Recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) can take time. The length of time will vary from person to person. The symptoms can also vary, so not everyone is affected in the same way. It's important not to compare yourself to others.
To improve your physical and mental health, it's important you:
- listen to your body
- prioritise sleep
- eat healthily
- balance activity and rest
Things you can do for yourself
To help with your recovery, you should consider:
- setting realistic goals, if needed, with the help of your healthcare professional
- keeping a symptom diary
- having someone to contact if you're worried about your symptoms or need more support
There are lots of sources of advice and support. These include:
- support groups
- online forums and apps
- support from other services, including social care, housing, and employment, and advice about financial support
You can find services near you using Scotland's Service Directory.
Who will be involved in my care?
During your journey, you may see a range of professionals with various specialist skills. They'll help with different aspects of your recovery.
You may be referred for more specialist advice or help with your rehabilitation and recovery. The team at your GP practice will work with you and arrange any referral to the right service in your local health board. This could include:
- occupational therapy
- rehabilitation services
- clinical psychology and psychiatry
Other specialists may be brought in depending on your specific symptoms, for example:
- a dietitian
- an eye specialist
- a speech and language therapist
How will my care be planned?
Your healthcare professional should always talk about your care with you, so you can agree on it together.
Knowing the right questions to ask can make all the difference.
To work out what support you need and make a plan with you about your recovery, your healthcare professional will talk to you about:
- the overall impact of your symptoms on your life
- how your symptoms may change or come and go
- how you might need different levels of support at different times
Your healthcare professional may also talk with you about whether you need further appointments to check your progress and recovery.
If your symptoms change, let your healthcare professional know. It could mean you need to be referred to a specialist or have more tests.
Returning to work
The longer-term effects of coronavirus will be different for everyone. Some people may need time off work. Your return to work will depend on:
- how you're feeling
- the type of job you do
- the level of flexibility offered by your employer
It's important that you work with your employer to manage your return to work. Some people will need a phased return to work following recovery from coronavirus. A phased return means you gradually build up your hours and days at work.
Where available, take advice from your Occupational Health department or talk to your line manager.
When you return to work, you may find yourself feeling more tired. This is normal. During this time, it's important that you try and pace yourself both at work and at home.
Further information about returning to work:
- Society of Occupational Medicine: COVID-19 Return to work guide for recovering workers (PDF, 2.1 MB)
- Working Health Services Scotland
- Acas: COVID-19 advice for employers and employees
- National Wellbeing Hub
Social care support
Social care services are available to help people who need support to live independently, including as a result of a health condition.
This could include support with things like:
- equipment and adaptations to your home
- personal care
- community alarms
- informal supports available within your community
To find out what help you might need, ask your local council's Social Work department for a free assessment of your care needs. This will help find out what your individual care needs are and how they can be met.
Money and caring responsibilities
You may be worried about your finances after having coronavirus. You may have caring responsibilities. There are resources available to help:
Chest Heart & Stroke Advice Line
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland's Advice Line nurses provide confidential advice, support and information to help people living with long COVID, or their family members.
To contact the Advice Line nurses:
- phone 0808 801 0899 (free from landlines and mobiles)
- email email@example.com
- text NURSE to 66777
You may find it helpful to connect with other people affected by long COVID to share experiences.
If you'd like to speak to other people affected by long COVID, you can contact the following peer support groups:
Covid:aid is a national charity dedicated to supporting anyone affected by COVID-19. The charity offers advice, information and support to people living with long COVID which you might find useful. You can access their site here:
17 November 2022
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