How Many Spoons Do You Have Today? The Spoon Theory of Chronic Illness

How Many Spoons Do You Have Today? The Spoon Theory of Chronic Illness

6 in 10 Americans suffer from a chronic illness, but we still struggle to find the right words to explain how these conditions affect us every day. It’s difficult to find the right words to make other people understand these debilitating and exhausting conditions. A unique tool that’s come onto the scene is the idea of the spoon theory of Chronic Illness. By using this idea as a foundation, it’s easier to find a common ground for meaningful discussion with friends and family.

If you’re uncertain what is the spoon theory of Chronic Illness all about, keep reading to find out more!

Spoon Theory Explained

Spoon theory began when Christine Miserandino tried to explain to her friend how she felt while dealing with her chronic condition. After a few minutes of fruitless effort, she grabbed several spoons from the diner they were sitting in and handed them to her friend.

Each spoon represented a certain amount of energy that she’d start with at the beginning of the day. As the two walked through a single day’s routine, Miserandino’s friend was shocked by how quickly the spoons were used up to do normal things. With these basic activities taking so much energy, it did not leave much energy for doing anything else.

Help Loved Ones Understand

The spoon theory of Chronic Illness representing energy levels gained a lot of traction from people with chronic diseases. It’s a great way of showing loved ones how you feel every day and helps create a bridge of understanding.

For example, someone going through multiple sclerosis treatment might have a hard time explaining how much that treatment impacts their life. With spoon theory to help, it becomes much easier to create a visual representation that makes the idea click for friends and family.

Take some time to figure out how many spoons you have available for a regular day, and start showing your loved ones how you’re feeling. When you no longer have extra spoons left, don’t be afraid to tell them. What might have once been a difficult discussion now has a simple foundation from which to build and explore.

A Community of Like-Minded People

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Spoon theory is more than a tool used by those of us with a chronic disease. It’s now a call-to-arms and a loving community built around the idea. These ‘Spoonies’ come together on all kinds of different platforms, cheering each other on as everyone works through the trials of their illness.

It’s a lot easier to fight through the struggles when you are surrounded by a supportive group of friends.

Use Spoon Theory to Gauge Your Energy Levels Throughout the Day

Spoon theory isn’t only a way to communicate with others. It’s also an invaluable way of quantifying your energy levels for your personal use so that you can get through the day.

It’s much easier to fight off guilt when you recognize that you’ve used up all of your spoons for the day and need to rest instead of following through with a social call.

Make sure to check out the rest of our Health section for more ways to keep up with your physical and mental wellbeing.

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