Recovering From a Long-Term Illness the Right Way
Being ill for a prolonged period is never enjoyable. It’s something more and more people have experienced recently, with Covid having taken a significant impact on people whose systems just weren’t ready for a novel virus. While some people were able to see the virus off pretty confidently, for others it was a condition that wiped them out initially and then had a long tail, leaving them unwell in the long term. Aside from Covid, there are of course many other illnesses that can strike and leave you struggling to get back to yourself. Once the illness itself is out of your system, many of us find that the recovery is more or less just beginning.
It’s natural, as you recover from an illness, to want to make up for lost time. Once you get the all-clear that the primary cause of your ill health has been eliminated from your system, you are entitled to believe that recovery is a matter of course. That’s a risky way to see it; recovery is a process in and of itself, and there are right and wrong ways to do it. As we will see, approaching it the right way won’t just see you get better sooner; it will allow you to get better in a more complete way.
Don’t try to run before you can walk
This is as close as you’re likely to get to a literal example of that saying: when you first begin to recover from a long-term illness, you’re going to need to take care you don’t exceed your energy reserves. They will have been depleted by the illness, and you won’t be able to go straight back to what you had been doing. You’ll need to eat well, exercise only as much as you comfortably can, drink enough water, and rely on added boosts such as IV therapy services in order to build your strength back up. This isn’t just inspirational “be kind to yourself” advice; the reality is that if you try to do too much too soon, you can relapse and be on the shelf for longer.
Do what you used to do in reduced amounts
If, before you fell ill, you used to run five miles a day, you shouldn’t return to running that far immediately and even when you have built back up to it, you shouldn’t expect to be hitting the times you had been. Equally, if you used to work twelve-hour days, that’s out of the question when recovering from illness. Build back up ten percent at a time: run a half-mile, work for a period of between an hour or two to begin with, and add on more as you feel capable. Not only will it help you ease back in, it will also make the step up easier. Your capacity for effort will increase as you do more, but going pedal to the metal from the beginning will only delay your recovery.
Ensure you get enough sleep
There is one thing you should ensure you do more of as you try to regain what you had before the illness. Sleep is of incredible importance to any recovery. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t burn the candle at both ends; if you want to get up early, you’ll need to bed down early and practice good sleep hygiene. If you want to stay up later, which is understandable when you have spent so long unable to enjoy a full day, you will have to lie in longer in the morning. It’s hard to get enough sleep at the best of times, but when you’re just recovering from illness, you’ll need to prioritize rest, and there’s no shame in sleeping for longer than usual in order to recover sooner.