Posted By Richard Holmes

Posted on17th April 2020

If you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature or a new, persistent cough then the NHS guidelines are to stay at home and self-isolate. With all the different rules, it can be hard to know how long you and the other people in your household need to stay isolated for. You can use our simple tool to help you decide.

When self-isolating it’s really important to take good care of yourself by staying hydrated, eating healthily, doing some light exercise where possible and getting enough rest.

By ensuring you are getting the right amount of rest you are giving your brain and body the best chance to recover.

Building rest into your routine

When you are self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms you may feel well enough to continue working from home. In this case, it is essential that you take the time to build rest and recovery into your daily routine.

Working hard without adequate breaks can be a major cause of fatigue and stress. Too much screen time and time spent sitting down isn’t good for our overall health. The following tips can help you make sure that you get enough rest if you are continuing to work:

  • Schedule your main breaks during the day in your diary and don’t skip lunch
  • Plan your work in short bursts of 50 minutes (or 25 minutes) followed by a short break, rather than long sessions of an hour or two
  • At the end of every meeting or task, take a five minute break to refresh and refocus the mind
  • Know when is your most productive time of the day and use it

Even if you are not working it is still important to make sure that you get enough rest. Try to find a happy medium between social time when you are keeping in touch with people and finding activities to pass the time and giving yourself plenty of downtime to rest and relax.

The role of sleep

Sleep has a huge effect on your body’s ability to rest and recover and it is a vital part of our daily routine.

When you’re asleep the body appears rested and relaxed, but it’s actually doing a lot of physical activity to revitalise and repair. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours a night.

When you’re ill, getting enough time for resting and repairing is crucial for making a speedy recovery.

Try following these top tips to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Stop using electronic devices an hour before bed
  2. Write down any stresses or worrys two hours before bed to reduce worrying at night
  3. Try meditation and take time to think about positive moments in your day
  4. Have a warm, decaffeinated drink such as chamomile tea
  5. Have a long warm bath to prepare for bed
  6. Listen to calming music to unwind
  7. Gradually decrease bright lighting, moving from the main light to gentle lamps
  8. Try breathing exercises to relax your body and mind (this can link through to the section in the remote working content chunk about breathing techniques for relaxation when that is published)

Rest & coronavirus

The majority of people who get COVID-19 will have mild or moderate symptoms. There is no treatment for coronavirus, only self-care at home to help you manage the symptoms.

Getting enough sleep, resting throughout the day when you feel tired and continuing to eat a healthy diet will all help make sure your body – and mind – are in the best possible shape to fight the virus.

You can read more about how to manage coronavirus at home in our post on COVID-19 treatment guidelines.

If at any time you feel unable to manage your symptoms at home, you’re getting worse or you’re not feeling better after a week, call 111 or use the NHS’s online 111 coronavirus assessment tool to get advice on the next steps.

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