How To Allocate Your Energy When You Have A Chronic Illness

I had a patient come in the other day and explain the concept of relating tasks to spoons. Daily activities, especially when you are dealing with a chronic illness, can be super overwhelming when you have no energy. My patient explained to me how she relates her tasks down to spoons to make herself less stressed and make her life more manageable.

How To Play The “Spoon” Game

When you wake up based on how you are feeling that day you decide how many spoons you have. This game is just another way of thinking about how much energy you have. The spoons stand for the tasks you are going to tackle that day. Once your spoons are gone, you are done with activities for the day.

Let’s say you wake up feeling very fatigued and in a lot of pain on that morning maybe you only have five spoons that day. If you wake up feeling like you have a good amount of energy and you are excited to tackle the day maybe you have ten spoons that day.

This whole concept focuses on people who are struggling with chronic illness because they wake up in the morning thinking about just surviving the day. Your spoons aren’t supposed to be these broad goals you have for the day, they can be, but these should represent even the most mediocre tasks like taking a shower. Whatever you need to get done that day to survive is what you use your spoons for.

If you’re thinking about the number of spoons, you have today a shower might be one spoon. Three spoons might be what it takes to go to your kid’s soccer game, and if you have work, work might be five spoons. You have to martial your resources and figure out what are you capable of doing today.

Invest Your Spoons (Energy)

The other concept of this spoon game is thinking about what you are going to do today so that tomorrow you have more spoons. It may take you a week to get one more spoon or even a month. Remember that what you do with your spoons today determines how many spoons you get tomorrow. If you burn through your spoons on frivolous things like going out for ice-cream and going to the movies or staying up late binge-watching Netflix you won’t get very many spoons tomorrow.

These tasks will take some deliberation on where to allocate them so that you can have more the next day. It is essential to find someone who can teach you how to invest in your health by showing you the actions you need to do today so that you have more energy tomorrow. Functional medicine doctors or functional neurologists are good examples of doctors who know that a drug won’t solve your health issues. Health is what we do every day to build ourselves.

The first step is figuring how to survive the day by allocating your spoons accordingly.
The second step is focusing on actions you can do today so you can thrive tomorrow.

If you are looking to work with an integrative doctor to help you invest in your health and make sure your efforts pay off check out my vitality restoration program.

Here’s To A Better Life,

Dr. Steve Puckette