Fatigue is a normal part of recovering from COVID-19. It can range in severity from mild to severe. Fatigue is the medical term used to describe the feeling of overall tiredness or lack of energy. It isn’t the same as simply feeling sleepy or drowsy. If you are fatigued, you generally have no motivation and no energy. Being tired or sleepy may be a symptom of fatigue, but it’s not the same thing.
Fatigue is likely to continue for some time after the infection has cleared.
Fatigue can make you sleep more, feel unsteady on your feet, make standing for long periods difficult, as well as affecting your mood, thinking, memory and ability to concentrate. You may also experience worsening of your fatigue symptoms due to Post Exertional Malaise, also known as Post Exertional Symptom Exacerbation.
This is where activity, physical, cognitive, emotional, or social exertion can result in the worsening of symptoms. The worsening of symptoms can happen immediately, or can happen 24-72 hours after exertion.
If you are feeling fatigued, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has produced useful, practical guides on how you can manage post-viral fatigue after COVID-19, and how to conserve your energy.
If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or struggling to cope please contact your GP who may refer you to the relevant healthcare professional.