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What you can do to help
The first step is to know that fatigue after stroke is a genuine concern for many stroke survivors. Recovering from a stroke and learning new ways of doing things can be tiring.
Here are some suggestions which may help you with fatigue:
Know your limits. Be aware of the activities which cause fatigue and spread them out.
Plan rest breaks during the day. Arrange breaks either side of activities. For example, you may have a therapy session, so try to plan a break before and after.
Break large tasks into smaller tasks. For example, instead of eating a whole meal, put your dessert aside for later, or break your shopping up over a number of days rather than getting everything at once. You may consider preparing for an evening meal by slicing vegetables in the morning and refrigerating.
Prioritise which tasks are most important to you. On days when you feel tired, only do the tasks which are high priority.
Having a short sleep in the afternoon may give you more energy to help you through the day. Establishing a good sleep routine is important. Try going to bed at the same time each night.
Establish a healthy balanced diet that provides enough fuel for your body. Some foods can help restore your energy while others can make you feel more fatigued. You may need to eat regular snacks throughout the day. Talk to your General Practitioner (GP) or local Dietitian about the best diet for your needs.
Despite your fatigue, it’s important to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, in order to increase your stamina. Talk to your GP or Physiotherapist for an exercise program that can help you.
Talk to your family and friends about your fatigue. If they know how you feel, they will know how to support you better. Know when to ask for help. Don’t think you have to do everything yourself.
Your Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist can give you advice on how to conserve your energy. Speak to your Dietitian about maintaining a balanced diet.
Note: This fact sheet is number 4 in a series. For a complete list of fact sheets, click here