For those days when you're too tired to eat the frog.
This week, we have been talking about tasks.
Specifically, we have focused on how to start a task and how to make it more manageable.
Today, we are going to focus on what to do when you "can't even"...
How to handle life when you have seemingly run out of energy or ability.
There is a lovely idea called the spoon theory by Christine Miserandino, that I highly recommend you check out. It talks about how we have a limited number of capabilities and resources in a day (spoons). Tasks either take or give spoons. It is used as a metaphor for chronic pain management, but lends itself well to life in general.
I am a huge advocate for managing our internal resources.
So I present to you:
A super quick guide to helping yourself manage in 4 easy steps!
Step 1: Check in with yourself.
When you wake up, spend a moment listening to your body. Just take note of certain elements, where do you feel stress or anxiety? Notice your overall mood. On a scale of 1 - 10, how prepared or capable do you feel to approach the coming day?
Step 2: Divide your spoons.
Once you've checked in, define what big tasks are on the list for the day that might use the most spoons? Where are your resources primarily directed today? There isn't a right or wrong way to go about this. This is meant to be a quick point-form list of the day.
Step 3: Give yourself permission.
Acknowledge that there are big tasks that require most of your resources.
Give yourself permission to let some of the little details go until a more capable time. This isn't a reflection of your failing, it is a prioritizing of the reality of the day. It isn't from a place of lack, it is from a place of love.
Step 4: Call in supports.
What activities or people can give you a spoon?
Create a list of people and actions that bring you joy.
Remember that it is your list, and that no item is silly. Yoga with goats? Cool! Tea served in a show? Okay!
Make this list in anticipation of a low moment, not in the low moment for easy access. Is there anyone is your network that can help you through this potentially compromised time? Who can you delegate a task to?
What is important here is to know that you are worth self-care. I walk my clients through this list creation process and it is a fun and freeing exercise.
There are days that I have low spoon, and days with basically no spoons.
When I am compromised, my family knows what to do because we have set the framework in place. My kids get it too. When one of my boys was in kindergarten, he came out of class and said to his brother, "Please give me some space right now, I am compromised.".
He was 5. And his brother left him alone until he had more spoons.
Using the spoon theory gives neutral language to signal that help is needed. You don't have to take on all the tasks yourself!
As you practice the steps above, and share with your team, life on the days you "can't even" gets a little more kind and has a little more grace.
I wish you a wonderful weekend full of many spoons and lots of love.
See you on Monday!
Tea-loving awesomeness. Challenging perfectionism.