Tips for Managing Long Covid
For a printable version of these tips, Download PDF here.
Rest: Your body needs rest as it continues to recover. Take short rests throughout the day; stop regularly to do nothing.
Pace yourself: When you feel less fatigued, try a small amount of light activity. Break activity up with periods of good quality rests. Try not to push through fatigue.
Limit ‘thinking’ activities: Thinking tasks (reading, electronic devices etc.) use up energy. So does worrying about your health, although it’s understandable. Prioritise tasks that are important and plan to do these for short periods at a time.
Increase activity levels slowly: Increase both physical and thinking activities slowly. It can be helpful to complete an activity repeatedly, without feeling an increase in your level of fatigue, before changing it. Try not to rush.
Work and Study: Contact your work or place of study to discuss what changes and support they can provide. It is important not to return to work/study too soon. A flexible, phased return may be helpful with shorter days and more opportunities for rest.
Exercise carefully: Exercise needs to be gradual. Gentle exercise when you feel able (stretches or a short walk) can be helpful. Even if you used to be very fit, start at a much lower level.
Daily Routine: Routine can help with recovery. Maintain a routine for sleeping, eating, daily activities and good quality rest. Initially you may need more sleep. Making changes to sleep patterns can be difficult so do this slowly.
Be Kind to Yourself: You may have expected a quicker recovery. Accepting your fatigue is real and is difficult to understand and live with, may allow you to make changes that help to manage your symptoms. Avoid self-criticism and attempts to push through fatigue.
Look after your mental health: You may experience anxiety, frustration, guilt and low mood. Try talking to others (people you trust) about the way you feel, keep a diary, do something enjoyable or try breathing, relaxation and mindfulness strategies. Talk to your GP if your mood doesn’t improve.