The Spoon Theory

The Spoon Theory is widely known in the Chronic illness community but is also used for mental health. "spoonies" use spoons as a measurement for how much energy they have and designate a certain number of spoons to the day or task ahead. For example, on a bad day, you might only have 5 spoons, so you have to be selective about what you use them for, this is where Low energy to High energy tasks come in.

Having an activity diary is really helpful for the spoon theory. To Begin, write out all the things you'd normally do in a day such as washing your hair or studying. Then once you have a normal (ish) week laid out in front of you, start highlighting in one colour, Tasks that take low energy such as skincare, in another colour highlight medium energy tasks and finally the highest energy tasks.

The idea is to use the Spoon Theory to balance out these tasks so you aren't overdoing it or end up in a cycle of "boom and bust" - exertion and then crashing. This form of energy management is widely used because the amount of spoons you have is individual to you. You can designate a number of spoons to the day or task ahead based on how you are feeling. For example, a task that is high energy might take away 5 spoons, so if you only have 6 that day to give then it's best to do an activity that takes lower spoons so you can stay within your energy or symptom limits.

The Spoon theory like many Energy management techniques is completely individual to you. This means that some people interpret the spoon theory differently and adapt the premise of it to daily life in a variety of ways. There isn't really a right or wrong way of practising the spoon theory - the main aim of it is to allow a person to quantify energy in a way that makes sense to them so that they can learn the "give and take" balance of tasks and energy being used. I've also found The spoon theory a clever way of communicating to others your limitations without having to explain them constantly. something that I love about the spoon theory is the community behind it. The spoon theory is where being a "spoonie" comes from - this can really help you feel less alone no matter what you're using the spoon theory for.

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