How Do You Fight Fatigue From COVID-19
You can fight COVID-19 fatigue by getting plenty of rest, practicing good sleep hygiene, napping when needed, staying hydrated, and eating a balanced diet

Fatigue can last for weeks or months after COVID-19 infection, making it hard to function or focus. You can fight COVID-19 fatigue by:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Napping when needed
  • Staying hydrated
  • Eating a balanced diet

What can I eat to fight COVID-19 fatigue?

If you have not lost your appetite during or after COVID-19 infection, it is important to avoid high-fat, salty, and sugary foods and eat healthy meals with a balance of: 

  • Protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, or nuts
  • Dairy, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Whole grains
  • Fruit and vegetables

If you have a reduced appetite, the following guidelines can help:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently (three smaller meals and snacks each day)
  • Sit in an upright, comfortable position while eating
  • Eat at a slower pace to allow time for digestion
  • Get some fresh air before eating a meal to help increase your appetite

How to conserve your energy when dealing with COVID-19 fatigue

Conserving your energy is an important aspect of recovering from COVID-19 fatigue. Your energy levels may fluctuate on an hourly or daily basis, so go slowly:

  • Start with activities you are familiar with and feel comfortable to do.
  • After eating, wait an hour or more before exercising.
  • Take short walks or perform small tasks, then rest. 
  • Do a little more each day but avoid overdoing it.
  • Organize your home to keep the most used items accessible.

Other tips when it comes to easing back into your daily routine include the following:

  • Set realistic goals: Initially, even walking may be difficult due to shortness of breath. Set realistic goals, such as walking to the bathroom, then gradually increase the distance.
  • Plan tasks and chores: Plan your day to make sure you won’t have to climb stairs or lift anything heavy. Ask for help from your family members to get chores done.
  • Get up slowly: If you have spent long hours in your bed, your blood pressure may fluctuate when you get up too quickly. Move slowly to avoid getting dizzy and losing your balance. 

What are associated symptoms of COVID-19 fatigue?

Depending on the severity of the infection, COVID-19 fatigue may be accompanied by:

  • Chronic sleepiness
  • Sore or achy muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slow reflexes
  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Poor hand-to-eye coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced immune system function
  • Blurry vision
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Low motivation

When should I see a doctor about COVID-19 fatigue?

If your fatigue lasts for more than 2-3 weeks, talk to your physician. You should also see your doctor if you notice the following:

  • Worsening fatigue
  • Symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks
  • New symptoms

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Medically Reviewed on 4/20/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

WebMD. What Is COVID-19 Fatigue?

Sharma P, Bharti S, Garg I. Post COVID fatigue: Can we really ignore it?. Indian J Tuberc. 2022;69(2):238-241.