Memory and thinking difficulties are very common after having Covid-19. Most people will recover to a level of functioning that is normal for them. It can be difficult to accept changes and difficulties with your memory. It is important to remember that recovery is individual to the person, and that it may take time to fully return to your previous self. This is completely normal!
If you are struggling with your memory, you may find it difficult to hold information in your head, make decisions and recall information. You may struggle to ignore distractions and to remain focussed on tasks and activities for long periods of time. You may feel as though you are more disorganised than before, have problems initiating tasks and struggle to plan ahead. These symptoms are all very common after having Covid-19.
This may be because you are experiencing more fatigued, you may find yourself getting tired more easily. It is common that viral infections affect both your physical and psychological energy, as well as your ability to concentrate. You may be feeling more anxious than usual, the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 has been a worrying time. This can have a negative impact on your mood.
It is important to think about ways you can manage your difficulties rather than avoiding or pushing through; this can make you feel frustrated and anxious. Implementing strategies and using memory aids can help you take a step back and focus. Having a plan to manage these difficulties may help alleviate stress and anxiety. You may wish to speak to family and friends for support.
You may find that it is difficult to focus your attention for longer periods of time if you are feeling fatigued. It may be helpful to reduce the demands on your attention by using the following strategies:
Your memory takes in information provided by your sense.
The five sense are: Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch
Prompts can be helpful when attempting to recall information.
Prompts can be:
A photograph- this can prompt the memory of a forgotten name.
A particular perfume- this can prompt the memory of someone special to you.
The taste of a dish can prompt the memory of when you first ate it.
The feeling of sand under your toes may evoke memories of a childhood memories.
A piece of music may bring back memories of a specific event
Many people find the following approaches helpful. It can help to try out different approaches to find which ones work best for you.
This section suggests aids that might help with different types of memory difficulties.
Calendar or diary
Medication reminder box (Dosset box)
If you have an electronic device such as a mobile phone or tablet you can use the functions such as reminder, notes or the calendars to help you plan and prioritise.