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Overcoming Cancer-Related Fatigue

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Practice Energy Conservation

Energy levels typically rise and fall throughout the day. "To chart your individual ups and downs, keep a diary for a week. Note when you feel energetic and when you feel tired," says Escalante. "Then organize your day to do your more demanding tasks when you have the most energy." To avoid overloading yourself on any one day, keep a calendar and spread out your activities evenly through the week. You can also ask family and friends for help.

Take the Easy Way Out

Make your daily activities as easy as possible. Sit while you cook. Keep your keys in a handy place so you don't have to hunt for them.  Use a shower chair. Dry yourself by putting on a terry cloth robe instead of using a towel.

Find Ways to Ease Stress

When you're dealing with the stresses of cancer, you must have ways to relax. Gentle physical activity is a good stress reliever. You can also relax by meditating, listening to music, getting together with good friends, or taking a warm bath.

Be Alert to Depression

If you feel overwhelmed by sadness or anxiety, talk to your doctor. Depression occurs in about 1 out of 4 people with cancer. Another hallmark of depression is fatigue. Your doctor may suggest antidepressant medicines and psychotherapy to ease your depression.

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Reviewed on August 13, 2012

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