5.1 - Fatigue

Tired student napping with textbook resting on face

Fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion, tiredness, weariness or lack of energy.

This is one of the most common problems people have after a traumatic brain injury. As many as 70% of survivors of TBI complain of mental fatigue. After TBI, you may have more than one kind of fatigue.*

Types of fatigue

  • Physical fatigue: "I’m tired and I need to rest. I’m dragging today."
  • Psychological fatigue: "I just can’t get motivated to do anything. Being depressed wears me out; I just don’t feel like doing anything."
  • Mental fatigue: "After a while, I just can’t concentrate anymore. It’s hard to stay focused. My mind goes blank."

Everyday fatigue issues

  • You become mentally exhausted quickly during routine tasks.
  • You never seem to finish all of the things you planned to do in a day, weekend, week, month, etc.
  • You can't do some activities as long as you used to (e.g., reading, screen time, cooking), because you get tired without warning.
  • You feel fatigue affects all of your cognitive functions and brain fog including thinking, comprehending, seeing, speaking, and/or walking.

Strategies to get you started

  • Time how long it takes before you tire of an activity. Then, the next time you plan that activity, schedule a break before you hit your limit. Breaks are essential. Be sure to select the appropriate break type or activity to maximize the benefits.
  • Effectively manage your fatigue and energy levels with the BEST PaceMyDay app. Check out our free online class, PaceMyDay: Getting Started.
  • Beyond managing fatigue and energy levels, take charge of your goals and the steps needed to achieve them. The BEST ReachMyGoals app is a great tool to keep you on target! Check out our free online class, ReachMyGoals: Getting Started.

Making Cognitive Connections

Cognitive skills used to perform iOS device functions and the connections to other life skills:

Cognitive Skill iOS Device Examples Life Examples
Cognitive Fatigue
  • Identify how many minutes of reading causes you fatigue during specific tasks, and stop to break before fatigue sets in with the assistance of the PaceMyDay app.

Source: Photo by Tonny Tran on Unsplash.com

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