Each day I wake up to discover that I have a lot, a little, or very little energy. I like to picture my energy supply for the day as a fistful of spoons – sometimes I have a lot of them, sometimes not so many. Each activity I undertake requires a certain number of “spoons”; if I have a lot of them, I can just do whatever I want or need to do, but if I have only a few I have to be very careful how I use them. It might take half of my spoons just to shower and dress! It comes down to recognizing that when I have a limited supply of energy, I will have to make choices about how I will expend it. It’s okay for me to make the executive decision to beg off on an outing with a friend because I need to do an errand instead, or choose to skip the shower and focus on making an important phone call. This helps me to dispassionately assess my needs and my responsibilities without adding a lot of self-guilt or perfectionism to the mix.
Here’s a link to the story of the woman who first used this “spoons” analogy: