Self-Care for Restoration

Please log in to access your purchased courses.

A practical approach to rest and recovery after periods of chronic stress or illness

woman in deep relaxation pose

Does this sound familiar?

“I thought I was done being sick a month ago, but I’m still tired.”

“My doctor said I need to rest more, but I am resting. What more can I do?”

“I keep thinking I can start exercising again, but every workout leaves me feeling like I was hit by a bus.”

This course will help you regulate your energy to rest well and escape the push-crash cycle!

If you’ve had a viral illness or a prolonged bout of stress, it’s not unexpected to feel tired. But ongoing, crushing fatigue could be a sign of a more serious condition. One of the first warning signs of serious autonomic dysfunction is “post-exertional malaise” – fatigue that sets in up to 72 hours after you exert yourself physically, mentally, or emotionally. Post-exertional malaise, or PEM, is commonly seen in patients with Long Covid, adrenal fatigue, and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Managing your energy expenditures is a critical part of preventing “normal tiredness” from turning into a more debilitating, long-term condition. You’ve probably been told to “take it easy” and “don’t push yourself too hard” – but the kind of rest and recuperation needed when you have PEM is different from what you’re used to. It’s especially tricky because you’re most likely to overdo it when you feel good – so your familiar body signals about when it’s ok to do a little more might not be accurate at this time.

This course will give you concrete guidelines for deciding whether you need rest, gentle activity, or regular activity. It will help you recalibrate your ideas of what “rest” and “gentle activity” look like, and it provides exercise videos for each stage. And as a bonus, it includes a week of menus to help support your recovery!

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Distinguish between “normal tiredness” and “dysregulated fatigue state”
  • Describe the dangers and warning signs of post-exertional malaise
  • Prioritize your activities, reduce excess exertion, and rest more thoroughly
  • Use heart rate data to find – and stay within – your safe exercise limits

Who it’s for

This course may be right for you if you:

  • Have recovered from a viral illness but aren’t feeling back to your normal energy levels yet
  • Are dragging from day to day due to chronic stress
  • Consider yourself an otherwise healthy adult
  • Feel like you can’t do your “easy” workouts without crashing the next day
  • Can’t find a balance between “bed rest” and “overdoing it”


This course:

  • Is NOT A CURE for Long Covid, adrenal fatigue, or ME/CFS
  • Is NOT A REPLACEMENT for a doctor’s care, medications, or other ongoing treatments
  • Should be approached with caution if you have been diagnosed with Long Covid or ME/CFS – there are likely additional confounding factors besides PEM that you need to take into account

Please note: I am not a doctor! I am a somatic wellness specialist. I originally gathered this advice during my own recovery from post-viral fatigue. I am also continually expanding my understanding of Long Covid and related conditions to help my bodywork clients. Please see “About the Instructor” and “Disclaimer” below for more information before enrolling.


Phase 1: Radical Rest

“Why am I still tired? All I do I rest! I don’t want to sleep my life away. I have responsibilities. I want to do something fun again!” Sound familiar? When you’ve felt ill or stressed for so long, sometimes the last thing you want to do is rest. It’s frustrating and confining. Yet rest is absolutely critical to healing. In this module, we’ll explore the idea of “rest” as a deliberate practice. Pointers will help you “rest better” and get the most restoration out of your time spent resting so you can move to Phase 2 – Active Recovery.


Restoration Phase 1: Radical Rest Preview Understanding Radical Rest Radical Rest Checklist Nap Yoga Routine Radical Rest Wrap-Up and Resources

Phase 2: Active Recovery Without Post-Exertional Malaise

Recent studies in athletic performance have discovered that athletes recover from injury and illness faster with light exercise than with total rest. In this module, we’ll adapt the concept of active recovery into exercises that are appropriate for someone recovering from chronic illness and stress. That said – the “Big Bad” in this phase is Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM). Overexerting yourself and crashing is literally debilitating. The more often you crash, the less likely you are to recover fully. So, in this section, we’ll explore how to break the cycle so you can finally begin to heal.


Overview of Active Recovery Preview Restoration Phase 2: Active Recovery About Active Recovery and PEM "Should I Exercise?" Decision Tree Tracking Your Exertion Using Wearable Data to Regulate Exertion Setting Up Your Polar Watch Gentle Yoga Routines Active Recovery Wrap-Up and Resources

Phase 3: Reconditioning

Once you are well-rested enough to avoid crashing, you can start to think about regaining your strength. In this module, we’ll look at ways to ease back into an exercise program of your choosing – and how to know if you’re doing too much, too fast.Coming soon – Feb. 2023!


Restoration Phase 3: Reconditioning About Reconditioning Critical Information Before You Begin Choosing Exercise Reconditioning Wrap-Up and Resources

Support Resources

Additional tools and information to help you on your path to recovery


Handout and Recipes Additional Support from Emily Preview