In this edition:
Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services
Happy Wednesday everyone! So whilst I haven’t ventured into the water yet to try wild swimming, I’d like to thank Marina Curran-Colthart for sending on a helpful picture guide to what to wear after last week’s edition of WBW. So if you are interested, contact her directly or our Wellbeing team can forward it on. Good luck!
This week we are taking a look at some of the impacts and effects of looking after yourself if you are suffering from post-viral fatigue after Covid. These tips are also great for you for any kind of fatigue and, given the amount of change that we have all been dealing with, taking care of yourself is so important. I hope you find these helpful.
We are also giving you some tips to consider before returning to work, as it is going to be a while before arrangements are in place for most of us getting back into the workplace. We have been working differently for many months now, so thinking carefully about what will suit you best about your life at work will bring benefits in the longer term. We will be issuing a follow up survey on home working in the next few days, so please look out for that and fill it in.
Finally we are showcasing the facilities our colleagues in LiveArgyll are opening up – we are so pleased to see this! Take advantage of the great membership offers available and get active!
Stay safe and see you next week.
Support for post-viral fatigue after COVID-19
Fatigue is a normal part of the body’s response to fighting any viral infection including COVID-19. If you or someone you know has had COVID-19 you may notice symptoms of fatigue such as needing to sleep more, feeling unsteady on your feet and difficulty standing for long periods as well as affecting memory and ability to concentrate. Fatigue means that you have less physical, mental and emotional energy and may affect daily activities and ability to problem solve, communicate and make decisions.
Not everyone is affected in the same way, but to help manage fatigue symptoms you could consider the four actions and resources below. If someone you know, work with or manage is recovering from COVID-19 you may also find the information provided here useful in providing support. Please remember, if you are worried about your symptoms or you feel they are getting worse then you should check with your GP.
Listen to your body
Pace yourself and make sure you are not overdoing it. This includes mental and physical activities. Consider planning your day or workload by breaking it into small achievable tasks, keep track of how you are coping and adjust as you go. Scale things back if you feel you’ve taken on too much or gradually increase what you can do as you regain strength. Establishing a daily routine for sleeping, eating and activities can help you to keep track of how you are feeling.
Balance activity and rest
We know how important regular exercise is for our health and wellbeing, but you may want to consider light activities to begin with such as stretching or seated exercises or a gentle walk. On the Health Assured website you can access 4 week programmes to help you plan and track your activity, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about what feels comfortable or might be too much too soon. Again keep track and adjust as you go.
Sleep is a vital part of helping your body to recover and repair following illness. It’s important to recognise if you are not getting enough sleep or if quality of your sleep means that you are feeling tired throughout the day.
If you feel like your sleep could be improved there are simple steps you can take in your daily and evening routine to help with this. You can find helpful information on the sleep charity website and on the Health Assured website.
Fuelling your body well is even more important when recovering from an illness. This includes drinking water to keep hydrated, prioritising unprocessed foods and keeping pre-packaged, salty or sugary foods to a minimum. Avoiding alcohol is also a good idea while you recover. You can find tips to help you get a good nutritional balance in your meals on the Health Assured website. You can also find some inspiration for easy, healthy recipes on the NHS Change 4 Life website.
Returning to work
It is important to be realistic with yourself and have an open conversation with your line manager about what you are ready to take on and any tasks that are affected so that adjustments can be made where necessary. The council offer the following methods of support to help you manage this transition.
Occupational Health referral
A consultation with the council’s occupational health provider will provide you and your line manager with a medical opinion on how you can best be supported to return to work.
You may wish to consider a phased return so that you can build up to returning to your full duties. You can find more information about this on The Hub or speak to your line manager. This may be particularly important if your role is active or involves driving or if you use heavy machinery.
Employee Counselling Service
Via Health Assured offer a 24 hour service and a range of supportive options including online programmes and telephone counselling sessions. You can contact them on 0800 028 0199 or if you are a line manager you can make referral on behalf of an employee here.