Fatigue and tiredness

Cancer treatment and associated stress can cause you to feel tired and weary. 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 adjusting your working hours so you can arrive late if you have trouble getting started in the morning or leave early if you feel tired in the afternoon.
  • Schedule meetings for the times you tend to have more energy.
  • Discuss your priorities with your employer 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.
  • 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.
  • Organise your workspace so things are in easy reach.
  • If you don’t have the energy for physical tasks (e.g. lifting, driving), ask colleagues for help.
  • Bring your lunch or ask a workmate to pick food 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 groceries delivered.
  • Eat well and take care of your body. Regular exercise can help improve your mood or make you feel more energetic.

This information was last reviewed in January 2017
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends