Now that the risk of Covid-19 has reduced dramatically in South Australia, Adaptive Workplace Solutions have resumed face to face appointments with clients.
However, we are still taking the threat of coronavirus extremely seriously and have made a range of changes to our practices to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of our clients and staff.
Steps we have taken to ensure safety of all parties include:
- Complying with 4 square metre rule – only one person per 4 square metres of each room/building. We have calculated the square metres of each meeting room and have put up signage to ensure that we do not exceed this limit.
- Social distancing – tables and desks have been moved in each meeting room to ensure that clients and staff do not sit closer than 1.5 metres during appointments.
- Hand sanitising stations – we have purchased high quality hand sanitiser that is readily available in all of our offices for clients and staff members to use regularly.
- Disinfecting of office spaces – tables, chairs, computer equipment, benches, doorhandles, etc are wiped down with high grade disinfectant between each client. Staff are restricted to using one work area per day, with the area thoroughly cleaned each afternoon/morning.
- Contact tracing – we are collecting details from each client who visits our offices that can be used to inform the relevant health authorities in the unlikely event of a covid-19 case on our premises.
- Information provided to clients and staff – we have collected information from SA Health and from the Australian Government and are providing this to clients on arrival. Information is also displayed via posters on the walls of our offices and buildings. A clear Covid-19 safety plan has been drafted for staff and is under continual review as new advice is provided by the Government.
- Staff are instructed not to attend the office if they have any cold/flu or respiratory symptoms and clients are contacted the day before their appointment to remind them not to attend if they have any relevant symptoms. In the event that either the consultant or the client have symptoms, their appointment will be changed to a phone or video appointment.
- We are still offering telehealth appointments via Zoom video or phone for clients that are not comfortable to attend face to face appointments at this stage. We are also doing group meetings such as case conferences or medical reviews via telehealth to ensure the social distancing requirements are met.
If you have any questions about the safety of attending appointments in our offices, or would like to discuss our approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff members.
Adaptive Workplace Solutions can now offer Psychology Services!
Kelly and Kate have both achieved their Provisional Psychologist Registration, meaning they can now both offer:
- Psychological Treatment Services
- Psychological Worksite Assessments
- Vocational Assessments
This is an exciting new phase for Adaptive Workplace Solutions as we broaden our service provision to ensure the most effective services are available to both our clients and our referrers.
Congratulations to both Kelly and Kate – what wonderful achievements!!
This research project sought to provide Australian research on the Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP). The PGAP aims to reduce the impact of four psychosocial risk factors known to be associated with work related disability. The psychosocial risk factors included are perceptions of injustice, catastrophic thinking, fear of activities associated with the persons condition and perceived levels of disability. The research project aimed to provide an evaluation of the PGAP on two levels. How effective is the program at reducing the four psychosocial risk factors associated with work related disability and does participating in the PGAP improve the persons readiness to return to work?
To answer these questions, we contacted 29 people who had been referred to Adaptive Workplace Solutions as a result of a work-related injury or condition. Of those contacted 20 provided consent to participate in the research and their results from the PGAP were gathered to analyse the effectiveness of the program. Each persons’ file was reviewed, and they were allocated a work readiness score at referral and upon completion of the program.
The results of the research project demonstrated that the PGAP was effective in reducing the identified psychosocial risk factors associated with prolonged absence from the workforce and increased work disability. This result was consistent with the international research on the PGAP. The other aim of the study was to assess the improvement’s in work readiness following participation in the PGAP. The data indicated that 75% of people who had participated in the PGAP had an improvement in return to work readiness. The other interesting finding was that people who experienced improvements in two or more of the psychosocial risk factors were more likely to also experience improved return to work readiness scores. In summary, the results support the inclusion of the PGAP in work injury rehabilitation where people are at risk of experiencing psychosocial risk factors associated with return to work.
What do I need to know about sleep?
Sleep is a natural process that allows the brain and body to rest and recover. When you are asleep, your eyes are closed, most of your muscles are relaxed, and your consciousness is practically suspended. But while your body is still, your brain is quite active.
Sleep is important as it helps us restore and recover ourselves physically while also assisting us to organise things in our brain. People need sleep in order to function well – mentally and physically.
Going without sleep or having insufficient sleep can lead to a range of issues including:
• Poor mood / feelings of depression
• Lack of concentration
• Low motivation
• Heart disease
• Blood pressure
• Increased likelihood of road accidents or workplace accidents
Sleep can be affected by a range of things including ageing, lifestyle commitments, injury, trauma, stressors, health problems, anxiety, depression, medication.
However a regular sleep pattern CAN be re-established after a disruption, even a significant disruption.
Sleep occurs in cycles that last around 90 minutes per cycle. During each cycle, different types of brain activity occur.
5 stages of sleep have been identified based on this brainwave activity:
Stage 1: Drowsiness. This is often referred to as the transition between awake and asleep. The eyes are generally closed, but the person awakens easily. If disrupted during this period, people will often state that they were not yet asleep or were just resting. This usually lasts for around 5-10 minutes
Stage 2: Light sleep. This sleep stage involves spontaneous periods of muscle activity mixed with periods of muscle relaxation. The heart rate slows and body temperature decreases. The body prepares to enter deep sleep.
Stages 3 and 4: Deep Sleep. Also known as slow-wave or delta sleep. During these stages the breathing is more relaxed, heart rate slows, sound and light sensitivity diminish. It is difficult to wake someone while in a deep sleep. Quality sleep needs to include deep sleep. Often when people seem to have had sufficient sleep (as measured by hours of sleep) but are still tired and fatigued each morning, it may be that they are not achieving deep sleep in their cycle. This deep sleep is vital in the secretion of the growth hormone. This hormone is necessary to restore the body and if this does not occur, people can be more prone to infections and disease. Alcohol, medication and stress can all impact on your ability to achieve deep sleep.
Stage 5: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Also known as dream sleep. During REM sleep there is heightened brain activity, but the mind paralyses the muscles, possibly to keep the body from acting out the dreams and harming itself. The first period of REM typically lasts around 1 minutes, with each recurring REM stage becoming longer. The final stage may last around an hour. REM sleep is vital for normalising cognitive and emotional activities.
How much sleep do we need?
Different people require different amounts of sleep, which changes over a person’s life span. The average for an adult is around 7-8 hours, but anything within 5–10 hours can be normal.
The best guide to whether you are having enough sleep is how you function throughout the day. If you are sleepy and struggle to concentrate it is likely you are not getting enough sleep.
The first 3-5 hours of sleep is when the deepest sleep occurs (see graph above). This is the most restorative.
Waking up a few times during the night is quite normal and nothing to be concerned about. This usually occurs during the periods of light or REM sleep spaced out over the night. Being concerned or worried about waking up generally increases the likelihood of it being difficult to get back to sleep and increase these awake periods.
Sleep deprivation Scale
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) can provide a measure of the impact of sleep deprivation on daytime function. This should only be used by people not on sleep medication.
If you feel you may be deprived of sleep and are not taking any sleep medication, completing this quick scale can give you an indication of how much impact it is having on your life:
0 would never doze
1 slight chance of dozing
2 moderate chance of dozing
3 high chance of dozing
Sitting and reading ______
Watching TV ______
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g. movie or meeting) ______
Passenger in a car for 1 hour with no break ______
Lying down in the afternoon when circumstances permit ______
Sitting and talking to someone ______
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol ______
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic ______
0-4 Satisfactory daytime functioning
5-9 Daytime tiredness, lack of energy
>10 Excessive daytime sleepiness
If you feel you have an issue with sleep or score 5 or above on the Epworth scale, the first step in making change can be to record relevant information in a sleep diary for 4-5 days in a row. This should give a clear indication of a baseline pattern and can identify potential problem areas and solutions.
Each day record:
• any daytime naps and their duration
• number of cups of tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks and approx. time each one was consumed
• number of standard drinks of alcohol and approx. time of consumption
• any sleep medication and time taken
• time when you go to bed
• approx. time when you fall asleep
• number of times you wake through the night and approx. indication of how long you were awake for
• time when you wake
• time when you got out of bed
It is important not to be too obsessed with clock watching or it will interfere with your natural pattern. This is particularly the case when waking in the night – clock watching will only increase the time you are awake for. An estimate of your sleep behaviours is fine.
Creating Positive Change
People who are having difficulties with sleep during the night often try to go to bed earlier or stay in bed longer to “catch up” on their sleep. This generally makes the problem worse, as more time is spent lying in bed awake. Often people feel anxious or frustrated about not sleeping during this time, which can build up an association between being in bed and negative emotions.
It is not necessarily easy to re-set your sleep pattern. It needs commitment and persistence. Initially you are likely to feel tired and irritable and may even get less sleep as your body adjusts to a new pattern. You will often feel more tired during the day, but it is important not to nap until the pattern is established.
Be aware it may take from 4-6 weeks to notice any improvement – repetition and consistency is key.
• The most effective strategy when re-introducing a sleep pattern is ensuring a regular wake-up time. Stick to this wake-up time 7 days per week, even if you feel you haven’t had much sleep during the night.
• Get sunlight within 10-15 minutes of waking if possible.
• Only go to bed when you feel sleepy rather than at a fixed time in the evening.
• Establish a regular evening sleep routine – this is a pattern of behaviour that tells your body and mind it is time to go to sleep.
• Only stay in bed if you are sleeping. If you are lying in bed awake for more than 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing in another room until you feel tired again.
• Only use the bed/bedroom for sleep or sexual intimacy. Avoid laying in the bed to rest during the day or using the bedroom to watch TV, eat, smoke, work, play computer games or chat on your phone.
• Avoid taking daytime naps.
During the Day:
• Keep a regular routine for meals, medication and general daily activities
• Pace your activities throughout your day
• Spend time outdoors in the afternoon if possible
• Avoid napping
• Keep as active as possible
• Reduce coffee to no more than 3 cups per day
During the evening:
• Relax and prepare for sleep
• Utilise an hour of quiet activity before you intend to sleep
• List what is on your mind and organise to do it tomorrow (to avoid worrying or planning throughout the night)
• Learn and use a relaxation tool to switch off. This may be a breathing exercise, mindfulness, meditation, or something that works for you.
• Avoid exercise late in the evening – light exercises early in the evening can be helpful
• Avoid caffeine for at least 5 hours before bedtime
• Avoid smoking before bedtime and during wakening
• Avoid alcohol near bedtime
• Avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime
• Reduce disturbing noises and be calm about the unavoidable
• Avoid screentime – particularly laptops and mobile phones for one hour before bed
• Develop a bedtime routine and follow it every night
• Recognise any emotional responses for what they are and use appropriate coping techniques to deal with such responses
• Only go to bed when you feel ‘sleepy tired’, not when you are just physically exhausted or you think its time for bed
• Keep reading and TV for another room
• Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sexual intimacy
• Do not lie in bed awake for longer than 15-20 minutes
• During that 15-20 minutes enjoy relaxing in bed if you do not fall straight to sleep
• Use relaxation techniques to induce sleep
• Prepare somewhere to go (e.g. another room) and something to do if you do have to get up
• Return to bed only when you feel sleepy again
• Repeat the rising routine as frequently as necessary
• Keep the bedroom dark
When getting up in the morning:
• Get up at the same time each morning
• Have a routine that refreshes and takes your needs into account
• Allow time to avoid demanding morning routines
• Make a plan for the day
• Ensure that you have at least one rewarding activity.
Important tips when trying these strategies:
• Rather than being discouraged if there are lots of things you have identified that you can change, be pleased that you have identified a number of things that can help as this increases your chance for improvement.
• Don’t expect to have great results overnight – improvement may take 4-6 weeks.
• Change can take longer if the reasons for the sleep disruption are more complex. Be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time.
• It can be helpful in the initial stages to focus on behaviours/strategies you can ADD rather than things you need to avoid or stop doing.
• Feeling tired throughout this process of change is totally normal – feeling sleepy during the day is often one of the last things to disappear.
• A habit is learned and established by consistent repetition over long periods of time – it might be hard, but don’t give up!
SUMMARY: Tips to Sleep Better
• Stick to a consistent wake up time – even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
• Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety.
• Avoid daytime naps – particularly in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
• Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but it is best to avoid vigorous exercise for a few hours before bedtime.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes and heavy meals in the evening. You may feel that alcohol or heavy meals make you tired enough to fall asleep, but these can interrupt with the natural sleep cycle and may lead to waking early or not getting sufficient deep sleep.
• Wind down – Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading, talking, or listening to music. For some people using an electronic device such as a laptop or phone can make I hard to fall asleep because the particular type of light coming from the screens is activating to the brain. If there are any activities that you associate with anxiety about sleeping, remove them from your bedtime routine.
• Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be on the cooler side (around 15-19 degrees). It should also be free from any noise and light that can disturb your sleep. If you have environmental distractions you can’t remove, try using eye shades, ear plugs, white noise machines, or other devices.
• Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows – Make sure your mattress and pillow is comfortable and supportive.
• If you can’t sleep, don’t just lay there – go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
• Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep.
Our Rehabilitation Counsellors can help you to implement these strategies and improve your sleep health. Contact us today for more information if you need additional assistance.
We were all very excited to move into our new head office in Plympton Park last week. This has been a big project for 2019, as we had outgrown our previous premises and involved the complete renovation of what was previously a home into a functional and purpose built Adaptive Workplace Solutions office space. We had our first team meeting in the new office on Tuesday the 22nd of October and officially moved in on the 23rd.
On Friday we surprised Kelly with a baby shower in the new building which was a lot of fun and enjoyed by all who attended.
We can’t wait to finish off all the final details in our new office space and continue to renovate the outdoor areas. We look forward to having future meetings in this new facility which is large enough to host both small and large meetings with clients, case managers, employers and treatment providers.
Your resume is a tool which provides a first impression to a prospective employer. It is important to ensure that the impression they get is as positive and impressive as it can possibly be, so that they want to find out more by inviting you in for an interview.
Your resume says a lot about you, and may say more than you realise. Some of the things you may not know that you are telling a prospective employer include:
1. How well you have researched current job searching practices.
If your resume starts off with an objective statement, or lists personal information that is not relevant to the role (e.g. date of birth or marital status), it is telling your potential employer that you have not bothered to do your homework on currently acceptable protocol and trends. Ensuring that all information provided is relevant and professional speaks volumes towards helping you make the best possible first impression.
2. Your ability to concisely summarise information.
With regards to your Resume, less is definitely more. It can be tempting to try and pad out your Resume with heaps of details in an attempt to make it look more impressive, but this can actually detract from your first impression and increases the likelihood that they may not even bother to read it. It is important to be as concise as possible. The current expectation for resumes is no longer than two pages, regardless of the length of your career. It may be daunting to try and summarise your achievements within two pages, but avoid the temptation to go over that limit. Exceptions may be made for curriculum vitaes if you are in the medical or academic profession, but the rest of us have to keep it brief. Concisely communicating information is a critical component of many jobs, so it is your best interest to showcase this ability in your resume. It may help to limit your listed experience to the last ten years, or twenty at the very most.
3. Your ability to use correct spelling and grammar.
Confusing to, too and two or your and you’re is increasingly common in today’s autocorrect society but your resume is one place to make sure you are perfect. Typos or grammatical errors in your resume can cost you the opportunity for interview. Don’t just rely on your spell check, read it, re-read it, have a friend read it and then read it backwards to make sure there are no mistakes on your resume.
4. Your computer skills.
A prospective employer often wants to know that you know your way around word processing software. Ensure that your margins are aligned, spaces are uniform, consistent font is used throughout your Resume and that it all looks neat and easy to read. This will also ensure that important information is easy to find – the average time that an employer will view your Resume for is 6 seconds! It is important to make sure that the important information is clear and easy to find. Good formatting will assist with this.
5. Your attention to detail.
While you may list “attention to detail” as one of your key attributes within the content of your Resume, inaccurate dates or missing information may indicate that this is not in fact the case. Ensure all of the key details are accurate and included – it is more important than you might think. Getting a critical friend to help you edit can be useful in picking up missing information.
6. How seriously you take yourself and this potential job.
If your resume looks slapped together, with little forethought, it sends the message that this job isn’t that important to you, whether that’s true or not. No matter what the time pressure, take the time to create a professional-looking, contemporary, accurate and up-to-date resume. Always include up-to-date referee contact details rather than writing “referee details can be provided upon request” as this may look like you are either trying to hide something or haven’t taken the time to organise a reference before sending in your application.
If you need assistance with preparing a quality Resume that will provide a prospective employer with the right first image, contact Adaptive Workplace Solutions today to see how we can help. We hope that these tips have you well on your way to a successful Resume!
We would like to welcome our two students from Flinders University, Far and Candice to our Adaptive Workplace Solutions team for the next few months while they complete their final placements with us. They are both in their fourth and final year of a Bachelor in Disability and Developmental Education with a major in Rehabilitation Counselling. They will be shadowing our staff members to learn as much as they can about the role, while also engaging in their own projects throughout their placements. They will both be involved in as many different aspects of the role as they can, including meetings with clients, Return to Work Specialists / Case Managers, employers, medical treatment providers and case conferences, so please make them feel very welcome!
My name is Far Boonkun and I’m currently in my last year of my Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education with a major in Rehabilitation Counselling. I have been on placement with Adaptive Workplace Solutions for several weeks now, shadowing various staff members to learn and absorb anything and everything about rehabilitation services for the Return to Work SA system.
I am passionate about helping people and providing support for people and people with disabilities in whatever area they need and require. I am currently juggling support work and bartending but when I am not working or studying, I enjoy going to live gigs, stand up and drag shows, reading and I try to travel when I can! Although I just spent 5 months in North America and went to Thailand in April.
I am looking forward to learning the ins and outs of this area and am very excited to graduate this year!
Hi, My name is Candice and I am a 4th year student at Flinders University studying Disability and Developmental Education with a major in Rehabilitation Counselling. I have been fortunate enough to be offered a final placement at Adaptive Workplace Solutions initially starting out one day a week but soon extending to full time hours until the end of November.
During my time on placement I will be working on a couple of projects one of them being developing some easy-read resources to sit alongside the Progressive Goal Attainment Program Workbook and also developing some further resources for pain education.
My background is in disability services and I am passionate about supporting people with disability achieve their full potential. When I am not at work or studying I enjoy spending time at the gym, cooking, gardening and going out to dinner with my partner.
Wednesday the 24th of July is Stress Down Day. Here are our tips for reducing stress!
#1 Identify symptoms and causes of stress
In order to reduce stress, we first must be aware of the symptoms of stress and also identify the causes. Signs of stress vary from person to person, but may include tensing your jaw, grinding your teeth, difficulty sleeping, muscle tension, headaches, feeling irritable or short tempered, lack of concentration or motivation, feeling overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, and overuse of alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the cause of stress and there are often multiple factors involved, so keeping a journal to track your stressors may be useful. Clearly identifying what is causing the stress is the first step in doing something about it. Sometimes the cause of stress can be eliminated, and at other times it is about developing more effective coping mechanisms.
#2 Use problem-solving to eliminate the cause of stress
Once you have determined the cause of stress, some stressful situations can be eliminated, reduced or changed by problem solving. It is often helpful to write down a list of possible solutions, work through the pros and cons of each, select the best one, try it out and evaluate its success. Focus on the things that are within your control. If you have multiple stressors it is generally best to focus on one at a time.
#3 Organise and manage your time effectively
Research suggests that good time management can decrease stress, increase satisfaction with work and life and generally improve health. Some strategies to improve your time management include setting goals, prioritising tasks, using a diary or to-do lists to track tasks and progress and delegating work to others. It is important to accept that not everything can be done at once and list tasks according to genuine priority. Being organised can also be as simple as sorting out your morning routine to avoid rushing or tidying up your work area for a calmer and more productive work day.
#4 Practise relaxation techniques
Practising relaxation techniques regularly has been found to reduce stress. This can include a range of activities such as: meditation, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness. These techniques can help reduce stress levels by allowing the body and nervous system to settle into a calm state. They don’t need to take long, just one minute of focus on breathing or mindful noticing of the tangible things you can experience with your 5 senses can help if practised regularly. Different methods will be effective for different people – you might have to try a few approaches before you find something that works for you. There are lots of apps available that can help you add some relaxation techniques to your busy lifestyle. Structured activities such as Yoga, Pilates can be beneficial too!
#5 Look after your health
Stress can affect your immune system and make you more vulnerable to a range of health conditions. Keeping yourself fit and healthy can improve your resilience and enable you to cope more effectively with stressful situations.
🥗 Eat a healthy and well balanced diet
🥛 Drink plenty of water
🚫 Avoid or reduce consumption of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs, especially if you are overusing these to cope
❌ Avoid or reduce intake of refined sugars as they can cause energy crashes and lead you to feel tired and irritable
🏌️♀️Ensure you get some physical activity each day and exercise regularly
#6 Increase Daily Physical Activity
Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. These are the “fight or flight” hormones designed to protect us from bodily harm when we are under threat. However it is unlikely that your stressful situation will require a physical fight or flight response and so physical exercise can be used to metabolize the excess stress hormones and restore your body to a calm and relaxed state. 🧘🏾♀️
Additionally, regular physical exercise is good for your general health and well-being and can keep you feeling positive and more able to cope with stressful situations when they arise. Simple changes to your daily routine such as going for a 30 minute walk during your lunch break or kicking the footy with your kids after work can make a BIG difference!!
#7 Ensure you are getting enough sleep
A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress, however it can also be a symptom of stress as thoughts whirling around your head can make it difficult to fall asleep. If sleep is an issue for you, it can help to create a relaxing evening routine that gets you prepared and ready for sleep and aim to go to bed at the same time each night so your mind and body can get into a good sleep pattern. Avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol in the evenings as these can lead to disturbed sleep patterns. Don’t engage in mentally engaging activities for a few hours before bedtime to allow your brain time to calm down. Turning off screens (TV, smartphones, laptops) at least one hour before bed can also help. Some helpful activities to do before bedtime include some light reading, talking quietly with the lights dimmed, or taking a warm shower or bath.
#8 Rest if you are unwell
Often we can be guilty of putting too much pressure on ourselves, and contributing to our own stress. A good example of this is feeling like we have to carry on, even when we are unwell. A short rest can often help the body to recharge and recover from illness. Whether this means taking a day off work when you are sick, or simply letting some of your other responsibilities (such as housework) go for a short time while you recover. Looking after yourself is very important!!
#9 Learn to say no
A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time to complete it. And yet, in this predicament so many of us still agree to take on additional responsibility when asked. Learning to say “no” to additional or unimportant requests can assist in reducing stress and may even lead to an increase in confidence and self-esteem.
To learn to say “no” requires an understanding of why you find it difficult. Many people find it hard to say “no” because they want to help and are trying to be nice and be liked. For others it can be a fear of rejection or missed opportunities. Understanding what drives you can assist you in taking control and ensuring that you are placing as much importance on your own time and health as you do for others.
#10 Make time for things you enjoy
Take your mind off your worries by ensuring you allow plenty of time for enjoyable activities. This may feel impossible if you are overwhelmed with too much to do, however taking a bit of time out for yourself to do something positive or fun may ultimately lead to better coping skills and increased productivity. Ideas may include gardening, listening to music, socialising, going to the gym, getting into nature, reading, taking a bubble bath… the list is endless! What is your favourite enjoyable activity that you find helps to alleviate stress?
#11 Create a healthy work-life balance
Work plays a very big role in our lives, but it’s important to balance this with other life activities. If work is increasing your stress levels, think about other areas of your life that you would like to focus on (eg. Relationships, exercise, recreation, social activities) and how you can also prioritise these aspects in your daily life.
Taking time to wind down and enjoy relaxing activities is an important part of balanced life and helps to reduce stress. Include relaxing as well as uplifting activities into your daily or weekly routine.
#12 Stay away from conflict. Resolve issues when they arise.
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on our physical and emotional health. Its a good idea to avoid conflict at work and in your personal life as much as possible. Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good about yourself as much as you can. Avoid gossip or discussing volatile topics (such as religion or politics) at work. If conflict finds you anyway, learn positive ways to deal with it and ask for support if you need to.
#13 Resist perfectionism
Mistakes shouldn’t be feared – they are an opportunity to learn and improve! The desire to be perfect can make your stress spike and your self-worth plummet. Recognise that you are not defined by your failures, instead see them as an opportunity for improvement and self-discovery. Remember no one is perfect – and people who may appear that way on the outside may be struggling with their own unrealistic perfectionistic standards.
#14 Practise positive self-talk
When we are stressed we often say negative or self-defeating things to ourselves over and over. Unhelpful self-talk may include things like “I can’t cope”, “I’m too busy to deal with all of this”, “I’ll never get this done” or even “I’m completely useless”. Notice this self talk and think about more constructive ways to talk to yourself. Practise saying positive statements to yourself, ensuring they are realistic and that you believe them. Suggestions could be “I am coping well given what I have on my plate at the moment”, or “This is tough at the moment but I know I’ll get through it and things will be easier on the other side”.
Try and keep things in perspective – when we are stressed it is easy to catastrophise and see things as far worse than they really are. Ask yourself “how likely is it that that negative event will happen?” or “am I overestimating how bad the consequences will be?”
#15 Talk to someone
Its okay to need support sometimes. Don’t be afraid to admit when you need help to enable you to cope. There are a range of people you can talk to when you are feeling stressed, for example, family members, co-workers, supervisors, bosses, doctors or psychologists. Your employer may have stress management resources available or your doctor may be able to refer you to a psychologist or mental health professional. If you are feeling overwhelmed it is a good idea to ask for support, especially if it is prolonged over a period of time.
At Adaptive Workplace Solutions we frequently organise work placements for clients as part of their return to work and rehabilitation plan. Work placements are vital for injured workers who are unable to return to their place of employment to re-establish positive work habits, gradually increase their duties and develop new skills.
Why someone may need a work placement
Generally after a work injury, the injured worker returns to their place of employment quickly on a graduated return to work plan starting with light duties. However, in some cases, there are no light duties available (due to the size of the employer, the nature of the work etc) and a person may need a suitable work placement for a short period of time in order to build up their capacity and strength before returning to their pre-injury role.
In other cases, a person’s specific injury may prevent them returning to either their workplace or their role in which case they would be working towards a new employment goal. This pathway may include some training and will almost always include some on the job experience, building vital skills through a voluntary work placement.
Benefits to the Worker
- Retain or Regain positive work habits. If people are out of work for a prolonged period it can be hard to get back into a good routine for work. It is better for people to keep up their routine through attending a workplace regularly rather than have an extended period off work and then try and rebuild these habits.
- Social component of work. It can be very isolating for people to be off work through a work injury. Work provides valuable opportunity for socialising and being part of a community.
- Mental Health. Purposeful and valued activity at work promotes positive mental health.
- Physical conditioning. Attending work is an important part of people’s physical recovery. A work placement provides an opportunity for a graduated plan, where tasks and time at work can be increased gradually, allowing the person to regain their strength, stamina and ability to engage in everyday work-related tasks. It is important that all medical restrictions are taken into consideration and that the person only engages in duties within their capabilities, allowing them to build up steadily.
- Skill Building. When a goal of new employment is set, a work placement provides a great opportunity to build skills for the new role and develop confidence.
- Experience and Pathway to New Employment. When applying for new employment, most employers look for people with experience. A work placement provides an opportunity to gain experience in a new role, and potentially even a glowing reference. This will put them in good stead when applying for new jobs.
Benefits to the Host Employer
- Additional team member at no extra cost. Who couldn’t benefit from a free extra set of hands during busy times? A work placement is completely unpaid, so the host employer benefits from the extra staff member and all of the experience, knowledge and skills they bring for the duration they are there.
- Insurance is covered. We understand that many potential employers have concerns about the implications for their business if the person was to make their injury worse, or re-injure themselves while on placement. Return to Work SA cover the insurance for all of these potential situations, as well as any damage that the worker on placement may accidentally cause. This gives peace of mind that there is no risk to taking someone on for a work placement.
- Promoting a diverse workplace. Having someone on work placement can add to the diversity of your workplace culture.
- Contributing to the community. It can give business owners and host employers a great feeling to know that they have helped someone to get back on their feet by assisting them with important steps in their rehabilitation.
- Incentives to offer paid employment. Sometimes host employers are so impressed with the person there on placement that they want to offer them a paid position. This is not an expectation during a work placement, but it is a great bonus for all parties if it is the right fit. In this case the placement provides an opportunity to test out an employee to see if they are a good fit before offering employment. Return to Work SA provide the RISE scheme, a financial incentive for employers to take someone on after a work injury.
How does it work?
Generally, we will contact relevant workplaces to arrange a work placement that is a good fit for that individual client and their needs. At that point, when a host employer expresses interest, we set up a meeting involving the host employer, the client and an Adaptive Workplace Solutions staff member. This meeting gives the host employer the chance to meet with the client and see if they will be a good fit. We can also discuss practical considerations including time component, any medical restrictions that need to be followed etc. From there a placement agreement is drawn up and signed by all parties and the person can begin!
We frequently require host employers across the whole Adelaide and Hills area to support clients with work placements in a range of industries. If you think that your workplace may be interested in taking someone on for a work placement or have light work duties frequently available, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call today and we can discuss how you can get involved!
Today we welcome Nicola Marsh, Physiotherapist to our team!
Nicola brings a wealth of physiotherapy clinical experience to her role at Adaptive Workplace Solutions. She is experienced in:
- Clinical assessments
- Management and treatment of a range of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions
- Setting up of gym programs and home exercise programs
- Pain neuroscience education
- Teaching of active coping skills such as progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness
- Short and long term goal setting
- Increasing meaningful activity involvement through pacing plans
- Teaching strategies to overcome flare ups
Nicola is passionate about assisting clients to achieve their goals in order to return to work and valued activities outside of work. This is done through high quality assessments, evidence based recommendations and guiding clients towards the use of self-management strategies.
We are very excited to have Nicola join our team and are looking forward to her valuable input!