We can all agree that stress is bad for your health – physical, mental, and emotional. Yet many people don’t recognize the toll stress can take or don’t feel like they can control the things causing the stress to begin with.
Cancer and Careers understands the importance of work. A job can provide income, benefits, fulfilment, satisfaction, a feeling of normalcy and belonging. The list of reasons that those with a cancer diagnosis may choose to continue working can go on and on. But what happens when work stress becomes constant or goes beyond what you think is an acceptable level?
An article published by The Muse explores one woman’s story of how her body told her it was time to leave her toxic job . April shares the warning signs that took her a long time to recognize but indicated that it was time to find a job that valued her, allowed her to be at peace with herself, and ultimately would be healthy for her.
Fixing a challenging work situation does not always mean you must leave and look for another job, though that can be an appropriate solution for some. For others it may mean setting boundaries for yourself at work so that you are more in control of your time, energy, and mental space. Then for others it could mean practicing better self-care – which does often have to do with setting some boundaries. Examples of this may include being sure to stick to your schedule, such as if you said you would be leaving at 5:00 PM, then not allowing yourself to be sucked into staying late. Perhaps it’s about making sure you get fresh air and walk around during the day, taking care not to stay stuck at your desk all day. Self-care will look different for everyone, so it’s about identifying your needs and what may alleviate some pressure and stress you may be experiencing. Cancer and Careers has a number of resources that can be helpful, regardless of your approach to improving your situation.
For those who believe they need to look for a new job, check out some of our job search resources including:
- Our Job Search Toolkit features advice on improving resumes and cover letters, tips for interviewing and networking, guidance on exploring alternative career options, and an array of resources and tools to aid in the job search process
- The Looking for Work section of our website has an assortment of articles and tools aimed at making you a savvy candidate.
- Our article on Researching Employers can also help determine which companies will be a good fit and offer an environment conducive to your needs.
For those who feel you need to work on setting boundaries and self-care, we offer resources such as:
- Our Balancing Work & Cancer: Setting Boundaries webinar explores what boundaries are, why they are important, and how to set and stick with them.
- Another session from our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar series focuses on Managing Long-Term Stress, which offers techniques and tools for identifying and addressing triggers and stress.
- Cancer and Careers worked with a social worker to develop a worksheet on Balancing Work & Self-Care with helpful examples, activities, and resources for implementing healthy self-care habits.
Ultimately, it’s important to get in touch with yourself, identify the challenges you are facing, and from there explore what your options are. Your health, both physical and mental, are an important consideration when contemplating a new job or staying at your current one.