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Navigating the Road to Long Covid Recovery: Tips and Strategies for Finding Hope



Today is the perfect opportunity to share my health struggles over the last four years in hope that it might help others who are in a similar situation.


Catching the Virus


I've had chronic fatigue on and off since March 2020, when I first contracted covid-19. I initially got better after 10 months.


After a reinfection in April 2022, however, things went downhill again and in addition to chronic fatigue I began to experience cognitive, pain and mobility issues, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, palpatations and insomnia.


And now, four years later, having seen every relevant specialist on the NHS, I've finally been diagnosed with long covid or post-covid syndrome.


For those of you who know about post viral syndrome or ME/CFS you will understand the debilitating and unpredictable nature of this condition.


Fatigue however, is only one aspect of it, as long covid manifests in over 200 different symptoms, which effect every system in the body with each person's symptoms being unique to them. There's no one size fits all.


So if you've been suffering with continous and debilitating symptoms since contracting covid-19, I would highly recommend speaking to your GP about a referral.


Hope


There's lots more research into this condition now, and there are a number of support services, groups and paths to follow in order to understand and heal from this condition.


I'm currently undertaking an amygdala brain retraining programme to learn how to regulate the nervous system:



This course on the NHS to support long-term health conditions:



These books have provided a wealth of information:


The Long Covid Handbook - Gez Medinger & Professor Danny Altman


Breaking Free from Chronic Fatigue & Long Covid Symptoms - Jan Rothney


Suzy Bolt is a yoga teacher, who's been helping people recover from long covid since 2020. She runs courses and has a community on Facebook:



The Future


I will report back once I'm further along on my healing journey, but for now I will keep this short, as I've been pushing through for too long.


A friend with fybromyalgia and chronic fatigue told me years ago, that if I continued the way I was going, I could end up with the same condition, and she was right.


The only true way to prevent illness is to listen to your body and mind. They are always speaking to you...the very thing I've been teaching for over decade, but only now am I listening.


Don't do what I did and wait until you're forced to slow down. Look after yourself and put yourself first. It's your choice, no one else is going to make it for you.


Remember, you are as important as the next person, so take care of yourself and let tomorrow be the first day of the rest of your life.


I'll leave you with this poem by Layla Aylin that decribes it so beautifully:


How brave you are for slowing down. For not finishing that to-do list.


How courageous you are for not crossing that finish line, because your body said “enough.”


How fearless you are for choosing the quiet of your soul over those voices driving you always towards more.


How bold, how rebellious - you, out there, honouring your own natural rhythm, going against the culture’s breakneck speed.


We tend to make heroes of those hungry with ambition, relentlessly doing, producing always more.


We applaud those who refuse to stop or rest. Who push themselves so hard in the name of achievement, that they sacrifice their body and soul and heart in the process.


We celebrate those who are ill or ageing but never show it, never slow down, never reveal a moment of vulnerability.


This drivenness can be heroic, at times. It can be necessary for our survival or the greater good.


But, I want to make heroes of those who slow down.


I want to make heroes of those who listen to their bodies, who do not strive for more than what the soul truly needs.


I want to make heroes of those who do not force or push, but surrender to each moment as it opens.


I want to applaud those who may not be driven towards success as we know it, but instead are nurturing something deep and subtle and needed.


I want to celebrate those brave enough to cease all doing, even for a second, and sit with the ache in their hearts. A task many find harder than summiting the highest peak.


I want to make heroes of those who honour their limitations. Who are unable to keep up with the busy-ness of our times, yet show up to each profound, necessary moment.


It is truly an act of courage and rebellion to do any such thing, in a world demanding you resist your own self, your own rhythm, your own soul.


And the paradox is, that often when we cease our incessant doing, even for a minute, and listen to that quiet voice within, we discover what it is we absolutely must do, and what instead can fall away.


We finally hear the call towards what serves our soul, and what then will serve the world. Nothing more, nothing less.


A hero is simply someone brave.


So come, be softly brave.


Be a new, quieter kind of hero.


Few may applaud, it’s true, but your soul certainly will.


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