).

6. Ease Back Into Things

Once you finally do get the green light from your medical provider, ease back into things. Don’t go full force just because you can. Continue to communicate concerns with your employer and let coworkers in on your situation. You may be surprised to learn how helpful people can be when you’re in a vulnerable state.

If your normal position isn’t conducive to your current state of recovery, ask if there’s a way to move into another role for the time being. You may be required to take a pay cut, but it’s better than not working at all!

Businessman working from home

Consider All of Your Options

There’s never one option. We live in a world of decisions where there are more choices than ever before. Make sure you’re considering every possibility.

For example, are there work-from-home opportunities that would allow you to monetize your skillset while you’re confined to your home? Or do you have the option of claiming disability? Perhaps your spouse could pick up a second job for the time being?

Being injured or sick isn’t what you want, but it doesn’t have to spell disaster. Clear your mind and start brainstorming. There’s always something that can be done!