Spoonie Shortcuts

Since I’m often low on energy, I often have to figure out the most efficient way to get through my day. Here are some things that I do to make things easier for myself.

  • Learning how to pick things up with my feet. It seems weird, but it works. Bending over or getting on the ground requires a tremendous amount of effort to get back up once you’re already down there. You’ll be spending spoons you don’t have. The only time that this technique can’t be used is if one of your dog’s toys gets lost under the couch and she won’t stop crying until you get it.
  • Showering in the morning. I used to shower at night before I was diagnosed, but I often had trouble motivating myself to actually shower because I was always so tired at the end of the day. Before I used to shower to relax, but now I do it to wake up for the day. Showering in the morning requires getting up a bit earlier than you normally would, but you can go out into your day feeling refreshed and awake.
  • Naps. Naps are a super important part of my day. I don’t know why preschool me didn’t appreciate them more. I try not to sleep more than an hour at a time or it becomes counterproductive and makes me feel groggy. They’re also a good measure to take if you’ve just taken a Tylenol and wish to fight off a fever, a headache, or any sort of muscle pain.
  • Learn where the bathrooms are. As soon as I come to a new place, I scope out the area for where the bathroom is. It’ll be useful information sooner or later.
  • Asking for help. This seems like an obvious thing to do, but it’s an option in life that I always forget about. I’ve struggled with things because I’ve tried to do it on my own, but realized afterward that things would’ve been a million times easier if I had gotten help. One time at work I insisted that I be the one to take 6 heavy boxes full of books to the post office, but it wiped me out for the rest of the day. If I had gotten help, I would’ve been able to have been a normal person for the rest of the day. But nooooo, super strong Lauren had to do it on her own. Super strong Lauren is a dumb, that’s for sure.
  • Carry extra underwear. I’ve had a few accidents myself this past year, so now I know to always carry an extra pair with me. Going commando in shorts that are too big for you is super embarrassing, but ultimately preventable.
  • Carry a pill case with you. You may feel like a pharmacy, but carrying your medicine in a weekly divided case can really help you keep track of your medications. I would often forget whether or not I had taken my medicines for the day, but I was able to stay organized once I had found a case to keep everything in. I also carry around Tums and Tylenol for good measure/emergencies.
  • Pack up the night before. This will give you the time to prepare for the next day to avoid rushing and/or forgetting something. I usually leave things that I don’t want to forget within my walking path in my room. This may make for a messy living environment, but it works well for me.
  • Written reminders. These can vary from reminders on your phone to written on your hand. Since I’ve gotten a smart phone, I haven’t written on my hand in a while. I used to get into a ton of trouble for it in middle school, though. Apparently the ever looming possibility of ink poisoning was the worst of my problems back then.
  • Microwavable meals. This doesn’t necessarily mean eating Lean Cuisine for every meal, but mainly preparing to eat mostly leftovers. I can’t cook worth a damn and when I do have to, it’s an exhausting process. I’m already hungry and probably barely have enough spoons left to make myself a meal. Once the meal is even made, I’ll probably have even less energy to serve it to myself, so it just turns into a vicious cycle. When I’m slow on spoons, I usually end up rooting around for snack food instead, which isn’t good. Leftovers from food my mom or dad made have saved my spoons many a time.
  • Carry a towel in your car. Learned this one from Hitchhiker’s Guide. Seriously, you’ll never know when you’ll need it.
  • Snacks. I always try to carry some sort of snack on me if I remember. It’s usually some sort of breakfast or protein bar that’s good for easy calories.
  • Avoid over committing. This is something I definitely have trouble with. I have the hardest time in the world saying no. I always feel like I need to help or be busy, but that’s something I can’t do anymore. This summer I’ve been trying to limit myself to one or two major events in a day in order to slowly wean myself into doing smaller amounts throughout the week.
  • Most importantly, let yourself rest. Energy doesn’t come from nothing, so don’t run yourself down to that point. It’s something that I still have trouble with, but I’m planning on letting myself learn how to relax this summer.
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