Tested positive for COVID? Be calm with yourself – try not to rush back to work or exercise

With COVID isolation rules largely gone, some people are feeling pressured to rush to work, school or other activities after testing positive for COVID.

If your symptoms are mild, you may be tempted to continue (remotely) working through the infection, quickly returning to your regular exercise program so as not to lose shape.

But while we may be used to recovering quickly after other viruses, we need to be more careful with COVID. Aside from the risk of transmission, excessive stress can exacerbate and prolong COVID symptoms.

Pushing too hard can set you back

Clinical guidelines We recommend Get enough rest when you are diagnosed with COVID. Pushing yourself too hard too soon while recovering from an initial COVID infection can set back your progress.

While about four out of five people with COVID experience mild illness and recover within a monthFor others, it may take up to a few months or even longer.

When people have symptoms such as fatigue and/or shortness of breath for three months or longer, it is called Long COVID. Up to 89% of people who have had a prolonged experience with COVID Feeling of malaise after exertionExcessive physical or mental activity exacerbates symptoms such as fatigue and causes new symptoms such as pain and anxiety.

So you have tested positive for COVID. How do you know if you are well enough to return to your normal routine?

Here are five tips:

1) Take your time

If you’re feeling sick, use your paid vacation entitlement, if you have it, even if it’s just for a day or two to relax and unwind.

While it may be tempting to return to work quickly after COVID, avoid going to the workplace for at least seven days if you work in High risk situation such as health, disability and aged care. For other workers, it’s a good idea to even self-isolate Symptoms resolve.

Read more:
How should we deal with COVID without rules? Continue testing and stay home when you test positive

If you’re feeling exhausted but want to get back to work, you may be able to start with a half day, or work a few hours, and then build up to your usual workload.

2) Speed, planning and prioritization

Speed, planning and prioritization Important while you’re still experiencing symptoms of COVID:

  • Organize yourself by breaking down activities into smaller, more manageable tasks and resting in between

  • Plan your activities in advance

  • Prioritize what you need to do over what you want to do.

Two women sitting on a bench, drinking water
If you are recovering from COVID, pace yourself.
Pexels/Sarah Chai

If you are experiencing fatigue while recovering from COVID, you can be referred to one Occupational therapist Or a physical therapist can offer more strategies for dealing with these symptoms.

3) Wait until symptoms disappear for 7 days to exercise

You may feel ready to start exercising after your symptoms resolve, but to avoid stress, it is important to wait until you have at least cleared up any symptoms of COVID. seven days.

Start with light-intensity exercise – where you can breathe easy, hold a conversation and feel like you can keep active for hours – 10-15 minutes to start with.

Only exercise again if you feel recovered from the previous day’s exercise, without new or worsening symptoms such as fatigue and pain.

Read more:
Getting back into shape after COVID can be difficult. Here are 5 things to keep in mind before you start exercising again

4) Ask for help

If you are experiencing more serious symptoms of COVID, consider pulling your friends and family. They may be entitled to a caregiver’s paid vacation or up to two days Unpaid leave for the caregiver For casual workers if they need to care for someone with COVID.

If you are struggling to manage your health and other financial stresses, contact your financial institution to discuss payment plans.

If you work in a high-risk environment such as health, disability, and aged care, you may also be entitled to this Additional government support To help you during the time when you cannot work due to COVID.

Man sitting at kitchen table, face to face
Ask family and friends for help if you are struggling.
Pixels/Andrew Neil

5) Know when to see your healthcare provider

If you are over 70 (or over 50 with additional risk, or you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and over 30 with additional risk), talk to your doctor about Antiviral drugs Once you have a positive COVID test result. Antivirals lower your chance of getting severe COVID that would require hospitalization, and are best taken within five days of diagnosis.

If you are managing COVID at home, use a Symptoms checker To see if you need medical advice for your condition.

Read more:
6 steps to making a COVID plan, before you get sick

If you have persistent symptoms after the initial infection with COVID, make an appointment with your doctor Watch your condition and referring you to other health professionals, when appropriate, to help manage your symptoms.

Although there are currently no medications to treat COVID symptoms such as fatigue, exercise-based health professionals such as physical therapists can set up and progress an exercise program accordingly to reduce it. fatigue It helps with shortness of breath.

Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said “Good health is true wealth”, so be kind to yourself when you are recovering from COVID.

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