Using relaxation to manage fatigue
Making time for activities that help you relax is very important in dealing with and preventing fatigue. Stress uses up energy and can make you feel more tired.
It’s very likely that you will feel more stressed than usual when you start your cancer treatment. The following suggestions may help you relax:
Talk to others about anything that is worrying you.
Try an activity such as reading, seeing friends and listening to music. This may help take your mind off worrying thoughts.
If you can, try to avoid situations that make you anxious.
If you can, take regular light exercise such as walking.
Many people find it hard to relax and unwind, especially if the stresses and strains of the day are difficult to forget. Using specific relaxation techniques can help to relieve tension and boost your energy levels. There are two types of relaxation exercises:
physical ones, which work on tension in your body - these include tensing and releasing each part of your body in turn and breathing exercises
mental ones, which help to relax your mind - these include imagery exercises.
You may want to experiment until you find the best exercise for you. You can ask if there is a nurse or other healthcare professional, such as an occupational therapist or psychologist, who can help you find the technique that’s best for you. Using relaxation CDs or DVDs can be a good way to learn different exercises.
When you’re ready to try a relaxation exercise, find a quiet, warm, dimly lit, relaxing place where you won’t be disturbed, then lie or sit in a well-supported position. You’ll get the maximum benefit from these techniques if you practise them for 5-15 minutes each day.