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After COVID-19

Brain health and mental health: Brain fog, trouble with memory and concentration

It’s common for people who've had COVID-19 to have trouble with:

  • thinking
  • memory
  • focus or attention

If you’re having these concerns, it’s important that you and your family talk about it. Changes to thinking, memory, and attention can affect your relationships, your everyday tasks, and your return to work or school. These challenges may go away in weeks or last for months. If the changes with your memory or thinking don’t get better, contact your healthcare provider or talk to a psychologist or occupational therapist.

What can I try for thinking, attention, and memory concerns?

Here are some things you can try if you’re having trouble thinking clearly, paying attention, and remembering. You can also see the sections about managing your energy and going back to work or school for more ideas that might help.

Exercise your body to help your brain recover

You may find it hard to exercise if you feel weak, are short of breath, or get tired easily. Slowly, try to add gentle exercises into your daily routine. See some suggestions in the exercise section to help you get started.

Exercise your brain

Try to do things you enjoy that get your brain working. Start with tasks that are a challenge but that you can still do. When you feel ready, slowly work up to harder challenges. You might try:

  • new hobbies or activities
  • puzzles
  • word and number games
  • memory games
  • reading

Make lists, notes, and alerts

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you of what you need to do. Make daily lists or leave yourself notes where you will see them as reminders.

Break down tasks into small steps

You can break larger tasks up into smaller ones. This makes the tasks feel easier to do.

For example, in the morning you may want to:

  1. Get out of bed, brush your teeth, and brush your hair.
  2. Take a break.
  3. Get dressed.
  4. Take a break.
  5. Prepare your breakfast and eat.
  6. Take a break.

Get more tips for how to manage memory concerns and daily tasks.​​​​​

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