Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Self-Care with a Chronic Illness: Save Spoons

It's Arthritis Awareness Month! This month I am challenging you to take a little time each day and practice better self-care. Each day in May, I plan to share one simple way you can show yourself some love and appreciation.

Save Spoons. Christine Mierandino elegantly gave the chronic illness community a way to explain our energy levels. Basically, we are given a certain number of spoons or energy each day. When you live your life with a health condition, you must make choices about how you plan to use those spoons. Many days, just waking up and getting out of bed consumes a spoon or two. As the day continues, you have to make choices of how you want to divide up those spoons because there is a limit.

Today, save some spoons just for yourself. It has to be a conscious decision because they go quickly and you can't get them back. Also, remember it is okay to end the day with a spoon or two unused.

Recently, I saw a neighbor walking on the other side of the street with just one of her two dogs. Just as I was about to inquire about the missing dog, I stopped myself. I reminded myself that I am a person who soaks up other's feelings and that day my spoons were almost gone. While I felt sad letting the conversation go because I know her dog is old and has been sick, I knew it was better to save it for another day. I needed the spoons I had left for other things that day. Was that selfish of me? Inconsiderate? No. It was me counting my spoons and acknowledging I have limits.