Pain Management & Acceptance. The Spoon Theory.

February 28, 2017




I found this post by and wanted to raise it to everyone's attention, as I think this is something I could really do with following and may help me a bit.


How will I use my spoons today?


As a chronically ill person I only have 10 spoons at my disposable each day (the average being 8). Therefore, I must pick and choose wisely.


1 x spoon to get out of bed

2 x spoons to have a shower

5 x spoons to attend a social event

4 x spoons to go out for coffee

4 x spoons to drive

3 x spoons to make a phone call

5 x spoons to garden

5 x spoons to work

3 x spoons to play games

5 x spoons to clean the house

2 x spoons to have a meal

4 x spoons to walk the dog

5 x spoons to study

3 x spoons to watch TV

5 x spoons for ironing

4 x spoons for exercise

4 x spoons for shopping

2 x spoons to read

4 x spoons to take public transport

4 x spoons to cook.


* Note - if you exceed your daily limit, be aware that you will be taking spoons from tomorrow's allocation. So be sure to plan ahead accordingly. 




This is so eye opening to me. Day in day out I push myself to get things done that I feel 'need' completing not thinking about the amount of energy, stress and extra anxiety these tasks drain and increase within my body.


I live on my own so of course I see cleaning the house, cooking & washing as just automatic things, not 'tasks' like work. However I need to factor them in!


It has made me realise why going out for a meal with friends and family is so draining on me!

As if I have driven, that is 4 spoons, meeting up 5 spoons, and eating a meal 2 spoons that puts my spoon score at 11! Before having cooked my other meals, worked, cleaned the house, maybe gone food shopping.


I feel drained by all the tasks above but I have never realised how much I really have being over-doing it and it has just been really eye opening. I am really going to have to allocate my time and tasks better to stop my boom and bust cycle I push & fight against daily.


This has been a real shock to me I can't tell you. I REALLY need to address this full on now. It also show and proves how difficult life is living with chronic pain and chronic illness on top of juggling everything else - anxiety just being one example ( when you are trying to face social fears and keeping the mind active to help but now you have to consider how draining these are on our energy levels)! The planning, the managing, the compromising and the extra stress organising yourself ALWAYS.


I always try to tell myself to 'go with the flow' to help my anxiety but the above shows that maybe sometimes that could backfire as I could do too much when feeling good & buzzed that then means I struggle for 2 - 3 days after.


Before reading this article this morning I have already, got out of bed, had a bath, made cereal, driven to the shops, been food shopping, hovered the landing and it is only 10am. Now according to the spoon scale I have already used 18 spoons and here I am working on blogs for today. WOW. This kind of day is normal for me, I do it day in day out and that's why see and reading this is going to make me address it.  I still have to make lunch, take a trip to Manchester & make pancakes tonight. So by the end of the day you would say I will have racked up another 10 spoons.


I am speaking and blogging more about over-all healing and advice for you all in all the different areas and that make up the vicious cycle. So all the research I find and the advice I give I need to take myself. To heal completely.


I tell you all the time - knowledge is power.


I think this really proves it! Now we have the knowledge we can work with it and see if we can improve our lives.


Be aware that the amount f spoons you use per tasks my differ - for example if you have done 10 minutes of hovering that may represent more 2 spoons compared to cleaning 2 bathrooms & wiping down the kitchen that would represent 5 spoons.


I think the key to this is to keep a note of what we are doing and what we have planned and try to respect this spoon theory. Being kinder to yourself and trying to manage tasks better so then we aren't going crazy and over-doing our spoon level ridiculously ( like I display above ). 


I am not saying follow this theory religiously as I state above certain tasks may differ, which need to be taken into account - it is just a guideline. Nothing to get obsessive about.


I am definitely going to be trying this theory out though, to help me accept my limitation, not over-do things and hopefully gain some energy back through being able to understand my energy inputs, outputs and overall management.


Let me know how you guys get on!

What works for you? How do you cope with management, self-guilt & exhaustion?


Reach out !


Thank you for reading.



Please reload


Feeling sluggish and rubbish when you have woken up? Get boosting up on bananas the more the better - they will help settle your stomach, boosting digestion, they are a mood enhancer, they will give you the energy you need and keep you full. Buy my book for banana receipe ideas.
Wake up every morning and ATLEAST have one glass of lemon water before doing anything else! Ideally try to drink a litre of water. The lemon wakes up your digestive system ready for the day and has great cleansing properties.
Check your dairy and meat intake - dairy can sit in your system for up to seven days unable to digest properly. Meaning other foods also get neglected and nurtients aren't absorbed properly and you feel extremely bloated. Go and smell your food bin, your stomach will be in that state. Rotting foods in your belly - hmm nice.
Bananas, Rice, Potatoes, Leafy Greens, Corn, Beans, Lentils etc PACK THEM IN GO MAD.
NEVER COUNT CALORIES - NEVER RESTRICT!! These restriction 'starvation' diets who tell you to only eat 500 calories a day then have a treat day - where you binge out and eat WAY too much, is simply messing up your metabolism and on your binge days yours body stores all the fat meaning you gain weight because it knows it is going to go back into starvation mode and needs to hold onto every little thing it can. HELLO WEIGHT GAIN. 

Life is too short not to live it to the full, making yourself happy.

© 2023 by Salt & Pepper. Proudly created with