How to help ease post-pandemic symptoms
From brain fog to fatigue – here are the wellness options that may help your post-pandemic recovery
Did you forget something? Are you suffering from brain fog? Don’t worry, it’s not just you, apparently it’s on the rise. Along with fatigue, joint pain and losing our sense of taste and smell. If any of the above sounds familiar, you might be one of the '1.5 million people in the UK suffering from long Covid', declares the Office for National Statistics.
The masks might be off – but Covid's wrath is still very much among us. So, if you're struggling with some of the post-pandemic stresses, aches and pains, lack of concentration or loss of smell, we may have a plan.
For serious health concerns, the NHS has some dedicated support and further reading here. Or you could consult a practitioner. Dr Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD tells Verywell Health: 'For Covid long-haulers, I would encourage individuals to be patient, seek professional care, get diagnostic tests, and stay vigilant about worsening symptoms of long Covid,' he says. 'Enrolling at a research centre or seeking care from a research or teaching medical university or hospital is the safest bet. And you have individuals who will follow up and be responsible.'
So, whether you have the mild symptoms of long Covid or are suffering from forms of post-pandemic stress, there are some routes you can take to help with the road to recovery – these might be a good place to start to help you bounce back.
Before the pandemic, joint pain was a huge issue for Brits, with over seven million people reporting moderate or severe pain levels. Post-pandemic, the problem is more significant than ever, with joint pain identified as the third most common symptom of long Covid.
Co-founder of a new British start-up, Joint Pain, Paul Parker, says: 'With joint pain a common symptom of long Covid (that can spiral quickly), a whole new group of people are experiencing pain conditions which have a significant impact on their everyday life, with physical conditions also impacting mental health and vice-versa. Many have never experienced this type of pain before and have no idea where to start in helping to manage it. It can take a long time to get a correct diagnosis from a healthcare practitioner, so we make the process less painful by creating a positive cycle of wellbeing to help combat the many challenges a sufferer of pain experiences.'
He adds, 'Joint Pain Coach brings a wide range of evidence-backed therapies together in one place and guides members to find the right mix for them. This works in addition to prescribed medical care, with the bonus of a supportive community motivating to help members maintain their habit changes.'
Launching this April, the first challenge costs £97 and includes:
• An in-depth 330-page program guide.
• A daily journal.
• Daily motivation videos.
• A 14-day supply of CBD patches and a private Facebook group moderated by the Joint Pain Coaches.
According to research, your attention span peaks in your 40s and gradually declines with age. However, it seems long Covid has been disrupting this theory. Dr Jacqueline H Becker, in a recent study, says, 'Months after recovery, many Covid-19 patients have reported feeling like they're swimming through a brain fog.'
The study revealed that researchers looking at a group of 740 relatively young patients who survived coronavirus infection found many of their brains worked slower (18%), attention spans were shorter (16%), and memories were slipperier (around 24%).
Grayson Hart, founder of Puresport, agrees, 'At Puresport, we noticed a trend in customers and the wider market struggling to find focus and concentration, and being distracted. Using natural supplements, in combination with a balanced and happy routine, can help boost focus and energy.'
He recommends 'nootropics' (or smart drugs), the natural substances that can be taken to improve cognitive performance in healthy people. They are most often used to boost memory, focus, creativity, intelligence, and motivation and improve overall happiness, quality of life and peace of mind.
They are also linked to the positive functioning of neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers in the brain. By working with these chemicals in the brain, nootropics can help mitigate stress responses linked to decreased focus and concentration.
If you are unsure of what you need, take the Puresport quiz to work out a bespoke plan or speak to their experts.
Beauty Director's Buy:
'I've tried plenty of supplements; they tend to gather dust on my shelf – some the size of horse pills - so I lose momentum to try and get them past my gag reflex. So after a couple of bouts of Covid and the stresses of being a working mother, CEO and all-around over-achiever, I turned to Destress CBD & Nootropic Oil. A few drops placed under the tongue are simple to use and you feel the effects pretty quickly. My attention span and focus have increased, while stress levels are certainly down. I combine it with some deep-breathing exercises and meditation I learnt with an online session with the Transformational life coach, Alister Grey – it feels like life is getting back into some balance and harmony even with everything that is going on around me.'
- Sarah Joan Ross
Chrissi Kelly, the founder of AbScent, a company developing scientific research to increase understanding of olfactory illnesses, says: 'There has been a remarkable surge in cases due to Covid-19 and long Covid. Many people struggle to find help and support. That is where we step in to help. AbScent has developed smell training kits to give people hope and help them retrain their sense of smell.'
In the meantime, there is help at hand that you can do at home.
If you've lost your sense of taste and smell for two weeks or more, smell training – sometimes called olfactory training – can help recovery.
Fifth Sense is a UK-based charity founded for people affected by smell and taste disorders. They say: 'Several studies have been done in recent years, suggesting that repeated short-term exposure to smells can potentially benefit those affected by olfactory loss, particularly for those who have lost their sense of smell as the result of a virus including the common cold and Covid-19.'
You can try their online tools as the first stop in regaining control of your sense of smell. When it starts to come back, is there a better way to level up your training than with the experts at Floral Street? Their 'Scent School' online or workshops mean you can delve into the fragrant world of the Covent Garden store, with an expert guide to help you with a renewed sense of smell.
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