Quick Facts

    • An overwhelming lack of energy than can be physical or cognitive
    • Fatigue is a real symptom, and not merely an issue of mind over matter
    • May be associated with anxiety, depression, and other health conditions

What does it
look like?

    • Physical fatigue often presents itself as:
      • A need for sleep
      • Complaints of being tired or having little energy
      • Extreme muscle weakness
      • Being more emotional than usual
    • Cognitive fatigue typically appears as:
      • A lack of focus and attention
      • Slowed thinking
      • Feeling like the brain is not keeping up
      • Poor memory
      • Difficulty communicating
      • An individual being more irritable than usual

Possible Causes and Complications

    • Fatigue is caused by a decrease in an individual’s physical and mental reserves
    • Cognitive fatigue is often caused by listening, reading, concentrating, talking, or multi-tasking for a long period of time. It can also be caused by medications
    • Physical fatigue is often caused by overexertion, a lack of exercise, nutritional deficiencies, medications, medical issues, and hormonal imbalance
    • Fatigue may affect an individual’s ability to care for themselves, enjoy things and engage safely in some activities. Also, mood, concentration, attention, memory, and the ability to function physically may be impacted

What can we do?

    • Plan and pace activities; perform important tasks first and break them down into smaller steps
    • Schedule regular rests, but do not over nap
    • Do not push through fatigue to complete tasks
    • Practice good sleep hygiene (e.g. regular times for wake-up and going to bed, removing screens from your bedroom)
    • Exercise as tolerated (30-60 minutes per day); eat nutritiously

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace advice from a medical doctor. Consult a health care provider regarding specific medical concerns or treatment.