The Emotional Impact of Long COVID

The experience of having COVID-19 can be very frightening. It is understandable that the experience and then suffering from ongoing symptoms months after contracting the virus can have a huge emotional impact.

Having ongoing symptoms can cause common problems outlined below:

Having ongoing symptoms can cause common problems outlined below:

  • Feeling anxious when struggling to catch your breath and when your heart feels like its racing
  • Feeling low in mood
  • Wondering if this will ever go away
  • Worries about getting back to work
  • Worries about family or friends becoming ill and suffering.
  • Health experts not always being able to answers all your questions or give explanations.

If you were treated in hospital, you might also experience:

  • Unpleasant images from your stay, that might seem to come ‘out of the blue’.
  • Nightmares
  • Feelings of panic with any hospital reminders

What can help?


Relaxation is an important part of energy conservation. It can help you to control your anxiety, improve the quality of your life and reduce pain. Below is a technique you can use to manage anxiety and help you relax.

  • Avoid watching too much news or social media if its making you feel anxious
  • Speak to family and friends
  • Try to do activities that you find enjoyable and relaxing
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if there are things that you are finding harder to do, and remind yourself that recovery takes time.
  • Focus on what is in your control

Grounding technique

1. What are five things I can see?
2. What are four things I can feel?
3. What are three things I can hear?
4. What are two things I can smell?
5. What is one thing I can taste?

Think of the answers slowly to yourself, one sense at a time and spend at least ten seconds focussing on each one.


There are a number of different relaxation techniques you can try, different people prefer different techniques. You can search on the internet to explore different strategies.

• Progressive muscle relaxation
• Mediation
• Mindfulness
• Guided imagery or visualisation
• Alexander technique
• Aromatherapy
• Tai Chi
• Yoga
• Music.