Friday, 17 May 2013

What to do when you've got no spoons left

... or tokens, or whatever your terminology of choice is for that point at which you have no more energy, no more strength, no more coping-ness, to deal with one more damn thing.

Sailors sleeping on flight deck of the USS Lexington (CV-16)., 11/1943
I find myself here more often than I'd like to admit, because I'm not so great at identifying exhaustion, overstimulation, and general burnout until I'm already at the point where EVERYTHING needs to STOP AT ONCE.  It's a combination of getting engrossed in things and losing track of time, of a sense of duty that keeps me working when I should stop, and generally wobbly self-care skills.

So, what to do when you're spoonless?

These are some things that work for me.  They won't work for everyone, and no doubt there are some good ones that I haven't stumbled across.  I'd really like to hear yours as well... points to comments box

  • A hot shower (not bath)
  • A cup of tea (by myself - this is about the tea itself, not socialising)
  • Sleep!  Either a full night's sleep or a nap, depending on the circumstances.
  • Losing myself in a favourite activity - reading, sorting buttons, watching one of my favourite shows.  A timer can help if I'm worried about losing track of time and staying up too late, eating into my much-needed sleeping time
  • Doing something simple but constructive (shredding some paper for the recycling, for instance) so that I feel like I have some modicum of control over some part of my life, at least
  • Time out.  Just doing nothing.  Sitting.  Stimming.  Daydreaming.  
It's not 'being lost in my own world', about wanting to get out of work or deliberately skiving on my responsibilities.  It's essential downtime when I can do no more, it's the emergency shut-down before I either collapse in a weepy heap or get ragey.  When I'm at this point, unless I specifically ask for help with something, the best thing to do really is to leave me alone to recover.