Coping with fatigue while cocooning

man with fatigue

If you feel like you have no energy, finding even small tasks overwhelming or feeling anxious or depressed then you may be suffering from fatigue.

About three out of four patients will feel fatigued at some stage of their cancer journey, and having to cocoon can make it harder to deal with.

Here are some things you can do to try and cope better.

  1. Be kind to yourself: Try not feel guilty or annoyed if you can’t do all you want to; your energy will come back in time.
  2. Tell your doctor / cancer nurse: Don’t dismiss your fatigue. It can be caused by lots of things – from treatment to emotional difficulties. Finding out what’s causing it means you can get the best treatment and support.
  3. Stay active: You might be missing the fresh air, but any physical activity can improve energy levels and help your mood. Pick an activity you enjoy – even moving around to music or doing housework can help – or try our home exercise ideas if you’re able.
  4. Nap if you need to, but keep it to under an hour a day to avoid disturbing your night-time sleep
  5. Save your energy for doing the things that are most important to you. Ask other people to help you or use local support services to make things easier. Call our Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700 for information on supports to help you.
  6. Eat well: Try to eat a well-balanced diet. Eat little and often if your appetite is poor. You could read our booklet Diet and Cancer for tips to help you eat well.
  7. Avoid stress: Talk to friends and family about any worries you have, or talk to one of our cancer nurses on 1800 200 700. They can also help you to get phone support from a trained counsellor.
  8. Try relaxation therapies, such as visualisation, yoga or meditation. Check with cancer support centres for online classes.
  9. Sleep: If you’re not sleeping well, try relaxation techniques and avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, especially after 4pm.
  10. Find out more – There’s lots of advice, information and tips in our booklet Coping with Fatigue. Download it here, or order a free copy.
Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

The Irish Cancer Society continues to be available to provide support and information on this matter or any other queries related to cancer through its Freephone Irish Cancer Society Support Line on 1800 200 700.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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