Relaxation is an important part of energy conservation. It can help you
to improve energy, quality of your life, reduce pain and symptoms of
the high alert fight or flight response. Relaxation can help the body to
reset the autonomic nervous system. Below is a technique you can try
that other people with Long Covid have found helpful.

Grounding technique
Take slow gentle breaths and ask yourself:

1. What are five things I can see?
2. What are four things I can feel?
3. What are three things I can hear?
4. What are two things I can smell?
5. What is one thing I can taste?

Think of the answers slowly to yourself, one sense at a time and spend
at least ten seconds focussing on each one.
You may focus on one of these five questions rather than do all five.
There are several different relaxation techniques you can try; different
people prefer different techniques. You can search on the internet to
explore different strategies.

• Progressive muscle relaxation
• Meditation (useful free apps include headspace, Calm, Insight Timer)
• Mindfulness
• Guided imagery or visualisation
• Tai Chi
• Lying or seated Yoga
• Music

Thinking patterns and symptons

It is important to remember that your symptoms are a normal part of your recovery following COVID-19.
Worrying and thinking about your symptoms can often make them worse. This is partly due to paying attention to something will magnify or increase it.
If you focus on your breathing or heart rate for a couple of minutes you will feel the sensations more. This is the same with all Long Covid symptoms. For example, if you focus on headaches, you will likely get more headaches, if you focus on poor sleep you will likely struggle to sleep and if you focus on struggling to concentrate, concentration will become increasingly difficult.
Before you experienced COVID-19 you may have already had some of these symptoms, therefore treat them in the same way you would have done before. We do not mean to ignore your symptoms, and you should still discuss any ongoing symptoms with your medical team as they may be able to offer treatment to help with any symptoms felt.
During your recovery you will have good and bad days. This is normal and it is important not to dwell on the negative. Throughout your rehabilitation try to be kind to yourself, try to think what advice you might give to a friend rather than being too critical of yourself.

Video links