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Kylie (Community Coordinator)
Sep 30, 2022
In I have Long COVID
Navigating temporary loss of income, sick leave entitlements or Centrelink payments can be difficult, especially when living with Long COVID. This is a space for practical support and tips for managing employment and financial related issues whilst living with Long COVID. All employees deserve to be treated fairly and with respect, and everyone should feel productive and valuable in the workplace (Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission). COVID-19 was a global event on a scale few were prepared for, leaving little time and required knowledge to navigate how people perform the requirements of their job in a safe and inclusive manner. As our national response evolves (at time of writing, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the end to COVID-19 disaster leave payments and mandatory isolation from October 14) so too does our need for personal responsibility in the face of COVID-19, and indeed perhaps none more so than for those of us living with the impacts of Long COVID. As an online community established in Victoria, we appreciate that our members may reside across Australia and that some workplace protections and regulations vary from state to state. We will endeavour to provide information and support nationwide, with a focus on the impact felt closest to home here in Victoria. We’d love to provide a space for respectful discussion around your experience in the workplace living with Long COVID, your ability to find ongoing work as you navigate a chronic illness and resources for accessing appropriate support payments and financial assistance. Have you felt supported to continue in your job since your Long COVID diagnosis? Tell us about your workplace experiences with Long COVID. We’d love to hear your tips for managing your symptoms to ensure longevity within your role.
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Kylie (Community Coordinator)
Sep 30, 2022
In I have Long COVID
From graded exercise and diet, to mindfulness and everything in between, let’s celebrate the wins in our recovery and share what’s been working for you! Living with Long COVID can feel overwhelming; striking a balance between maintaining your pre-COVID daily routine with recovering from a chronic illness can be challenging. We’ve heard from members of the community that living with Long COVID can sometimes elicit feelings of powerlessness, with the process of recovery and engaging with health care providers as research evolves creating a sense of uncertainty for many. One tool for empowering your journey to health is self-care. Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting you own wellbeing and fostering behaviours that promote health and active management of illness. Taking charge of your health by creating a plan for self-care could include: · Prioritising time for yourself · Making time for graded exercise (with advice from your health practitioner) · Healthy diet · Sticking to a sleep schedule · Engaging in support groups and keeping in touch with family and friends · Meditation and breathing exercise If you’ve tried many of the above suggestions but find it difficult to maintain momentum when you’re running low on energy, you’re not alone! So how do you balance self-care with living with a chronic illness, such as Long COVID? Here are our tips for ensuring you’re meeting your self-care needs… 1. Determine your base level For those of us living with reduced function, jumping out of bed and going for a jog around the block is outside the scope of possibility, for now at least. Determining the things that need to be achieved each day is a great place to start. For me that looks like making sure my dog has her needs covered, the fridge is stocked with healthy food (so I’m not tempted to reach for anything from a golden arch!), my space is clean and I’ve done my breathing/grounding exercises so I’m at my best to take on whatever the day throws my way. Your minimum could look a little different – you may enjoy journaling with a coffee, meditating to a YouTube video or taking some time with your children after dinner. You might like to spend some time making a list of the things you need to accomplish on any given day, including the things you need to ensure you’re well positioned to make it happen. 2. Practice self-compassion “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete” – Buddha Each of us sits in relationship with our self. Sitting with a self that feels exhausted and is experiencing physical discomfort can be daunting, particularly if prior to Long COVID you’ve been firing on all cylinders. This is when we need to build and flex our self-compassion muscle. Each of us has access to an internal emotion recharge station via the practice of self-compassion. Taking the time to refill your own reserves by curling up in bed when you need, talking to a supportive friend when you need, or allowing yourself to feel whatever arises in the moment, that is the practice of self-compassion. 3. Devise an achievable routine Developing a routine that works both with and for you ensures you’re well placed to achieve your wellbeing goals. This could look like preparing your meals and clothes for work the night before so you have the energy you need to get moving in the morning, or you might find that you’re energy levels are higher in the afternoon so you schedule some light stretching after lunch. Getting to know what works for you and creating a flexible schedule around your current limits will support you on your path to recovery. 4. Plan for ‘rainy day’ activities Some days are worse than others and living with Long COVID can be unpredictable – some days you may feel up to tackling a walk with a friend and cooking your favourite meal, and other days you may find it’s a struggle to get out of bed. On the days you have little energy to do most things it can help to have a care box with non-energy zapping activities. Think an easy to read book, a crossword puzzle, mindful colouring book, your favourite podcast or tv series saved to your device. 5. Connect and seek support Living with a chronic illness can sometimes feel isolating. You don’t have to go it alone. Finding a group of peers, such as the one here in the Long COVID community provides an opportunity to express your feelings, learn helpful information about living with Long COVID and provide hope. Now over to you! What have you found helps you to practice self-care whilst living with Long COVID? We’d love to hear about your wins  😊
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Kylie (Community Coordinator)

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