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Living with Long-covid


Long Covid is the body still reacting to the residue of Covid 19 infection. As a result, the body displays the signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue that has been caused by the body fighting a viral infection Covid 19. Chronic fatigue is a feeling of extreme exhaustion that interrupts or stops you from doing everyday activities. The usual things that once refreshed you, such as sleep, doing a favourite activity or pastime, no longer seem to do so. Some people describe fatigue as having 'brain fog', 'flat batteries', and 'unplugged'.

Why do some people get chronic fatigue and long covid? Understanding why you have become fatigued can, quite naturally, feel very important. However, the reality is that nobody knows exactly what sets off COVID-19 related fatigue Long covid or why some people are more prone to it than others.

The best guess is that it is likely to be linked to the severity of the inflammatory response when the body tries to fight the initial Covid-19 infection. This can be most evident in breathing response to exercise or physical activity, and tiredness and lack of energy like your body is still fighting a residue of Covid 19, which it is… It can take far longer to recover from this inflammation than perhaps people expected.

Accepting you are experiencing fatigue due to long covid will help you manage the condition better and understand the best course of action for you and your recovery.

It is usual for some people to take months to fully recover from fatigue and long covid, but recovery is possible. Experience tells us that whilst there are no shortcuts to quicken the recovery process, once you start to see measurable improvement in what you can do, you will feel more optimistic about recovery. It is also important to note that recovery from fatigue does not always mean returning to a pre-fatigue lifestyle. For a minority of people, recovery will mean learning to manage their fatigue long-term.

The recovery journey from fatigue looks different for everyone and will take time, patience and practice. You will not get it right the first time. You may feel like you are going around in circles; however, you will learn a little more about how to manage your symptoms each time you try.

Once you feel your symptoms under control, you can learn how to increase the amount of energy you have slowly over time. Remember, acceptance of your fatigue is critical. Some people adopt unhealthy behaviours to try and cope with fatigue where they either ignore or take too much notice of their symptoms, becoming consumed by them. Others try and get through the day by drinking more caffeine or having more sugar in their diet. These are not effective strategies.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Remember, you don't need to put too much pressure on yourself; otherwise, you will get frustrated, making you more stressed, which is what we want to avoid. If you do have the occasional treat, it's not the end of the world, and it won't do much harm.

We would advise you to make gradual changes to implement these differences into your everyday life, creating long-lasting effects. An easy way to do this is by using the meal planner, which is included in our long covid course.

Negative emotions are one of the biggest challenges to control that we can face, especially when we aren't feeling well. If we had no negative emotions, we would have nothing to worry about, our relationships would be more robust, our health and much more.

Positive thinking doesn't mean keeping your head in the sand and ignoring life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking means that you approach unpleasantness more positively and productively. Positive thinking often starts with the way we talk to ourselves.

Self-talk is the endless flow of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions you create because of a lack of information.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get your long-covid under control, please visit our course designed and developed by our specialists: https://my.salus.org.uk/index.php/long-covid-course-page/.

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