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*UPDATED* Hospital visiting changes, home testing kits, Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.

Managing Fatigue

Tips on managing fatigue during your recovery

During your recovery from any illness including Coronavirus (Covid-19) you may feel more tired which affects what you are able to do. This is a very common problem for people who have had the illness even if you did not need to go to hospital. Everyone’s experience of fatigue will be unique. 

Daily activities require both physical and mental energy (such as concentration, attention and problem solving) as well as emotional energy (talking with family and making decisions). This will all impact on feelings of fatigue. 

Below are some ideas on how to help you to manage your fatigue as you recover from your illness.

  • Try to plan your day. Break it into small parts. Rest between activities and only do what you feel able to do. Try and set easy goals to begin with.
  • Try to avoid a boom/bust cycle by doing lots of things one day and then nothing the next few days. Instead try to pace yourself and spread out what you are doing during the week.
  • Avoid sitting for too long. Get up each hour to have a stretch or get a glass of water. Remember to use any walking aids you require.
  • Your energy levels will be different on different days – this is normal
  • Build up your strength but in small chunks. Think of what you can do on both your good and bad days and slowly build up from there. This will take time. For example when making a meal try to increase the time you can stand at the worktop before you need a seat. If going for a walk add a little bit more each time – an activity tracker you can wear on your wrist can show you how many steps you have taken and show your improvement.
  • Use an activity diary  by writing down each activity you have carried out during the day you can follow your progress. Remember this could look very different each day depending on how you are feeling. Click here for an example activity diary.
  • If you are trying to build up your activity but find that you are always feeling more tired and unwell after doing this, do not keep trying to increase it. Instead, work with what you feel you're able to manage which does not seem to increase your fatigue. It may be of benefit to speak to a healthcare professional if this continues longer-term.

 The path to recovery will not always be straight – there will be bumps along the way!

It can be helpful to think of The 4Ps – Pacing, Planning, Prioritising and Posture.

There is more information on how to use the 4Ps available here.  

Adapting Activity

If you are struggling to carry out everyday tasks, try to change them – sit when you are preparing a meal; put smaller loads into your washing machine. Spread chores such as dusting and vacuuming across the week.

If you are feeling tired, ask yourself – do you need to finish (or even start) the task? Can someone else do it? Or can it wait?

Sit down to save energy where possible. Avoid going up and down the stairs - leave items that you would like to take up at the bottom of the stairs and take them up in the evening when going to bed.

More information on specific functional tasks for example getting in/out of bed or showering is available from The Royal College of Occupational Therapists Webpage. 

 Getting a good night’s sleep

Try and stick to a good routine with bedtimes and try not to nap too much during the day. But a 30 minute ‘power nap’ can be helpful as long as it is not too close to bedtime. 

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Last Updated: 23 November 2020