If you struggle with mental health in any capacity, the “spoon theory” will seriously help you explain your situation to other people.
According to the spoon theory, every person in the world has a certain supply of spoons to get them through each day. Every activity costs a certain number of spoons, like making your bed or going to the grocery store.
Every person starts with a different amount of spoons. Also, the same activity might cost a different number of spoons for different people.
For example! Let’s say you have social anxiety. For you, any type of social interaction probably costs you a lot of spoons. Simple things like making a phone call or going to a happy hour can take a lot out of you. For an extrovert with no mental health issues, these activities wouldn’t cost that many spoons, but for you, they do.
Eventually, you may be completely out of spoons, at which point you need to take your ass home and replenish.
Just like some activities take away spoons, other activities add spoons to your arsenal. Sleep, for one thing! Also, quality time with close loved ones, food, hobbies — again, it’s different for different people.
The theory is simple, but it’s kind of a game changer. It provides easy language for when you just Cannot Do The Thing but you don’t really have a “reason.” There is a reason after all: You’re out of spoons!
This theory was invented by Christine Miserandino, and since then, it’s helped countless people worldwide manage their depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Thank you Christine, for giving us a way to talk about mental health that is both easy to communicate and to understand. Being able to put words to things makes a huge difference!