Finding spoons in unexpected places
I think one of the toughest parts of managing RA is the ever changing number of spoons you have each day. Wonder what the heck I’m talking about? Read The Spoon Theory. Christine Miserandino does a fantastic job of explaining what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. Finding spoons wherever I can has helped me tremendously.
Some days I have a whole fistful of spoons, and other days they must all be in the dishwasher or something. So I’m always mindful of how I spend my energy and on the look out for areas that I can conserve. What’s worth using a few spoons for? The main thing I am always willing to spend my spoons on is exercise. Even when I’m hurting, I find a way to do something. Mondays and Fridays are step class. Wednesdays (and every Sunday I can) are weights and the bike. Some days I literally DRAG myself there but I will say if I don’t, my joints get even stiffer and more painful. And most of the time I end up clearing out the brain fog a bit after I recover from the exercise adventure.
Where can you find spoons, or at least conserve them? Here are my top FIVE:
- In a Glass of Water – Water creates hydroelectric energy, it helps your body absorb nutrients better from your food, it reduces stress, and even lubricate joint spaces. If you aren’t drinking at least a half gallon of water a day, you are losing precious spoons. I notice such a difference in my ability to focus for longer periods of time if I am diligent about my water intake. I got a free app for my phone to keep me on track. Adding a couple drops of Lime or Grapefruit oil makes me drink more because it tastes delish.
- With“Convenience” Foods – NO I do NOT mean processed crap. I mean being smart and taking advantage of some great options. You can buy cauliflower crumbles, bags of shredded cabbage, frozen fruits and veggies all ready for smoothie making. Yes, it may cost a little more but often if my hands are in a flare, I can’t chop/shred/prep fruits and veggies anyway. And then it gets tempting to grab, in the words of a good friend, “PLASTIC FOOD.” Do yourself a favor, spend a bit on the pre-prepped stuff and you’ll feel so much better by sticking to a diet that fuels you and not your illness.
- Taking Power Naps – While it can be tempting to snooze a lot longer, a 20-30 minute nap can be your best friend. I try to set an alarm when I lay down, or ask sweet Hanapoo to wake me, otherwise the temptation to sleep longer often wins.
“Power naps can alleviate our so-called sleep deficits, but they can also boost our brains, including improvements to creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning. They help us with math, logical reasoning, our reaction times, and symbol recognition. Naps improve our mood and feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Not only that, napping is good for our heart, blood pressure, stress levels, and surprisingly, even weight management.”
- Have a Five Minute Dance Party – When I clean, I like to put 80’s music on. It’s silly and bouncy and brings back High School memories. And you know what I noticed? I cleaned with a little more zip, there was some pep in my step. I was always a little less stressed and a little more energized when I was done. So the five minute dance party was born (and it embarrassed Hana a bit, and parents, you know it’s fun to make the teens squirm a bit) Try it. This is a great trick for finding spoons.
- Fire Up the Diffuser – This is an amazing, simple option with added health & wellness benefits. There
are many essential oils that clear out the brain fog, reduce stress, lift your mood, help you focus – AND increase energy. Peppermint & Wild Orange is a winning combo in our house for energy and focus. Rosemary, Grapefruit, and Lime are another fab blend for energy and memory. Marjoram and Bergamot helps me use the energy I have effectively. It’s settling AND focusing. doTERRA’s Motivate blend is great option as well. I keep a roller of it in my bag to use topically for energy on the go.
What secret spoonie tips do you have that have made your life better? Is finding spoons a hobby of yours too?