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Early Concussion Education

Pacing and Energy Conservation

After a concussion many people find that they have less energy than before. Everyday situations can be exhausting. Energy conservation is about being careful with how you use your energy.

Think about your energy like money in a bank account—you only have a certain amount of energy, and you need to manage it well. You manage your energy by making deposits (resting) and withdrawals (using energy) based on what you need and can afford. If you empty your energy bank account by noon, then you won’t have enough left for the rest of the day.

These are some activities that will most likely drain energy quickly. Don’t stop doing these things, just know that you may need a break before, during, or after doing them.

  • Talking on the phone, in crowded places, in a group.
  • Visually stimulating environments/activities such as:
    • watching TV
    • playing video games
    • reading (especially on screens)
    • movie theatres
    • shopping malls
  • Driving—in the rain, in heavy traffic, as a passenger.
  • Thinking hard or concentrating hard.
  • Physical activity—even simple tasks may be exhausting.

To use your energy wisely, try following the “3Ps”:

Three P's

Plan

Plan everything you need to do. Remember to include rest breaks.
Take time each evening to review the day and plan out the next day.
Gather everything you need before you start a task.
Spread heavier tasks out over the week.
Plan to do harder activities when you are most related.

Pace

Work for short periods.
Give yourself plenty of time to do each task.
Build in rest periods or brain breaks throughout the day.
Balance activities with rest breaks. Rest before you feel tired.
Break up large tasks by doing a little each day.
Switch between heavy and light tasks, and between tasks that use your body and that use your mind.

Prioritize

Decide what is most important to you.
Ask or let other people help you when possible.
Be sure to include activities you enjoy.

Try using this Activity Journal!​​​

There are classes across Alberta that teach you about pacing and energy conservation. Sign up for the Alberta Healthy Living Program in your area.​​​​