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Navigating the Road to Recovery: Lifestyle Factors for Managing Long COVID

Mar 6, 2024

By Zara Dureno, BA, MOT

Introduction

Long COVID, a complex and lingering condition following the acute phase of COVID-19, has left many individuals grappling with a range of symptoms affecting various aspects of their health. While medical interventions are essential, incorporating lifestyle factors into a comprehensive management plan can play a pivotal role in supporting recovery. In this blog post, we explore key lifestyle factors that can contribute to managing long COVID and promoting overall well-being.

1. Prioritize Rest and Sleep

Quality rest and sufficient sleep are foundational pillars for recovery. Long COVID often brings about fatigue and disrupted sleep patterns. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques can contribute to improved sleep quality, allowing the body to regenerate and heal.

2. Balanced Nutrition

Nutrient-dense, balanced meals are crucial for supporting the immune system and overall health. Consider incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet. Adequate hydration is also essential for combating dehydration, a common issue in long COVID, and supporting various bodily functions.

3. Gradual Physical Activity

Physical activity, when approached gradually and with guidance from healthcare professionals, can aid in recovery. Start with low-impact activities like walking or gentle stretching and gradually increase intensity based on individual tolerance. Listening to your body and avoiding overexertion is key to preventing setbacks.

4. Stress Management

Chronic stress can exacerbate symptoms of long COVID. Implementing stress-management techniques, such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and relaxation practices, can contribute to emotional well-being. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation is crucial for maintaining a positive mindset throughout the recovery journey.

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5. Social Connection and Support

Long COVID can be isolating, both physically and emotionally. Prioritize social connections with friends, family, or support groups to combat feelings of loneliness. Sharing experiences and receiving support from others who understand the challenges can be uplifting and provide a sense of community.

6. Mental and Cognitive Health

Cognitive symptoms, often referred to as “brain fog,” are common in long COVID. Engage in activities that stimulate cognitive function, such as puzzles, reading, or creative pursuits. Taking breaks when needed and practicing mindfulness can also help manage cognitive challenges.

7. Collaborate with Healthcare Professionals

Effective management of long COVID requires a collaborative approach with healthcare professionals. Regular communication with your healthcare team ensures that your treatment plan is adjusted based on your evolving needs. Stay informed about the latest research and treatment options to make well-informed decisions about your health. At the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic, we have a team of amazing clinicians who are trained in all things brain health and can help facilitate your recovery.

8. Promising technologies

The use of technologies like the Ammortal Chamber (which combines light and sound therapy with hydrogen) and neurofeedback (which trains your brain) can also make a big difference in recovery.

Conclusion

Managing long COVID is a multifaceted journey that involves addressing physical, emotional, and lifestyle aspects. By incorporating these lifestyle factors into your daily routine, you can create a supportive environment for recovery. Remember that progress may be gradual, and tailoring these strategies to your individual needs is essential. Empower yourself with the knowledge that small, consistent lifestyle changes can contribute significantly to the path of healing and restoration.

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