Written By:

If you’re a spoonie it means you have a chronic illness that probably limits the amount of energy you have each day. You might not be able to do everything you want without crashing later, so saving energy (“spoons”) wherever you can becomes crucial.

Since every spoonie has his or her own tricks and strategies to conserving energy, we asked our Mighty community to share their best “hacks” that help make their lives easier. From getting through a busy work day to saving spoons while showering, this is what real people with chronic illnesses do to manage exhaustion.

Here’s what the community told us:

1. “Shower chairs are an incredible invention. Use them!”

2. “I plan the next day every night before I go to bed with a notebook… what to wear, what to take for lunch, what kind of schedule I have for work, pack any essential items I may need, and etc. It makes the mornings so much easier to have a plan because if I am stressed or anxious it all just gets worse, and if I don’t have a plan and my mind gets all fuzzy then I am just a frantic, confused mess.”

3. “Have stools in the kitchen. Sitting and cooking or washing up is so much easier!”

4. “My slow cooker! I have a family of four to feed so almost every day I slow cook! I put it on in the morning when I still have a few spoons because by 5 p.m. I’m all out of spoons. I also like to precut and have organized foods in the fridge for my boys — that way if I’m not feeling well after I pick them up from school they have food they can just grab.”

5. “If I have four things to do in a day, I only do two, maybe three — that way I feel in control when I stop, rather than letting the pain and/or exhaustion dictate when I stop and make me frustrated.”

6. “I also have baskets under the coffee table with extra meds and things to keep me busy like knitting and coloring when I am stuck on the couch all day. Don’t worry, no kids around to get into the med basket. They’re fabric, nice-looking baskets, too, so people often don’t notice what’s in them. I also do the same for my meds in my closet. A nice pretty basket organized by specific meds so my husband can just grab the whole thing for me instead of rifling around looking for something.”

<="US Pain Foundation">