June 21, 2021 ~ The Guardian ~ by Fiona Lowenstein
I rested my way to recovery from long Covid. I urge others to do the same
Rest and pacing, rather than graded exercise, seem the most effective treatments to prescribe widely to long Covid patients
Within a few days of being discharged from the hospital in March last year, it was clear I was not improving in any sort of recognizable way. My Covid symptoms morphed, and any attempt to push through the fatigue, migraines and flu-like symptoms failed, often exacerbating their intensity. By late March, one thing became clear: Covid-19 was not going away – for me, or for many of the people I knew – and the road to recovery that lay ahead would be a marathon, not a sprint. I would have to pace myself accordingly.
I devised a daily schedule. I’d sleep as much as possible, and allow myself hours to complete my morning routine. Activities like making breakfast or brushing my teeth often had to be done while seated, with time allotted for rest afterward. This slow morning routine allowed me a few hours of work at my computer each afternoon, which I usually had to cease by 3 or 4pm when I began to feel the beginnings of a “crash”. I’d then spend the rest of the evening napping or watching television, or – during periods of intense light and sound sensitivity, which typically followed afternoons when I did on-air interviews or more exhausting tasks – lying still in darkness.