I’m coming clean with you, dear reader.
I spend too much energy and sleep too much.
Last night I slept for 13 hours. Today I got home at 2pm and went back to sleep for another four. And you know what? I’m probably going to do the same thing tomorrow.
I’m a chronically ill person who deals with fatigue on a nearly daily basis. Energy is pretty hard to come by sometimes for me. And I know I’m not alone in this; hi fellow spoonies!
But I’m also a creative person, as well as someone with a social life, a partner, and full time school work – in addition to my job. How the hell do I do that? Here are some things that help me.
1. Stop trying to do everything.
This is something I still struggle with, but I’m getting better.
Trust me, when you have a lot on your plate, trying to shove it all in one day is not gonna be a good time. (Even for the non-spoonies out there.)
Break it up! Give yourself space and enough time to actually do what you want to get done. Sometimes that means saying no to hanging out with a friend. Or sometimes it means putting off your homework until the next day. Sometimes it means just writing 100 words of that NaNoWriMo project today.
Or, honestly, sometimes it just means clearing everything you can off your schedule completely for the day. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Let yourself be lazy.
You have permission to be lazy. I grant you the ability free from all shame. Go forth and love your lazy self.
In reality, laziness is a myth. It’s a concept that says “you’re not producing enough to be worth love or respect”, and that’s bullshit (pardon my French).
Sometimes what you really need is to stop “producing” anything and just let yourself rest. Pop on Netflix and lay up on the couch with a bag of popcorn or a cup of tea. Take an all-day nap if you can. Just veg and chill. Future You will thank you for it. Burning out is never any fun.
3. Pretty things can help.
So I’ve noticed a lot of people mocking disabled or depressed kids for liking “fairy lights” – which, if you’re in the US like me, are Christmas lights – usually strung up on the wall just to be pretty and give off gentle light. Cause, you know, pretty stuff isn’t a “real coping mechanism”.
Except it totally can be.
Especially when it comes to tasks you can’t put off. If you have the energy or ability, making yourself or your surroundings look and feel cute can be a much needed push to making yourself do The Thing, whatever that may be.
I have a few ways I apply this in my life:
- I’ve bought really cute multicolored pens to work on my bullet journal and school work with.
- I like painting my nails when I have the energy to.
- I try to wear lipstick to work, because even the most stressful day is just a tiny bit easier if I can look in a mirror and remind myself that I’m a cutie, and lipstick makes me feel cute.
- My school supplies have cute doodles and colorful separators.
- I even like using cute phone cases since I do a lot of on-the-go work on my phone.
Heck, I even go through the trouble of trying to use the most aesthetically pleasing apps and programs for stuff!
(You might not need to go that far haha.)
Please cheat. Please do everything you can to save yourself time and energy.
Use face wipes instead of washing your face!
Use Listerine spray if you can’t remember to brush your teeth every day!
Wash just your hair if you don’t have the spoons for a full shower!
Use a cane to walk sometimes!
Text to talk to someone in the room if you’re nonverbal!
Don’t believe the people who call it “lazy” or “not needed” – you know your limits best. You don’t have to push yourself. You can use the tools and technology our society has available to make your life easier. That’s literally what technology is for!
This advice is even for people who don’t consider themselves spoonies. If anything I’ve said is helpful to you, please feel free to use it, whether you’re disabled or chronically ill or not.
And if you have any other tips for making life easier on low energy, please leave them in the comments below!