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Managing Fatigue

Many people with Long COVID struggle with symptoms of fatigue.  This can be normal after being unwell with a virus or lung condition, but when it persists for a longer period it can impact significantly upon quality of life and affect your ability to carry out daily activities.

Feeling nervous, anxious or frightened are also common feelings associated with breathlessness and fatigue.

What can you do to help yourself?

When managing your energy levels, the most important thing to remember is not to do too much and wear yourself out completely. These techniques can help to manage your energy levels.

Prioritise: Make a list of things you’d like to achieve over the day/week. List them in order of importance to you.  Make sure you include showering, dressing and eating as these all use energy too.

For your list, ask yourself:

  • What needs to be done?                    
  • What is important for me to do myself?
  • Can I ask someone else to help? 
  • Who can I ask for help?

Use a week planner with time slots per day and over the week to schedule these activities. Equally important are rest and relaxation. This is important to avoid doing too much or too little. A Long COVID activity and rest log can be useful to identify trends and patterns in your symptoms.


Rushing to complete tasks so that you can return to resting is counterproductive. Slowing down and pacing yourself uses less energy so you will be able to be more active for a longer amount of time. This applies when moving, speaking and eating.

Make your activities less demanding

Making activities easier saves energy whilst maintaining independence such as re-arranging your environment to have items within reach, between shoulder and hip height, and sitting down to complete tasks.

Further information

Guides to support people to manage post-viral fatigue and conserve energy to support people to manage post-viral fatigue and conserve their energy as they recover from COVID-19 are available on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website. These guides are endorsed by the Intensive Care Society.