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Take care of you

How to manage Covid 19 physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually

Here are my top tips:

Most important - look after yourself: Make sure you and your wellbeing are the most important thing on your mind. It’s a frightening time and there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Emotions are high and everyone will have an opinion, your strategy should be to consider your own wellbeing and get better as quickly as possible. If necessary, switch off from mainstream and social media as often as possible.

Basic needs: Make sure you are comfortable, warm enough, eat when hungry and drink plenty of fluids, hot drinks can help with the coughing, cool (but not cold) drinks to reduce temperature and quench thirst. If possible, have fresh fruit and veg. Take paracetamol at regular intervals and not just when needed. Have someone who cares, if you’re alone, have a friend call regularly to make sure you are ok. Make sure you have enough of what you need so you don’t stress. You don’t need to get dressed (or even put a bra on!) but it can make you feel better if you do.

Keep busy: Preferably do something creative when you feel like it, you will have peaks and troughs. When tired - sleep or rest, watch box sets, or crappy movies that don’t take any thinking about. Try not to get bored, that’s when you visit Dr Google or have a playdate on Facebook pages will be full of keyboard medics who actually know sod all, are probably as scared as you are and often looking for a fight.

Logistics: Make sure you consider who needs to know if you need to go into hospital, do you have someone to look after pets, write down your family/emergency contact details etc., it’s an awful thought, but having the information to hand is strangely reassuring.

Take care of you: You are the most important person at this time, make sure you have plenty of telephone or email contact with loved ones and friends. Ask for people to think of you and send hugs, it’s not selfish, when we can’t hug in real life, a virtual one comes a close second.

Talk about it: tell people how you feel, if you’re scared or angry, say so. Don’t blame yourself or others, it’s not good for your emotional or mental wellbeing. Try to look positively forward. Make sure at this point you are communicating your feelings, not your thoughts, they are very different and come from a different place.

Listen to your Intuition: If something feels right, do it, don’t question it. If you think you need help, ask for it. Go with your own body and listen to what it is telling you.

Goal: Your goal is not to be 100% better, it is to look after yourself, to feel better day-on-day and have more peaks than troughs, don’t get angry if it takes some time to get back to normal.

Things that can help along the way:

Sleep when needed - it’s the best medicine. If breathing is difficult try to sleep propped up or on your front. Any suggestion that your breathing gets difficult or too shallow, call 111 or 999 in an emergency.

  • Keep stimulated, watch TV, read a book if you can or play a game on your tablet or phone - try not to dwell on the virus itself and concentrate on getting better.

  • Cry when needed - you will and it’s fine.

  • Keep in touch with loved ones - they will be worried, but if they don’t call, they may just not want to disturb you - drop them a text or facetime often, just to let them know you’re ok (or not - that’s ok too!).

  • Eat well, drink plenty of fluid, in my experience - alcohol is not good, not only does it make breathing more difficult, but it increases anxiety, many symptoms of which will exacerbate palpitations and shallow breathing. Try to take in full deep breaths when you remember, this will also help with anxiety and is calming. Meditation is great, breathe deep and relax as often as you can - try and do some deep breathing first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you have insomnia, try not to go on your phone, concentrate on your breathing and try to relax.

  • Hot baths are great, you will feel cleaner and more relaxed, get into clean pyjamas or comfortable clothes as often as possible.

  • Steam inhalation with Vicks or eucalyptus oil will help with shortness of breath, just don’t breathe too deeply.

  • Don’t try to do too much, don’t beat yourself up about being tired or weak, if you don’t feel up to doing anything, do nothing. It’s ok.

  • Try not to worry about other things whilst sick, finances, relationships, family worries all take away from your getting better strategy. They will still be there once you are stronger.

I hope this helps in some way, please get in touch if you need any further advice or if you would like to know more about using these strategies in your everyday life, for your business or for planning events.

PLEASE NOTE: I was sick early March 2020 - I was not tested as there were no tests available at that time, but had had all the symptoms of the virus and the doctor believes I had it. I now have some residual long Covid after suffering viral pleurisy for several months afterwards.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

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