Session 2: Opening an "Energy Account"


Welcome back to Week 2 of our ReFresh Online Fatigue Management Program! In this session, we're excited to delve into practical strategies for effectively managing fatigue in Parkinson's. Building on the foundational insights from the previous week, we aim to empower you with actionable steps to enhance your daily life. But before we dive into the strategies, make sure to watch our insightful video segment. It provides additional insights, practical demonstrations, and a deeper understanding of the concepts we'll discuss. Let's embark on this journey together.



Understanding the Importance of Rest

Rest is a cornerstone in effectively managing fatigue. We often underestimate its value, but it's akin to fuel for your body and mind. Your body needs rest to function at its best, much like a car needing refueling to run efficiently.

Rest isn't confined to just lying down or sleeping. It comes in various forms – physical rest, mental rest, and emotional rest. In this session, we'll explore these types of rest and discuss how each contributes to recharging your energy.

Despite understanding the importance of rest, various barriers can impede its incorporation. We'll work together to identify these obstacles and strategize ways to overcome them. Overcoming challenges will make it easier for you to integrate rest into your routine.

Techniques for Effective Relaxation

Relaxation is a powerful tool for managing fatigue. We'll introduce you to techniques such as deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation. These methods can help release tension, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm.

Deep Breathing Exercises: Soft Stomach Breathing

Now, let's explore a powerful relaxation technique known as Soft Stomach Breathing, also referred to as abdominal breathing, deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing. This technique, shared by Ray Mulry in his book 'In the Zone: Making Winning Moments Your Way of Life,' can be a valuable addition to your relaxation toolkit.

To practice Soft Stomach Breathing, find a comfortable seated position with a straight, vertical back—avoid slumping.

Let's go through the steps:

Inhale through your nose:

  1. Take a deep breath, inhaling slowly to the count of four.

  2. Focus on pushing your stomach out rather than pulling it in. Hold the breath briefly.

Exhale through your mouth:

  1. Slowly exhale to the count of eight, allowing your stomach to relax.

  2. Repeat this process for three more deep, soft stomach breaths.

As discussed in the video, engaging in Soft Stomach Breathing brings a gradual sense of relaxation:

  • Your heart rate slows down, rhythm becomes more natural, and blood pressure decreases.

  • Physical tension dissipates, and you feel less pressured.

Soft Stomach Breathing is a simple yet effective technique that can be practiced almost anywhere, at any time during your day. Consider incorporating it into your morning routine and repeating it several times throughout the day. It's especially beneficial just before potentially stressful events.

Here's a helpful tip: During relaxed breathing, air flows smoothly in and out of the lungs, and with soft stomach breathing, the stomach rises with each breath in and lowers with each breath out.

To check your technique, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. If only the hand on your stomach is moving, you're likely breathing correctly. If the hand on your chest is also moving, practice a bit more until your breathing becomes more relaxed.

Sleep Hygiene: Promoting Quality Sleep

Quality sleep is crucial for recharging your energy. We'll delve into sleep hygiene – healthy habits and practices that enhance sleep quality. From creating a comfortable sleep environment to establishing a soothing bedtime routine, we'll cover strategies to improve your sleep.

Remember – Balance is Key

Managing fatigue is about finding the right balance between activity and rest. By opening an 'energy account' and making intentional choices about when to spend and when to save energy, you'll be better equipped to prevent fatigue from derailing your day.

Homework Tasks

1. Rest/Activity/Sleep Planner

1. To put these concepts into action, we've prepared a Rest/Activity/Sleep Planner. This tool will help you balance activities, incorporate rest breaks, and improve your sleep routine. By utilizing this planner, you'll create a roadmap for managing your energy more efficiently. Download them in either Word or PDF format.  For those who prefer hard copies, please reach out to Sarah via email. Specify whether you need them in standard (12-point) or large text (16-point) font.

2. Relaxation

Practice the relaxation techniques we discussed – deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation – at least once a day.

3. Exercise

There is strong evidence that doing three 30 minute sessions of exercise every week improves fatigue in people with Parkinson’s. Get access  to our web page of advice on how to do this safely and well.


We have a quick Feedback Survey for you to complete once you have viewed the video and completed the homework tasks. The Feedback Survey just asks a few questions about how useful and usable this week's content has been. It will only take a couple of minutes to complete. This will let us improve the relevancy and easy of use of each week's content. Start survey.



Additional Resources and Support

We understand that managing fatigue in Parkinson's can be a complex journey, and additional support may be beneficial. Here are some trusted resources you can explore for further assistance:

Parkinson's UK Helpline:

  • Parkinson's UK is a leading charity offering support and conducting research for Parkinson's disease.

  • Helpline: Call their free, confidential helpline at 0808 800 0303 (available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm).

  • Email: Reach out via email at


MIND - For Better Mental Health:

  • MIND is a mental health charity providing valuable information, support, and services.

  • Visit their MIND Information and Support Page for a range of guides and resources.