Do you have enough spoons?


A few months ago, we hired a dog trainer (hear me out... this does relate to aromatherapy) to help us with our pup, who isn't always great with other dogs when they jump up and down at him when we are out on a walk. Long story short, it appears that our poor fur-baby is frightened of other dogs, but to help us understand his behavior the trainer introduced us to the 'Spoon Theory'. 

The Spoon theory states that on a good day, our dog, Otis wakes up with six spoons. (we don't quite know why its spoons, but nonetheless...) each time something happens that causes him stress or anxiety, he will lose a spoon. If we were to go out for a walk, and encounter another dog (1), then another (2), then a van drives past too fast and frightens him (3), then on that walk alone Otis has lost three of his six spoons.

Each time we lose a spoon we become less fulfilled. We don't necessarily recuperate all of our six spoons if we continue to feel stressed or unfulfilled, so don't assume that a good nights sleep will leave you with all of those six spoons back, our emotions take longer than that to recover. 

In relation to Otis, taking him out for the same walk again that evening, or even the next morning, we could actually be leaving our poor pup spoon-less and loosing his mind with stress, because he had less spoons to lose on that second walk than he did on the first. 

What we need to do, to enable Otis to regain his spoons before he gets to the point of a meltdown, is make the effort to do the things he LOVES. In our case this is the 'orange ball'. Its Otis' life, so, what we do now, when we see another dog approaching, is give Otis his orange ball. He has learned to associate the awesome amazing ball ... with other dogs, the trigger that caused him to lose his spoons in the first place. We have created a balance that enables him to maintain his spoons, during a stressful situation because its balanced out by his ball. The ball is also a mechanism to get those spoons back if and when something causes him stress. 

Its a trick that would do us all a favor in our day to day life. Whether its missing your alarm, having a stressful commute to work, or sorting out your kids for school, or getting a hard time from your boss. Or if you are someone who lives on longer journey with stress, anxiety or depression. On a daily basis, most of us are running pretty thin on spoons. Each day we might accrue one or two additional spoons with some good news or a proud moment, but we rarely fully restock. That is why we long for holidays, or time off, or the weekend. 

It would do each and every one of us some good if we made the effort each day to re-stock a spoon or two by doing something we love.

It doesn't need to be something unachievable or time consuming, for some its a soak in the bath with your favorite relaxing essential oils, for others its a stroll or run in the fresh air, it might be reading a chapter of your book, or making a phone call to a friend. An activity that can give you the space and opportunity to just enjoy and restock one of the spoons you may have lost during the day. 

I used to have a very stressful job, which triggered anxieties and even panic attacks, and I cant tell you how helpful the dog trainer was for my own mental heath the night she came to assess the dog! Focusing my mind onto the spoon theory really helped me to gain an awareness that I hadn't had before. 

As a small change, and a way to try to maintain a spoon whilst in a stressful situation in that job, I started carrying an aromatherapy mist with me, when I began to feel anxious or stressed, I would take myself away from the situation, spray my mist and take a few breaths. It may sound trivial to some, but for me it worked, it stopped me from persevering in a stressful situation and ending up with no spoons (and a break down). It only took a few seconds, but it allowed me to focus, brought an awareness and enabled me to maintain my composure. 

Another example of spoon collection in my daily life includes my nighttime routine, I look forward to it. I head upstairs and hit the Saint Monica face and body balm, I massage it into my face using lymph drainage facial techniques, and roll my rose quartz roller around my eyes and cheeks. I head into the bedroom and apply a lavender oil blend to my pulse points and feet and, if feeling a little extra, I'll do so with a candle burning and a chunk of Palo Santo wood smoldering away. 

It really doesn't need to cost you time out of the day, but its so important to make that time for yourself, you will never regret it. 

 

What will you do today to restock a spoon? 

Go get it! 

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