Recovering from COVID-19: Lessons Learned

by: 
James Melchiorre

Trinity Church Wall Street partnered with The Church of the Heavenly Rest and Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute (PSI) to organize a four-week support group for persons recovering from COVID-19. Rev. Julia Kristeller of PSI facilitated the weekly group meetings. Rev. Kristeller shares the wisdom that emerged from the group discussions.

Are you someone who has had COVID-19? Do you have a family member, friend, or colleague who is recovering? COVID-19 and its impact are highly individual. Those who have had this virus struggle with the aftermath in myriad ways: body, mind, spirit, work, and relationships. Many recover fairly quickly, others can have long-term or lingering symptoms for weeks or even months. We'd like to offer a few tips from our Recovering from Covid-19 support group members, many of whom were still struggling with some long-term symptoms.

1. Recovery can feel like a roller coaster. Be prepared to have good days and bad days, don't push too hard, and listen to your body.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s laundry, groceries, or financial support.

3. Share your symptoms, initial and ongoing, with people whom you trust. Both the public and the medical profession are still learning about this disease.

4. COVID-19 affects more than your body. The illness can trigger old traumas, depression, anger, self-doubt, and even survivor guilt. Don’t be reluctant to seek mental health support and spiritual sustenance.

The support and understanding of family and friends are so important to those recovering from COVID-19. Try to listen to, acknowledge, and believe what those recovering are saying about what they are going through, both physical and psychological. Having symptoms dismissed or being made to feel like a hypochondriac can be debilitating and isolating. Remember that many who got COVID-19 early on were not able to be tested and sometimes feel they have had to prove they were sick. Patience and understanding will go a long way to supporting their full recovery.

Rev. Julia Kristeller, Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute