10 tips for returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

People who have gone back to work after a heart attack share their tips about what they have learned.

1. Don’t go back too early

It is one thing feeling fit and awake at home, but at work, people will expect 100 per cent concentration.

2. Go back to the job you are already doing if you can

Unless it’s your choice, changing jobs or having responsibilities taken away can be stressful.

3. Set weekly goals for a few months

Give yourself a pat on the back

Even if some of your goals are missed, set more and keep going.

4. Take time to reflect

Iain Lynch says: "It’s very easy to forget what has happened to you. My family and I did the BHF Round the Harbours bike ride last year, and this year my daughter ran the London Marathon for the BHF. It was a useful way of remembering."

5. Communication is key

Talk to colleagues about what you can and can’t do.

6. Be honest about the state of your health

7. Be sensible

You will know when you are able to do something and when you are not.

8. Give yourself a pat on the back

Acknowledge how much hard work you have done to get to the stage of returning to work.

9. Don’t feel guilty about your health issues

Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need.

10. Talking to a counsellor can help

Lisa Brereton says: "My cardiac nurse suggested this and it’s helpful to speak to someone outside your family who doesn’t get upset. The counsellor helped me see the positives in my situation."

Free help and support

Find out about Access to work grants.

To speak to a disability employment adviser, contact your local Jobcentre.

Read about cardiac rehab and how it can support you.

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