Long-Covid and Our Top Tips and Tools for Feeling Better
With so many things still being learned about the relatively new Covid-19 virus and with resources stretched, many people are living with the effects of Long-Covid. This can prove completely debilitating for many, but there are solutions for starting to feel better.
The impact of Long-Covid is a reality for so many people right now. The Office for National Statistics (OMS) has estimated 186,000 people in England are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms persisting for longer than five weeks, with 1 in 10 people experiencing symptoms for 12 weeks or longer. For many, a lack of resources and information around how to start to feel better perpetuates a feeling of helplessness.
What is Long-Covid?
Long-Covid is a term for those who have experienced the symptoms of Covid-19 for more than 4-5 weeks, these include:
Shortness of breath
Problems with memory and concentration
Pins and needles
Anxiety and depression
Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
What can be done to help?
Here are some key tools and tips:
Harnessing the Mind-Body Connection is a hugely powerful method of rewiring your neurology to start to break out of the cycle of illness and move on to wellness. Here are three ways in which you can start to improve how you feel:
1. Sending your brain the right messages – driving thoughts into pathways that improve health is important, but takes a little practice:
Become more aware of your words and language – words drive your neurology, so when you talk about your health to others, and especially to yourself, think about the words you are using. Replacing phrases with negative words will help like “I feel so ill, my cough is awful, etc”. Even sentences about improvement, such as “I’m not in too much pain today” or “I’m not as short of breath as I felt yesterday” will further negatively affect your health. Instead, replace problems and symptoms words with positive ones, such as “I’m feeling much better today” or “My breathing has much improved today”.
2. Dealing with ‘a stress response’ effectively – long-term stress supresses your immune system. There are so many techniques that help to reduce stress, including meditation, mindfulness, listening to relaxation audios, but actually the simplest thing is just to spend a few minutes really immersing yourself in a deeply relaxing memory – research suggests this is an incredibly powerful way of calming your body. If you need help with this then we have a range of easily accessible audio programmes to help.
3. Taking care of your ‘State’ – ask yourself, is the state of mind you are in useful? A lot of the time we can answer ‘no’ to this. Take our quick exercise and think about this question – ‘During the last month, what percentage of the time have I been in a great/optimal state where you feel life is good?’ This is a good way of recognising unhelpful thought patterns and getting yourself in a better state of mind. You can also:
Notice your thoughts – this will help you recognise when you are heading into a less than useful state, which is an excellent first step to making change.
Concentrate on things you have control over – practice focusing on the things you have an influence over, where you can make a difference. This increases our deep sense of empowerment, self-trust and hopefulness – all factors that will boost your health.
Be kind to yourself – let go of feeling bad, or being cross with yourself about being ill, being a burden, or not there for your loved ones. Instead, think about what those who love you would say to you in those times.
Longer term solutions can be meditation (visit our website for a range of helpful resources or YouTube channel for a range of relaxation films) and doing something pleasurable such as dancing and getting out into nature can also hugely help.
All our tips require persistence, so keep practicing!
Do watch this week’s Facebook Live session where we share further options for Long-Covid symptoms. You can also find out more about our programme the Lightning Process and how it will help to rewire your neurology in our recent blog and an introduction by Phil Parker, creator of the Process.
Finally, watch Rosa’s journey from Long-Covid to wellness via the Lightning Process…