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  • Writer's pictureSpoonies Unite

Intro to the Spoon Theory

Energy - it plays a pretty big role in our lives. You either feel like you have the energy to do something, or you don’t and you avoid it at all costs. Or there are the times that you really want to do something but you have this feeling deep down that you don’t really have the energy to be able to do it.

Thinking about the energy you have for your day can become pretty all-consuming. In order to help describe what it’s like to only have a certain amount of energy each day, Christine Miserandino created the Spoon Theory. The Spoon Theory takes the amount of energy you have each day and quantifies that to a certain number of spoons. Each activity you do during your day takes so many spoons in order for you to do. For example, let’s say you have 10 spoons for a day. Making breakfast takes 1 spoon, taking a shower takes 3, working takes 5. Before you know it you’ve already used 9 spoons! Once you’ve run out of spoons for the day, that’s it. Your energy has been used up for that day.

Going over on spoons can have lasting effects for those with chronic illnesses such as causing a flare-up, exacerbating already present symptoms, or causing exhaustion for days or weeks after. Because of this, knowing how many spoons you have in a day and how many spoons each activity takes can make a pretty significant difference in how your energy is each day.

The tricky thing is - spoons are different for everyone. A task that may take 3 spoons for one person may take 10 for another. And each person can have a different number of spoons to be able to use each day. You may be able to get through your day with 10 spoons while someone else may only have 5. In order to start to get an idea of how many spoons you have during your day, and how many spoons each activity takes, start to pay attention to how your energy ebbs and flows throughout the day.

What activities take the most energy from you?

What activities take less energy?

What is your energy level like at the end of the day?

Are there any activities that seem to give you a little bit more energy?

By increasing your awareness, you can begin to figure out how many spoons you have, and how much is too much for you to do during a day. Try it for yourself! I recommend using some sort of tracker on a piece of paper or a planner to track how your energy feel throughout the day. Write down how your energy is on a scale of 1-10 throughout the day to start noticing patterns you can use to help you figure out your personal number of spoons!


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