- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Coping with side effects
- Fatigue and tiredness
Fatigue and tiredness
Cancer treatment and associated stress can make you feel very tired and worn out. Factors such as job stress, shiftwork or standing for long periods may make you feel worse. Many people find that they cannot do as much as they normally would, but others are able to continue their usual activities.
Tips for managing fatigue
- Talk to your employer about changing your work hours so you can arrive later if you have trouble getting started in the morning or leave early if you feel tired in the afternoon.
- Plan meetings for the times you tend to have more energy.
- Discuss your priorities with your manager to ensure you save your energy for the most important tasks.
- Ask permission to take breaks when you need to. Bring a pillow to work and find a quiet place where you can rest. If this isn’t possible, get some fresh air or take a short walk.
- If you don’t have the energy for physical tasks (e.g. lifting, driving), ask colleagues for help.
- Work from home if you can and rest when you need to.
- Ask your employer if they can provide a parking space. Find out if you are eligible for a disability parking permit.
- Bring your lunch or ask a workmate to pick it up for you so you don’t have to go out.
- Try to save your energy for work, e.g. ask for more help around the house or get your shopping delivered.
- Eat well and take care of your body. Regular exercise can help improve your mood or make you feel more energetic.
For more on this, see Fatigue.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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