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Living with the long-term symptoms of coronavirus (long COVID) may have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. Support is available.

What is long COVID?

Long COVID describes new or ongoing symptoms four weeks or more after a COVID-19 infection.

There are many reported long COVID symptoms, including those listed in the NHS Long-term effects of coronavirus website.

The most common symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • chest pains or tightness

These symptoms can affect your ability to work and can come and go.

You may feel like you have recovered but then suffer a relapse or multiple sporadic periods of sickness later.

If new or long-lasting problems do occur, you should seek medical advice and support. The NHS has a range of guidance and support, including on mindfulness, that can support you on your recovery and to help you live with your symptoms while your body is healing.

Feeling lonely

What support is available in the Civil Service?

It’s really important for you to have open and honest discussions with your line manager on how you’re feeling, both when absent and when you are back to work.

Because of the duration and impact of symptoms, if returning from sickness absence you may need a gradual return to work. This is known as ‘phased return’ or ‘part-time on medical grounds’.

Let your manager know what you think you are able to do. You know your own symptoms best and how your body is feeling. They will be able to make a referral to your Occupational Health (OH) provider for advice on how to support your return to work and identify any necessary workplace adjustments.

Workplace adjustments could cover:

  • reshaping of duties
  • later start times
  • reduced travel requirements
  • phased return to work
  • different IT equipment

There will also be advice from your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and departmental intranet.


We can help

If you’re finding life difficult, we can help. You could use one of our apps to work through your wellbeing or finances. Or apply for financial assistance or request a one-to-one chat about your wellbeing.

Mindfulness for managing long covid

In this video, mindfulness leader and award-winning author Vidyamala Burch OBE introduces her mindfulness-based pain and illness management approach and her work to create a programme for long COVID.

Can’t see the video? Watch on Vimeo.

Mindfulness For Managing Long Covid

Useful Links

Help and support if you have long COVID.

Your Covid Recovery

Supporting your recovery after COVID helping you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.


NHS advice about COVID-19 and COVID-19 services including testing, vaccination and long-term effects.

How we can help and support you

Mindfulness for health

8-week, online course for anyone suffering pain, fatigue, illness, long COVID or long-term health condition and looking to manage their work and life with ease.


Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. If you are finding that anxiety is taking over, we can help.

Jonathan’s Story
With the support of the Charity for Civil Servants, I was able to develop a variety of strategies to help me balance work and home life.
Jonathan's Story

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