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Recovery Overview

Long COVID symptoms can fluctuate day by day or week by week. No one experience is the same and people can have different symptoms which can impact them to different degrees. The aim of Post- COVID rehab is to minimise the likelihood of severe relapses of symptoms while building up strength. Your Post-COVID team will help you to understand the approach that is best for you and your circumstances. Generally, the recovery phase you are in can benefit from different approaches.

The ‘early phase’ or ‘relapse phase’

This is when symptoms are very difficult. There may be little improvement in symptoms day to day and it can feel like symptoms are worsening. Sometimes relapses can occur after periods of stress, high physical demands, or sickness.

It can be helpful to focus on symptom control. This will look different for each individual but generally we would recommend:

  • Prioritise essential tasks rather than feeling you have to accomplish everything.
  • Identify people who may be able to help you if needed.
  • Try breaking up complex tasks in to stages.
  • Spend some energy on things you enjoy to help improve your quality of life.
  • This is a difficult time for people and it can be helpful to share how you’re feeling.
  • Activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, short walks can be helpful. See the fatigue information for more detailed advice.
  • Some people find it helpful to keep a symptom diary to they can identify activities that push them too far.

The improving phase

This is when symptoms start to feel more stable. You may still be experiencing symptoms like fatigue, but it is more manageable than before.You may be able to increase hours of work, do more physical activity or even introduce exercise. The important thing is to make slow changes. If your symptoms are stable, try an increase in activity and see how you feel for the next couple of days. If symptoms remain stable, you can continue to progress slowly as you feel able. If there is an increase in symptoms, step back down to the stable level. Find the right level of activity for you. This recovery process can take some time. If you need to scale back, do.

Useful additional leaflets include:

  • Fatigue management
  • Return to exercise
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Autonomic symptoms

Page last updated: 29 May 2024

Review due: 31 October 2025