Seven steps to help you recover from long Covid
Seven steps to help you recover from long Covid
Whether you’ve experienced symptoms of Covid-19 (in one of its variants), cared for a close relative who had the virus, or want to protect yourself from harm from it in the future, the most of us recognize the growing need to do what we can to take care of our health and vitality. Here, we outline an action plan to help speed recovery, boost immunity and improve side effects for “long haulers” – those unlucky enough to experience longer-term complications from Covid- 19.
How to cope if you get sick with Covid-19
Fortunately, for the vast majority of us, hospitalization will not be necessary. But that doesn’t change the fact that if you catch Covid, you’re likely to feel terrible and completely exhausted. The golden rule is to listen to the needs of your body. If you have tested positive, it is essential to give yourself enough time to recover and rest as much as possible. If you try to rush things, you run the risk of making the symptoms worse.
If you can’t eat regular meals, a bowl of simple hearty soup and a bite of toast or crackers can help restore energy levels. Also, be sure to stay hydrated – two liters of water a day will help flush out toxins. You can also try herbal teas, infusions of herbs, spices and flowers that will help relieve pain and promote mental and physical balance. Or maybe play around with a cup of pure cocoa made with hot oat milk and a dash of honey for an extra boost for mind and body. Cocoa can help invigorate the cardiovascular system and is packed with healthy vitamins and minerals.
Whichever path to recovery you decide to take, these seven steps will help speed the process along and strengthen your immune system in the long run.
1. Increase your energy level with a healthy and nutritious diet
After the first seven to 14 days of Covid you should start to feel a little better and you might get your appetite back. At this early stage of recovery, try to eat three small meals a day.
Focus on complex carbs — whole grains, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and pasta — for optimal energy. Include protein – meat, fish, cheese, eggs, tofu, soy, legumes – with every meal. This will help build and repair muscle and bone, and produce vital hormones and enzymes. Remember to eat plenty of healthy fats (omega-3s found in fatty fish and omega-6s typically found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds). These will help with brain function, functioning of vital organs, and healthy hormones.
Eating little and often will keep your blood sugar stable, helping you achieve maximum long-term vitality.
2. Supplement of essential vitamins and minerals
The ravages of Covid-19 may well deplete you of essential vitamins or minerals – consider supplementing to promote a speedy recovery. Vitamin C will strengthen the immune system; vitamin D helps prevent fatigue and alter feelings of depression or low mood; calcium promotes bone health; and echinacea works wonders for preventing colds at an early stage. Consult your doctor if you need personalized advice.
3. Start gentle and regular physical activity
It might be the last thing you want to do, but once the main symptoms of Covid have subsided, it’s a good idea to start some exercise. Set easy goals and progress gradually. Don’t overdo it, because on rare occasions there can be complex cardiovascular issues for people with “long Covid”.
- Start with a few gentle stretches, twice a day.
- When you feel ready to take on the great outdoors, try to take a walk every day. Ten minutes around the block is enough to start, then gradually increase the time/distance over a few weeks. Cardio activity will benefit your heart and lungs, and the breath of fresh air does wonders for promoting well-being.
- Embark on a simple strength training program to build muscle and speed up metabolism. Fifteen minutes twice a week is a good starting point.
4. Do breathing exercises to help repair your lung function
Many of us view breathing as a standalone function of life, but breathing properly is something that takes practice. Covid can compromise the health of your lungs in the short term, but practicing regular breathing exercises will help restore them to full health. Take a few minutes each day to practice this simple breathing exercise:
- Sit comfortably with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. With your eyes closed, inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your rib cage expand. Slowly count to four as you inhale, then hold your breath for four seconds, then exhale slowly through your nose for four seconds, feeling your chest cavity shrink as you do so. Keep doing this for at least two minutes.
5. Get enough sleep
We all know the benefits of a good night’s sleep – after Covid it’s even more important. Aim for eight hours a night – even if you can’t sleep that long, rest can be just as restorative. Good quality sleep promotes the repair of all cells in the body. It also maximizes brain function, boosts the immune system, and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.
6. Boost your mood with meditation and yoga
A Covid episode will not only cause damage to your physical health, but can also be very debilitating to your mental health. You may feel very weak or lacking in confidence, or experience feelings of anxiety and dread that may last for weeks or longer. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga can help bring your mind and body back into balance. The courses are available for free online. To verify Glo.coman online platform that offers hundreds of online meditation and yoga classes for just £13 a month.
7. Look for the sun
It may seem like a distant dream after a few years of onerous travel restrictions, but there’s nothing like a sunburn to lift your spirits and reset the dial in terms of your health. As travel becomes a reality again, there are hundreds of great deals in remote corners of the world. Throw caution to the wind and indulge yourself. It is one of life’s great investments for a healthy mind and body.