Living Life Using The Spoon Theory

There was a time when I would do some form of crafting every day. My go to crafts used to be crochet or scrapbooking. The past 18 months/2 years these has all changed. Life just got hectic and my health deteriorated.  By the time I got home from work and did all the little jobs that needed doing I was just too physically and mentally worn out to do anything but go to bed.  Having chronic pain from fibromyalgia had a huge impact on my life. I needed to rest and physically prepare my body for the next day. The spoon theory is a great way of explaining things.

scrapbooking spoon theory

The theory is that you have a set amount of spoons each day before your body says no, no I can’t do any more. Lets say you have 25 spoons each day. Everything you do requires a set amount of spoons. For example, getting up, showering and dressing requires 3 spoons worth of exertion, Going to the shops would require 10 spoons.  This would leave you with 7 spoons to do anything else you wanted to do that day.  The spoon theory would allocate spoons to everything you do.  You would therefore need spoons to make a meal, get undressed at night, walking up & down the stairs, participating in hobbies and going places.

scrapbooking spoon theory

It’s hard to believe but just sitting and participating in a hobby can have an effect on your energy levels.  I so miss scrapbooking.  It really is an age since I did any.  I’ve certainly not done any crafting since we moved back to The Midlands earlier this year.  I miss sitting down and having time to just relax.  Time to just forget about all the stresses going on.  Time to just be me.  I know that I need to get back to doing something for me but my issue is finding time.  Finding the energy after a day at work and after doing everything else that needs doing to just sit and enjoy doing a hobby.  Instead I go to bed and collapse.  Having insomnia I don’t tend to sleep but I just have no energy to enjoy participating in something I used to enjoy.

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Here is my question.  Should I give up on something I enjoy because my body has decided to give up on me?  There is so much going on in my life at the moment that I know that I can’t give up anything that is currently using up my spoon allowance.  Fibromyalgia has meant that I have so much energy.  Its not a case of going over my spoon allowance.  All that happens is I have borrowed the next days spoons.  This means I have less energy to partake in life.  Sadly you can’t really carry many spoons over to the next day.  You can’t store them up for future use.  Wouldn’t life be great if you could.

spoon theory

Do you have a chronic illness that stops you doing things you enjoy?  Have you heard of the spoon theory before?

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14 Comments

  1. 11 August, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    I totally understand this and this is my life …I have to pace and make choices and give up things for other things. It’s a hard way to live but gets easier as we learn to manage this new way of life.

    • Candace
      11 August, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      It’s not easy at all. Think the spoon theory makes things easy to explain to others although I find it hard how somebody can fully understand the effect it has day after day after day unless you have experienced it yourself. Fatigue is not the same as having had a late night

  2. Helena
    11 August, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    It must be so hard been fatigued all the time. Heart goes out to you x

  3. 12 August, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    The spoons theory sounds like an interesting one, I think you shouldn’t give up on what you love doing and just need to sort something which works for you x

  4. 14 August, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    I do not have a chronic illness that robs my energy like you do. I hope that you will somehow be able to balance things so you are able once more to find joy in the crafts you love to do. I pray that you will. Be strong and keep on crafting! (Easy for me to say, but I hope this will give you encouragement.)

  5. 15 August, 2016 / 6:10 am

    I’m sorry that chronic illness robs your energy. I hope you are able to find the balance and be able to do the things you love. I loved scrapbooking but I can never find the time for it anymore. x

    • Candace
      15 August, 2016 / 11:38 pm

      Thanks x

  6. 16 August, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this. It must be so hard been fatigued all the time. Be strong! x

  7. Shannon Bryson
    18 August, 2016 / 10:51 am

    I haven’t heard of the spoon theory before and I do think it’s interesting, thanks for sharing!

  8. 18 August, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    I have Fibromyalgia along with numerous other things that leave me in constant pain. It has been eight years since I had to give up working to be able to maintain some sort of quality of life. I think your spoon theory is a wonderful way to try and balance your life. If you can try not to give up the things you love, it’s all about balance. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. I do wish you success and less pain since I know pain free is an illusion. Hugs hun.

  9. 18 August, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    What an interesting theory! I hope you find some time to do some crafts x

  10. 20 August, 2016 / 8:25 am

    I’ve always wondered what the spoon theory was, and now it makes perfect sense. Thankyou for sharing this!

  11. 26 October, 2016 / 9:23 am

    First of all sorry that you are dealing with this. I too have Fibromyalgia and whilst that doesn’t mean I know exactly how you feel (because we all feel these things differently) it does me I know where you are coming from. My crafts and DIY have fallen by the wayside also and sometimes I don’t even have enough spoons left to sit a read a book (who would have thought that took any energy at all)!
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all afford to give up work and use those spoons for the things we love to do!

    • Candace
      26 October, 2016 / 9:37 am

      Sorry that you have struggled too. It’s amazing how much energy some activities require. Hope there are some good days ahead for you

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