The fatigue I felt the first year after my stroke was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I repeatedly felt a crushing fatigue I couldn't push through. Using a timer to force myself to rest was annoying because the timer would go off at the worst time. I tried to rest by watching TV, but that turned me into a zombie who couldn't stop clicking the remote because nothing good was on at the moment. I tried reading and going on the Internet, but got so absorbed in these activities that I ended up being more tired. When I did not rest I could barely hold my head up after dinner.
I found two strategies that work for me. (1) Lying on top of the bedspread with a towel under my shoes and a small blanket covering me doesn't feel like I'm going back to bed. I can lie down for fifteen minutes without having to get undressed. (2) When I listen to a CD I can stop after a few tracks and come back to it later. Instead of staring at the clock and resenting having to rest I enjoy the music. Even seven years after my stroke I make sure to get enough rest when I have an outing planned for the day. I don't want to start wishing I could go home a few minutes after I arrive. A stroke survivor I met resents having to rest but I think preventing fatigue lets me do more rather than less.