Fatigue and everyday life

Day to day, you may not realise the energy it takes to do your normal routine. Everyday tasks, like getting dressed and taking a shower, can become harder than normal. Fatigue can quickly make you aware of the amount of energy it takes to get things done, but it’s all still possible.

How fatigue can affect daily living

Working

Keeping up with work may get more challenging. Fatigue can affect your ability to concentrate, multi-task and perform your normal work duties.

Travelling to appointments

Travelling to your appointments, can make fatigue worse. Getting ready, gathering what you need, and then travelling to your destination can unexpectedly tire you out, especially if you are having treatment in a different region to where you live.

Sleeping

What’s keeping you up at night? Is it the TV? Needing to urinate frequently? Worrying about what’s next? If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, this can make fatigue worse. Turning off electronics and drinking less liquids before bed can help. If you still have trouble sleeping because of stress, fear or anxiety, it’s time to talk to your doctor, care team or hauora provider.

Focusing

Concentrating, remembering things, understanding new information, and making decisions can be tougher.

Driving

Sudden feelings of tiredness can happen at any moment — so you must be careful if driving or operating a machine.

Socialising

Hanging out with friends and whānau may take more effort.

Pain or pain-relieving drugs

If you’re already in pain, adding fatigue to the mix doesn’t help. There may be other options to manage your pain so talk to your doctor or care team.

How can you
fend off fatigue?

Fatigue can be caused by a number of things, but there’s plenty you can do to help ease that draining feeling. Review these tips below often and remember to talk to your doctor, care team or hauora provider if you have questions.

Talk to your doctor, care team
or hauora provider

Tell your doctor or nurse how you’re feeling. They can help you understand what could be making your fatigue worse and help you manage it. If you feel very stressed, anxious or depressed, please speak up because they need to know.

Ask whānau and friends for support

Asking for help is a sign of kaha, strength and courage, especially if you’re used to doing things for yourself. Make a list of activities you currently do for yourself daily. Then, take another look at your list and imagine which tasks a partner, friend or whānau member could take on. There are probably a few things other people can help with — so don’t be afraid to ask.

Plan your days in advance

Keep a diary to jot down what your days or weeks look like. You may feel like you don’t have enough energy for it all, but planning ahead will help you take care of the most important items.

Eat and drink well

A healthy, consistent diet is necessary to keep your energy up. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian, who can help recommend the kai that is best for you. You may even want to check out healthy delivery options from the grocery store.

Rest and relax

To wind down, try:

• meditating

• yoga

• deep breaths

• listening to music

• audiobooks

• singing waiata

• going for a walk in nature

Doing these will help you focus, and give your tinana and hinengaro time to rest.

Exercise

Exercise and physical activity have been shown to help beat fatigue. Even if you’ve only done light activity before, it’s highly recommended that you start including exercise in your daily routine, under your doctor’s guidance.

With some exercise, your energy levels could actually increase. With more energy, you might be able to get back to doing the things you enjoy, sooner.

Make sure you work with your doctor or care team to find a plan that works for you.

Knowing your rights at work

It’s important to know your legal rights as an employee. Know your company’s policies and review the employee handbook. There are laws designed to protect you from discrimination.

Talk to your employer. If your boss knows what you’re going through, you might be able to adjust your work schedule to help you get the job done. You might need work-from-home days or extra breaks, for example.

What's next?

Now that you've read up on Fatigue and everyday life , here are some related articles to explore as you continue to build your knowledge and understanding of this topic.
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