Post-stroke fatigue is a physiological and psychological condition that affects up to 70 percent of stroke survivors. Many have described it as hitting a physical, emotional, and/or mental wall. But, Post-stroke Fatigue is more than "just being tired"; it is an invisible consequence of stroke and can be greatly misunderstood by the survivor and those around them. However, with proper identification and implementation of strategies, survivors can manage their post-stroke fatigue and participate in everyday activities and rehabilitation therapies with more energy and stamina.
Factors that contribute to Post Stroke Fatigue:
- Physical changes, such as weakness or paralysis, that demand more energy and effort to perform everyday activities such as walking or dressing
- Medications with side-effects that contribute to fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping caused by things such as medications, stress, pain and changes to hormones after a stroke
- Communication challenges that make expressing your thoughts or having a conversation take more effort
- Other physiological factors such as depression or anxiety.
Managing your fatigue:
- Listen to your body and recognize your limits. Try to identify what activities drain the most energy and plan those strategically throughout the day or week.
- Schedule regular rest or naps.
- Break down larger projects into more manageable tasks.
- Reduce the amount of energy spent during tasks; eg. Sit down in the shower or while on a phone call.
- On days where you are exceptionally fatigued, do only those tasks that are absolutely necessary and save others for a day when you have more energy.
- Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress. Keep a diary of successes to remind you how far you have come.
Contact us at 763-553-0088 to talk with our Resource Facilitators about how fatigue may be affecting you and additional ways to help manage your fatigue.