Self-Care and Recovery After Covid
Health coach Tara Jackson shares her experience of Covid, its impact and the self-care tips she is taking to get back to herself
Illness doesn't only have physical consequences – we might also experience a mental health impact – if you are struggling, you can find a therapist here
This past month I've had Covid. In the beginning I was out with a painful headache, fever, aches, exhaustion and a bad throat, I also totally lost my taste and smell. As I began to feel better I was hit with brain fogginess, not being able to concentrate for long, getting distracted super easily (this has taken me a few days to write!) and not remembering things as well as I did pre-Covid.
I wanted to be back up and at it as soon as I started feeling better physically, I thought that my body *should* be back to ‘normal’ by now. But then the head stuff started happening and is taking me on a whole other journey. I want to share with you a few reminders and lessons that I have learned so far that I feel can be applied to us all, especially in difficult or challenging times, as I know so many are experiencing right now.
Getting back to basics
I’ve had to ramp up my basic self-care when it comes to looking after myself. This means healthy, fresh food is a non-negotiable (I am very blessed to be in the tropics right now and have access to lots of this). Breathing exercises and gentle movement, such as yin yoga and walking, have been essential for getting back into my body and out of my head. Also for getting the blood and oxygen flowing. Short guided meditations have also been supportive as I am unable to focus or do my usual long self-guided visualisations at the moment.
What basic self-care do you need right now?
Connecting with the earth
The one thing that feels good right now is getting outside and lying with my head on the ground (I realise this might not be so appealing if you are in the northern hemisphere). Allowing the static energy to be taken down and transmuted by the earth. Reminding myself that I am supported and held by this great mother. Just being, breathing, and releasing.
How can you connect with the earth more at this time?
Listening to my body
Listening to my body is something I thought I was good at (I even support others to do it), but I am being called to do this on a whole new level right now. All the shoulds about where I want to be and how I want to be showing up have had to be dropped, as my body and mind physically won’t allow me to move at the pace I am used to. I am being called to listen to my body, honour her needs, honour the energy and surrender to where I am at.
How can you listen to your body more?
As I honour what my body needs I have had to slow right down and I can only work for a couple of hours a day at the moment. So I am having to make the most of these times and only do what really matters. I realise how good I am at creating busyness and things to do normally, and not being able to has made me really prioritise what I am doing. This is definitely a blessing and lesson moving forward.
Where can you slow down or do less?
I’ve gone through some moments of fear with the head fog, wondering who I am and will I ever return to ‘me’. I am finding it hard to read and write as easily, which I thrive on and need to do daily. I am not as connected with my intuition and feelings, and I am not as sharp as usual, so have wondered what I have to offer without these things. Am I still valuable in the world? I’ve questioned whether I can love myself without all the things that I ‘do’, the things that I thought made me. Can I love myself just as I am?
How can you love yourself more, beneath all the things that you ‘do’?
Self-acceptance and presence
This is where I have settled, and where I will continue to be. The only time we have is this moment and all I can do is be with myself as I am right now. Accepting how I feel, accepting I have to take it slower and honouring my body’s needs are the only way through.
One last question that comes to me again and again, to remind me to stay present and take the lessons of each moment is ‘Why is this happening FOR me?’.
How can you make the most of where you are at right now?
As we move through these crazy times as a planet, please, please look after yourselves (extra self-care is so needed right now), and ask for support when you need it.
If you would like some extra support I offer a number of online self-care and wellbeing courses (especially for empaths and HSPs). They each contain visualisations, tools and prompts to support you to connect to your body, soul and mind, bringing you back home to you.
Tara Jackson is a health coach and author www.tarajackson.co.uk