Now that we’ve become acquainted with long COVID-19 after having been familiar with the virus itself for two years, it’s time to know what to do in case you get long COVID. If you experience lingering symptoms of COVID -19, it is important to know the steps for managing your symptoms in order to get your life back on track.
Taking care of our health has always been important with or without a global pandemic. Learn how to manage long COVID-19 symptoms by incorporating these practices in your day-to-day routine.
How To Manage Long COVID-19 Symptoms
Fatigue and Breathlessness
Since COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, it is common for patients to experience fatigue and breathlessness. When faced with this particular symptom, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
When faced with a task, break it down into smaller parts to avoid overexertion
Take frequent short rests in between tasks
Gradually increase physical activity, starting from lower impact and gradually building up.
Practice strength training exercises gradually, starting from 10 minutes to 20 to 30 until possible for your body.
Practice breathing techniques such as pursed-lip breathing exercises and deep breathing exercises. Repeat these cycle for several times in a day or as often as needed in order to cope with episodes of breathlessness.
Mood and Mental Health
It goes without saying that as much as COVID-19 has affected our physical health, it also has a significant impact on our mental health, especially for those who have been afflicted with the virus. Help manage mood and mental health by following these steps:
Practice kindness to yourself during recovery by staying positive and acknowledging that there will be better days ahead.
Incorporate yoga and meditation for at least 30 minutes into your routine to foster mindfulness, relaxation, and staying in the present.
Limit social media usage to about an hour and refrain from opening social media sites also an hour before bed to avoid feeling mentally drained.
Build a routine using the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique helps people work with the time they have on their hands rather than against it. An example would be to break your routine into 25-minute chunks with a 5-minute rest in between. Having this routine helps you stay productive, mindful, and can restore your sense of stability.
One of the symptoms of long COVID that patients have described is memory problems. Memory problems or brain fog can seriously affect one’s thought process and decision making leading to moments of confusion and lack of focus. The steps below can help patients manage their memory problems:
Having a to-do list helps in remembering things
Minimize distractions by limiting social media/Internet exposure to about an hour.
Practice planning in order to have a clear step of what’s to come.
3P's. 3P's are Pace, Plan, and Prioritize. This practice enables you to give yourself permission to slow down, categorize your activities based on your time and energy, and pick out the most important or urgent ones that need immediate action. Doing these on a regular basis can help you have a better grasp of your time and hone your memory to remember things more efficiently.
Muscle Pain Relief
COVID-19 can cause muscle pain which starts at a particular area, spreading widely eventually. Patients describe it to be sore to the touch which can limit movement, making basic tasks excruciating to do. In order to ease the muscle pain felt during long COVID, follow these steps:
Engage in flexibility yoga routines or exercises to get your body familiar with the movement. Do this exercise gradually, starting at beginner’s level for 10 minutes, gradually increasing your time and level until your body feels stronger and more capable.
Practice proper posture by doing a light pilates workout. Poor posture can exacerbate muscle pain so, in order to alleviate discomfort or manage it, you can do a pilates workout starting at 10 minutes, gradually increasing as you get stronger.
Experiencing long COVID-19 symptoms can certainly set your life back, but learning the steps on how to properly manage the symptoms can help make dealing with the health crisis a little bit better. Building great lifestyle choices is a step towards better, healthier, and more positive days ahead.