Understanding symptoms of psychological and cognitive problems during your COVID-19 recovery

Discover nutritional information and resources to help understand and improve the symptoms of psychological and cognitive problems related to COVID-19

Psychological and cognitive problems

Symptoms of psychological and cognitive problems

  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Despair
  • Hallucinations
  • Low mood

What do these symptoms have to do with my diet?

  • Your emotional state can affect what you choose to eat, and some foods can be eaten as emotional comfort. This can lead to under and overeating.
  • Low mood, apathy and other symptoms can also prevent you from eating at all, hence affecting your nutritional status.
  • Other symptoms may lead to overeating (e.g. due to boredom or emotional eating behaviours) which causes weight gain and associated problems.


Find out if you have access to your local NHS mental wellbeing support service to self refer.

The Swansea Bay University Health Board has a Covid and Long Covid recovery – therapy information pack which provides ideas for:
  • sleep issues
  • psychological wellbeing
  • further links to manage post traumatic disorder syndrome
  • care after being hospitalised.
The British Dietetic Association Critical Care Specialist group provides eating recommendations after critical illness – Nutrition at Home after Critical Illness [PDF], which may include some of the same symptoms. 

Information includes:

  • How can I cut back on energy if I want to lose weight?
The Covid Trauma Response Working Group provides guidance for coping with stress, and Patient Guide – Critical Illness, Intensive Care, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PDF] 

Psychology Tools have guides for: anxiety, depression, grief, loss and bereavement and symptom monitoring.

Kirklees Council has advice on mental health support if you are looking for yourself or if you are worried about somebody else.

You can listen to a talk “Psychological wellbeing and communicating with healthcare professionals”.

Contact us

This knowledge hub is constantly being reviewed and updated. We welcome your comments or feedback about it.

Please contact abigail.troncohernandez@plymouth.ac.uk and we will get back to you promptly.