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.
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.
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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