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Spoon Theory: An Insight into Our Daily Energy.

Writer lying. down to write at the Artist residency La Napoule
When I have low energy, I work lying down. Photo: Claire Dibble

Do you know the origin of the Spoon Theory? It was developed by Christine Miserandino to illustrate the energy challenges faced by people with chronic illnesses. But as I delved into this concept while recovering from my burnout a few years ago, I realized its applicability far beyond this initial context.

The "Spoon Theory" suggests that we start each day with a set number of "spoons"—a metaphor for our energy and ability to handle tasks and stress. Each activity, whether it's responding to an email or running an errand, costs us a spoon. For a healthy person, spoons seem abundant. However, for someone with low energy, the consumption of these spoons must be wisely managed.

This concept takes on a particular dimension for neurodivergent or highly sensitive individuals. But beyond that, who hasn't felt this latent fatigue post-pandemic or this weariness due to professional or parental overload?

Because once all the spoons are used up, our energy reserve is depleted. Perhaps for you, taking the subway costs you a spoon because you like to read and watch the crowd. Maybe for your neighbor, it takes five spoons because the lights and noise are overwhelming. Each person I encounter also has their own set of spoons, and sometimes, a little empathy can make all the difference.

What I love about this theory is that it offers a concrete perspective on our individual limits. It reminded me that it's important to recognize one's limits and that it's perfectly acceptable to say no. Why do we feel more exhausted some days than others for no apparent reason? The spoons offer us a tangible answer.

Whether you are neurodivergent, highly sensitive, an artist, or simply someone navigating the complexities of everyday life, this theory is an invitation to introspection. It encourages us to be kind to ourselves and to understand that everyone has their own number of spoons to manage.

So, on these days when energy seems to be lacking, remember your spoons. And recognize the beauty of this metaphor: it reminds us that taking care of oneself is not a luxury, but a necessity. 🥄✨

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