5 Tips to improve symptoms of Long COVIDNov 24, 2022
Tips to improve your health
This blog post is associated with a free assessment designed to help you figure out the probability you have Long COVID.
To get the most out of this blog post, please do the assessment before reading further.
The recommendations below are some of the most effective strategies reported by people with Long COVID in my medical practice and taking my Pathways To Improvement online self-study course.
NOTE - This is general health information, not health advice. Everyone is different. Please consult with your healthcare professional before implementing any new strategies.
1. Paying attention to your body
In my 22 years of practice dedicated to complex, chronic diseases, people who take time to observe and chart their symptoms make the best decisions when it comes to choosing which self-management strategies to try.
- You can use the symptom charts from my manual Let Your Light Shine Through
- You can search for charts online
- You can use a wearable tracker like a Fitbit, Oura ring, or an Apple watch
But you don’t need a fancy chart or App. You can take a piece of paper (ideally in a notebook so you don’t lose it), choose the symptom area you are most interested in learning about and start writing down what you notice every day.
After observing one aspect of your health for two weeks, you are likely to notice patterns – what makes the symptom better or worse. This allows you to form ideas about what interventions might help you.
2. Improving sleep
You don’t need to be a doctor to know that good quality sleep including sufficient deep sleep and REM sleep will help you feel and function better during the day. In my Pathways to Improvement course and in the Single session Sleep module, I teach cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBTi) strategies. These have been shown effective in people with many conditions including ME/CFS and FM.
Some tips include:
- Waking up at the same time every day.
- Getting outside first thing in the morning exposing your eyes to blue light.
- Getting out of bed if you are not sleeping.
- Having a daily practice to calm the nervous system.
In my 22+ years of practice dedicated to people with chronic pain and fatigue diagnoses, pacing is universally mentioned as the most helpful self-management tool.
In brief, pacing means accommodating your daily activities to your energy level so that you avoid lengthy, discouraging crashes.
Effective strategies include:
- Chunking: breaking activities into short chunks and stopping before the early warning signs of a crash begin.
- Switching from one type of activity to another. For example, switching from a physical activity to a cognitive activity can help you get more done without crashing.
- Preemptive resting before more taxing activities and then recovery rests afterwards often help.
Many different diets can be helpful, but there are so many choices that people get very confused trying to figure out whether diet will help their health and if so which one to try.
Here are some suggestions from my experience
- Eating a diverse, fresh food, largely plant-based, multi-colored, high-fiber, organic diet helps many people feel and function better.
- If you have problems with weight, metabolic syndrome, or food cravings, using a continuous tissue glucose monitor will teach you how your individual body processes the food you eat.
- Since we are all different, experimenting to find which diet is best for you is worth the effort.
How we think about ourselves, our lives, and our health has powerful biological effects. People who are successful in improving their health have certain things in common. They:
- Believe that improvement is possible.
- Work to emotionally accept their circumstances no matter how dire.
- Spend time each day thinking about and doing activities which elevate mood.
Good luck with these tips and please let me know how they are working for you.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can take charge of your own health without using medications or expensive treatments click below for information on my Pathways to Improvement self-study online course.