By Erin J Hopkins- A Spot For Me
For those of us that consider ourselves “Spoonies”, borrowing spoons is a way of life. Some days I know I will be going to work, so there go most of my spoons right there. Then, if I have to do anything else… forget it, I’m borrowing from the next day. A trip to the store has become a huge workout and takes more spoons than it used to. So, what can we do to “recharge” our spoons?
Well, there’s the most common way, sleep.
I personally love naps (just ask my family). They do have unfortunate side-effects though. Often on days I nap, I end up not being able to sleep. Now, I always have trouble sleeping, but it’s significantly worse on nap days. But the best thing to do is schedule around other plans. For example: If I have to be up early the next day and I know I will be up too late that night if I take a long nap, I will make sure it’s earlier in the day and I set an alarm to keep it shorter. If I have to be up super early (to get the kids on the bus, or something) but do not have anything else to do that day, I will not worry too much about sleep the night before and sleep during the day. My body would rather do that anyway. Yes, this may mess up my inner clock for another day, but it recharges my spoons and that is what I need more. If I spend all my energy forcing myself to sleep at night (when my brain doesn’t want to), then turn around and force myself to stay up all day, just so I can sleep the next night… all I’m doing is depleting my spoons more.
Another way is, hobbies.
This one can be a two-edged sword. Some hobbies can suck the spoons right out of you. Like, I love crafts! I like to make things that were old, new again. It’s fun and environmentally friendly all in one. But it’s also killer on shaky/painful hands. That being said, there’s nothing that makes me feel more energized than getting my crafting supplies out and starting a project. It always takes me a while and there will be pain (of course), but when you love something it will make everything else better. My recommendation is to stop before the pain kicks in, unlike me. So whether you’re into crocheting or horseback riding, don’t give up what makes you happy. Just don’t let it cause you more pain.
Alone time, alone time, alone time!
Maybe for some people getting time to themselves is no problem (or their problem is too much time alone), but for many of us it can be one of the hardest things in the world is finding a moment to relax. For me, it’s at night after everyone else goes to bed. It’s probably why I have such a hard time falling asleep (ok, it’s definitely why). As a parent of two and someone who still works part-time, I find it hard to unwind at the end of the day. I have tried everything! Yoga, structured meditation, adult coloring (which I do love), basically the whole range of tools we’re told will “bring us back to zero”. I’ve found what works best for me is quite. If you can’t do this at the end of the day, do it during a break at work, or while the kids are at school. But if you find that you’re feeling low on spoons (and you don’t have time for a quick nap), try to get to a place where you can sit in silence. Some people can’t do it, and that’s ok. Listen to music or an audio book, just don’t engage your eyes on anything. Close your eyes and breathe. You’re going to think about all the million things that our brains tend to fixate on, but that’s ok. Get those out of the way, even have a pen and paper there with you so you can write stuff down. I have a terrible habit of forgetting about things until late at night and then not following up on them, but when I write it down while I’m thinking of it during silent time, I’ll see it later and remember.
The Spoon Theory has made such a huge difference in my life. I even have a tattoo on my wrist that says “Don’t Waste Your Spoons” to remind me on a daily basis not to take for granted every single piece of energy that I have. I still run out, all the time. But by using the tips I’ve put on here, I am making the best out of every spoon in my drawer.
Erin J. Hopkins – A Spot For Me
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