According to the CDC, it’s recommended to wear a mask and social distance (staying 6 feet apart from others) to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, sometimes even following CDC guidelines can’t prevent you from getting sick.

Long Covid: 5 Ways to Make It Easier to Cope and Recover

While some people recover from COVID-19 after a few weeks, others continue to experience symptoms of what’s become known as “long Covid.” These symptoms can have a big impact on your life, and activities you used to be able to do can leave you fatigued and even winded. Here are a few tips you can use to help make coping and recovering a little bit easier.

1. Take Things Slowly

While you may be tempted to get back into your regular activities, now isn’t the time to hustle. Instead, take things slow and gradually take on the activities you used to do. Things like exercise can be especially tricky. Take a break from long-term demanding projects and incorporate low-intensity exercises such as stretching and walking.

2. Get Vaccinated

You may wonder if getting vaccinated is necessary if you’ve already had COVID-19 and are now experiencing long-Covid symptoms. Fortunately, the vaccine has been shown to help reduce the severity of long-Covid symptoms. Compared to the flu vaccine’s effectiveness, which ranges between 60% and 90% depending on the flu season, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective in preventing severe illness with COVID-19 in people aged 16 and older, according to Mayo Clinic. If you haven’t been vaccinated or boosted, now may be the time to do so.

3. Ask for Help

If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the value of leaning on our loved ones during difficult times. If long-Covid symptoms leave you tired, stressed, and overwhelmed, asking for help is okay. You can also get home care services to manage your daily activities to help you conserve energy. Many people rely on such services when life and illness become demanding. According to Ankota, there are 15 million home care patients every year, and while you may think home care is for the elderly, younger people recovering from a rough illness like COVID-19 can benefit from it, too.

4. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is not a luxury for a select few. It’s a necessity for everyone’s well-being. Prioritize self-care practices that don’t require you to expend a lot of energy. For example, incorporate nutritious food into your diet and stay hydrated. Make sure you get a full night’s worth of sleep, and avoid doom-scrolling on your phone. You can also keep a journal to record your mental health state.

5. Connect With Others

When you’re low on energy, it can feel like you can’t participate in certain social activities like going out with friends. However, you can still connect with others even when you don’t feel 100%. Consider having friends or family over to your house or have food delivered to your home for a movie night. You can also video chat with family to stay up-to-date on what’s going on.

Long-Covid can be an exhausting endeavor. Using the tips above, you can rest assured that you’re doing what you can to stay connected, stay rested, and recover.