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What even is Spoon Theory anyway?

Why Spoons?

The Spoon Theory is one widely used by the chronic illness community and as such is now also recognised by may medical professionals. It’s a great visual tool for helping you to pace your daily activities so that you can manage your energy and pain levels.

Not heard of the Spoon Theory before? Let me very briefly explain;

The theory came to life when Christine Miserandino was eating Dinner with her friend. The friend asked Christine what it was like to live with Lupus. Searching around the diner they were eating in for inspiration, Christine handed her friend 12 spoons. The spoons equated to her energy levels for the day, and with each daily activity - Showering, dressing, going to work etc - Christine took one or several spoons away from her friend, depending on how much energy each activity used, or how much pain it caused.

Essentially, spoons equal energy, and you only have a set number available to you each day. If you’d like to read the full theory in more details, you can do that by clicking here.

Spoon theory

So how many spoons should you have each day?

And how many spoons does each task take?

Personally, I think this will differ from person to person. We all have different symptoms, and different conditions to deal with. Some of us have multiple conditions. The best way to work it out is to write down a list of your general daily activities. Remember to think about taking your medication (Because if you don’t take that, you might as well have no spoons for the next couple of days!) If there are tasks you don’t do every day, include those as well. You want to try and cover as many tasks as you can.

With your list complete, think about how much energy each task uses. Maybe rate them from one to five. Easier tasks starting at one and more complex or painful tasks at five.

Now think about your average day. How many of those tasks can you do, without feeling knackered at the end of the day. Add up the ratings for those tasks and this will be your spoon limit for every day.

If you’re stuck, use my example below as your guide. Please keep in mind though, that what someone else finds exhausting, you might be able to do easily, and vice versa. This is why I think it’s important to work out your spoon limit yourself, rather than using ones already created online.

Spoon theory explained

Remember, you may not be able to complete every task each day. That’s ok. This is simply a way to visualise your energy levels so that you can plan your day and pace yourself based on what you need to achieve.

So now you know about Spoon Theory! Can you relate? Do you know your spoon limit? I’d love to know! Why not jump into my Facebook group and connect with other spoonies?!

Gentle hugs

Steph xxx

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