How spoon theory will change your life
When a lot of people think of the things they want in life, money and success might be up the top there. That might have even been what we had up there in the past. But when you're in the deepest trudge of burnout, energy goes straight up to number one. Not having the energy to go and do what some of us don't even think about doing (read showering, leaving the house, going to the corner shop) is one of the hardest things to deal with.
Run out of bread for toast? No problem, I'll pop to the shop down the road. Need to go post a letter? No problem, I'll just pop to the post office when I'm on my way home. Need to shower? Well duh, that's already taken care of when I got up this morning.
Some things just feel impossible
With burnout and chronic illness? The response to some of those tasks goes something more like this:
Argh! You what?! How am I supposed to do that? Getting out of bed feels IMPOSSIBLE.
I just can't do it.
And that is tough to admit. As people who are used to always coming up with the craziest ideas, having fifteen tabs open in one go, scheduling every hour of our day, it is completely unfathomable. And if you're not there, you're chugging along, feeling overwhelmed and like everything is crashing down on you, it might be a case that you're not there yet.
I've been in both situations. More than once.
There's no easy solution.
But there is one thing you can do - you can try and sit back and reflect on the reality of the situation.
What I mean by this, is look at the situation, not from the perspective of how much energy you had before, but now much energy you have now.
And plan from there what is realistic.
Because when we start looking at our situations from a place of self compassion and love, we are better able to make decisions based on what will be good for us.
From a place of could not should.
How spoon theory can help
One thing that I've found really helpful in doing this, is the spoon theory.
I first heard of it through the lovely Liz Goddard from The Pillow Fort and it has since played a massive part in my life.
The idea is that we can count our energy in terms of spoons. We have a certain amount of spoons a day, and it's up to us to determine where we put our spoons.
Each activity we do costs a certain amount of spoons, so we must look closely at what we want to do in a day, sacrifice some activities and prioritise others depending on how many spoons we have.
Because each day we may have a different amount of spoons, it's up to us to determine what is possible for us, without exceeding our spoon limit (and increasing our levels of burnout).
It sounds simple. It is simple, but it has revolutionised the way I plan my days.
I'll be talking more in the next couple of weeks about self sabotage vs self compassion, but for now, spoon theory is where it's at.
Here's to planning our days out of self care and self love, and counting our spoons.
If you've used spoon theory before, or are using it for the first time, I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!