I Can No Longer Exercise
Even though physical activity didn't make me fall asleep immediately, the mental health benefits helped me tremendously. So even if I didn't fall asleep right away, I was eventually able to doze off because my mind was calmer and my body was more relaxed.
Two weeks ago, I decided to join a regular gym. I have not been able to participate in my Acro fitness since I came down with COVID-19 last July. My doctor let me know it was safe to start gentle workouts again. A friend and I planned to meet at the gym early one morning, and I decided to try the elliptical machine.
I could not catch my breath
I picked the shortest pre-programmed workout they had, and within 3 minutes of hitting the start button (which means I was still at a gentle walking pace), I started to feel dizzy, and my feet started to feel extremely hot. Within another 30 seconds, I could not breathe. Simultaneously, my heart rate was over 200 beats a minute. When I say I could not live, I could not catch my breath from being out of shape. Oxygen was not entering my body at all.
My scary wake-up call
Thankfully, some people knew how to get me breathing again. Leaving the gym after it was safe for me to drive, I assumed it was my lungs had simply not healed like we thought they had. Unfortunately, when I spoke to the doctor's office, my symptoms were potential signs of something much more severe. It is something showing up in COVID long haulers.
Unfortunately, I am not able to see a specialist right away. My house is so quiet at night. It is all I can think about. I don't even feel tired anymore. All I can think about is all my family has been through the past few months, and I worry about the strain this will put on my children if something serious is wrong.
Why am I sharing this experience with you?
Before I developed long-COVID, my fitness routine alleviated some of my insomnia. It not only kept me in shape physically, but my workout group also kept me grounded and was there to support me on some of my worst days! Not only can it make sleep more attainable, but it can also alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
On stressful days, I found doing a short yoga workout helped my brain calm down enough to where I could at least sleep for a few hours. It never helped me achieve a whole night of sleep as desired, but at the level my insomnia typically is, the few hours of sleep I was able to achieve was more than worth it!
Finding new ways to relax
Since I am still not healthy enough for an exercise routine, I must find new ways to relax enough to calm my brain at night. This hasn't been the easiest task, but I am discovering new hobbies. I am learning new crafts which are relaxing in a different way.
This is also something I can share with my kids and is wonderful family time. But most of all, accepting what life has dealt since my body changed due to COVID-19 has been the most helpful.
How many nights a week do you experience insomnia?