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Woman sleeping on a pile of books. Post-COVID fatigue and burnout

The Road to Recovery: Post-COVID Fatigue and Burnout

November 24, 20234 min read

I'm so tired, even my tiredness is tired.”

It’s taken over three and half years, but COVID has finally caught up with me this month.

The last 10 days has been a challenging time, both physically and emotionally. It’s been a struggle to keep on top of everyday tasks, and my usual levels of energy and enthusiasm have left the building. Feeling drained and exhausted is to be expected though as my immune system works overtime to neutralise the virus that’s currently causing chaos.

As I focus on the road to recovery, I can't help but be reminded of another period of my life when I felt similarly depleted: my experience with burnout 20 years ago. At the time, I was working long hours in a demanding job, and I had let my personal needs fall by the wayside. I was constantly stressed and overwhelmed, and my physical and mental health began to suffer as a result.

The symptoms of post-COVID fatigue and burnout are similar in many ways. Both include fatigue, muscle aches, difficulty concentrating, and emotional problems. In both cases, it’s also important to prioritise rest, nourishment and self-care in order to make a full recovery.

Below I share some simple self-care tips that can be helpful in recovering from fatigue, whether you are recovering from COVID-19, burnout, or another chronic illness. I hope they prove useful.

Prioritise sleep

I can’t emphasise strongly enough the importance of sleep. Even in good health adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. When you’re recovering from illness or feeling stressed, you’re likely to need even more sleep.

Eat a healthy diet

It’s easy to reach for comfort food when you’re feeling exhausted but this will only prolong the problem. Eating nutritious foods will give your body the nutrients and energy it needs to heal. Eat as many vegetables, of all different colours, as you possibly can. Colourful veggies help to provide vital protective compounds and support your immune system.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!

Move your body

When you’re feeling exhausted exercise might be the last thing on your mind but gentle movement can help to improve your energy levels and mood. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you feel stronger.

Manage stress

Stress is a major culprit in fatigue it can be a catalyst for fatigue and stress can make fatigue worse. This means finding healthy ways to manage stress is as vital to your recovery as sleep, nourishment and movement. Breathing techniques, meditation and spending time in nature are all great ways to manage stress.

Positive Mindset

There is a growing body of evidence to support the healing power of the mind so don’t overlook this valuable asset to your recovery. Focus on your recovery not your symptoms. The more you’re able to keep a positive outcome in your mind the easier it will be for your body to create that outcome for you.

Ask for help

Please don’t struggle on alone if you don’t have to. You’ll find that most people genuinely want to offer support and be of service so if you receive offers of help, accept them graciously.

Don’t hold back from reaching out to friends, family, or professionals for help when you need it.

How My Recovery From COVID-19 Reminded Me of My Recovery From Burnout

Sometimes in the busy-ness of life it can be easy to forget, but my experience with COVID-19 has been a very firm reminder of the importance of self-care, being kind to myself and listening to my body.

Just like the clients I support on their recovery, I also needed to rest, eat healthy foods, and avoid stress so that’s exactly what I did.

These same principles are just as important when recovering from burnout. In fact, many of the self-care tips I’ve used in my recovery from COVID-19 are the same ones I used to recover from burnout 20 years ago.

The Road to Recovery

If you are struggling with fatigue, whether from COVID-19, burnout, or another chronic illness, please be patient with yourself. Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

The road to recovery isn’t always easy, but it is important to remember that you’re not alone.

Recovery also takes time. Don't get discouraged if you don't feel better right away and don't be afraid to reach out for help. You may find my free e-book helpful as a starting point, click the image below this post to access your copy.

I believe that everyone has the power to heal.

With time, self-care, and support, you’ll recover and feel better too.

If you’d like to discover how you can better support your body in a gentle and natural way with simple food, lifestyle and mindset changes, let’s talk!

Please click here to drop me a message so we can arrange a no obligation chat.

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Based in Northamptonshire. Supporting clients across the UK and Europe.