If you’ve had Covid-19 you may be suffering from post-viral fatigue – an ongoing feeling of exhaustion and lack of energy – when climbing the stairs, walking and even when doing other simple tasks that you previously undertook with ease. Managing fatigue can feel like a huge challenge… where and how do you start?

In a previous blog we talked about what post-viral fatigue is, how you may be feeling, what to look out for in your breathing pattern to see if it’s normal, and how to tackle becoming more active as you recover.

But how else can you manage your post-viral fatigue?

What can you do to get better?

There’s lots you can do!

And it doesn’t just involve resting all day!

While of course resting and giving your body a chance to recover is very important, you also need to keep moving to maintain muscle mass and reduce the risk of injury.

Keep moving!

Nobody is expecting you to undertake a marathon! But moving just a little each day will help in managing fatigue and building your strength up again.

In fact, all you need to begin with is some chair to stand exercises initially. The image below shows what these exercises look like and this is how you do them:

Image A
  • Edge hips up to the front edge of the chair
  • Bring your toes back underneath your knees
  • Optional: Use arms to push off the chair or off of knees
Image B
  • Lean forward a little to bring nose over toes and push up with your legs
Image C
  • End in a standing position

Sit back down again by bending a little at the knees, pushing your hips towards the chair and lowering your body to a seated position

Pause before doing the next repetition.

sit to stand

One step at a time!

We have some recommendations to aid your recovery and keep you on track:

  • Why not set yourself a reminder? There are a number of apps available that can act as an activity reminder so it’s worth downloading one o them and see how you get on.
  • You could also set yourself an activity goal. But it’s important to remember not to ‘push through’ your fatigue if you’re struggling. You need to listen to your body and rest when you need to.
  • Try to do a little more each time. Whether that be one extra repetition of a sequence of exercises or one more flight of stairs, a little bit extra will help you improve and increase your strength.
  • Monitor your results. Why not set up an activity planner and record how you’re doing each day? Make a note of the days you’ve undertaken some form of activity, what you did, how long you did it for and also how you felt when you were doing it. Did you have lots of energy? Was it a struggle? Did you have to stop during the activity and if so, for how long? This can give you a real boost when you look back after a few weeks to see just how far you’ve come.

Most important of all, be kind to yourself. Remember your body has been through a significant and debilitating strain and it needs time to recover. You may also need to pay attention to your mental wellbeing – recovering from Covid can be a worrying time with increased anxiety levels. Make sure you’re staying in touch with friends and family, and try to put less pressure on yourself too. Why not try practice some mindfulness which can help you get into the right headspace?!

This website has a number of top tips on how to be kind to yourself so why not take a look?!