Is your stroke the reason that you have low energy?
You got through the acute phase of your stroke. No more beeping of the ECG or pulse oximeter monitors. You are back in your familiar surroundings. You can sleep finally. But you may feel constantly weary, bushed, and lacking energy or strength in spite of falling into your normal schedule. Maybe the feelings of bone-tired are present even after a rest or sleep. I was drained after only 5-6 hours after getting up in the morning for a least a year, maybe longer, after the strokes. Jeez…I wanted it to be “over.” Do you? 50% of stroke patients have deep-seated fatigue, at least for some time.
After you had a stroke, especially if you had less than two years, there are many reasons you may be bushed. Let’s dig into some of my (and your) causes. To start, I was physically fatigued. My brain was healing. I was stressed because my family was stressed with all our routines messed up. Also, I used up way more energy to do my “normal” activities of daily living (ADL). I was a mess. I imagine you have similar stories.
Also, I was “psychologically fatigued.” I often didn’t want to do much except my therapy, eating, and watching the television, or listening to my music or my audiobooks. Sometimes, those 3-4 things were all the energy I had. I attempted to get motivated, but the emotional changes caused by the strokes were taxing me. You may be depressed or have worries and anxiety. You may find that the fatigue gets worse with stress. You may find sleep may not help at all. The spent feeling is often worse when you wake up in the morning. Maintain your hope because it usually gets better with time.
When you are feeling exhausted, you need to stop you doing so many things. You have to take time to decide what you really want to do. You have to choose what really needs to be done. The three ‘Ps’ are a useful guide for conserving energy, managing each day at your pace, and gradually reclaiming your life.
First, you must plan. Make a written list of the things you want to achieve during the day. Don’t attempt to have a mental list. Spread your tasks out wherever possible. You can space your activities throughout the day instead of bunch them up. Be sure to include fun behaviors. You need it!
Second, you need to prioritize. Take your list and rank the activities in the order of importance. Revise your list with the essential things at the top. Ask yourself if you can remove, delay or delegate the duties. If you “can’t,” then you will need to do it.
Lastly, pace yourself. Break down the deeds on your written list into essential actions. Learn to pace yourself by taking short, regular rest breaks. Increase the time of each activity then you would need to take before the stroke happened. “Listen” to your body. Pay attention to what triggers your weariness. When you identify early signs of your lethargy, you can stop, take a break and then continue with your list.
Remember, ask someone for help. Ask for help in dumping, delaying, delegating, or doing it. You don’t have to manage on your own.
Hear Ye…Hear Ye! Go to https://drbrentcalhoun.mastermind.com/masterminds/29466 to see our group training. It is going to be held on September 27th at 5 PM ET. You’ll realize the 4 areas of exercise you need. We will be waiting!
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