Low Energy

Low Energy (fatigue)

One of the invisible effects of stroke is fatigue, both in body and mind. It is tiredness that does not go away with a good night’s sleep. It can leave you feeling like you have no energy. You may get tired after just a short period of activity, even just getting up to eat breakfast.

As a mom, wife, and child of elderly parents I wanted to still be able to do everything I did before. Without pacing myself I would become too exhausted by mid-day. And end up missing important activities. Plan ahead!


Feeling tired for a few weeks is normal. Post-stroke fatigue is a sense of intense tiredness that does not get better with rest. It can lead to depression and isolation. It is important to tell your team you are having post-stroke fatigue.

Recovering from a stroke takes a lot of energy and thought. Here are some tips for managing and maximizing your energy.

Structure your day
  • Keep a schedule of daily activities.
  • Know your high and low energy times.
  • Plan your activities a day in advance. Anticipate the energy needs for each one.
  • Schedule rest periods. Plan higher-energy activities in the morning or after a rest.
  • Balance your activity level to make sure you have the energy you need to get through the day.
  • If the day’s tasks will take more energy than you have, pick your priorities. Be sure to include things you enjoy.
  • Talk about your energy level and need for rest with your family and friends. Ask for help with high-energy tasks.
Arrange your space
  • As much as you can, arrange your home so that it is easy to move around in.
  • Reduce the need to climb stairs.
  • Put frequently-used items where they are easy to reach.
  • Sit rather than stand when doing chores such as ironing or washing dishes.
  • Use energy-saving equipment and technology. For example, try shopping online.
Eating, sleeping and staying active
  • Eat a healthy diet to maximize your energy levels.
  • Establish good sleep patterns. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Include down time, rest periods or naps in your day.
  • Avoid sedating drugs and excessive alcohol.
  • Take part in exercise and leisure activity you can tolerate. Talk to your healthcare team about what is safe for you.
  • Set goals to gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise.
Where to get support

An occupational therapist can work with you on a plan for reducing the energy needed for your daily tasks.

A physiotherapist can help you plan exercises and safely increase the amount of exercise you do.

Your family and friends can help you get things done.

Related information

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Fatigue and energy conservation after stroke (video)