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Time Change, or a Time For Change
Now that our clocks have sprung forward an hour, we will have an extra hour of sunlight to do things we like to do outside: go for a bike ride, walk the dog, or host a barbecue. The extra hour also gives the kids a chance to enjoy playing outside for a little bit longer. Some people like to use this extra time to work in their garden and plant annuals. I love seeing beautiful flowers and colorful gardens, but unfortunately I don’t have a green thumb (even my fake plants look concerned when I walk past them!)
This time of year, I look forward to something I am good at — spring cleaning. My husband is a pack rat and I love to donate things I think we don’t need, so we have an ongoing battle in our house. As I am writing this blog, I am staring at a closet in desperate need of attention! But spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to cleaning cabinets, closets, and the garage. We need to remember to spring clean our mind of negative thoughts and feelings as well.
Cleaning out the negativity in our mind is similar to cleaning cabinets and closets; put your negative thoughts and memories in a box. Put a lid on them and tuck them away. Or replace feelings of helplessness and words like “I can’t” with positive action and helpful words such as “I can”. It is time to put up our invisible “no vacancy” sign and evict the negative thoughts and memories out of our mind. They are taking up space that could be used for positive thoughts and happy experiences.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
SEL can teach us coping skills for processing our thoughts and feelings year-round, not just in the spring. SEL also teaches the power of forgiveness; forgiving others allows us the opportunity to let go of wrongdoing. We can also learn to process blame vs responsibility. We can learn to take responsibility for our own actions rather than place blame on others. We can also learn to forgive ourselves when we make a mistake, and figure out what to do better next time.
Spring Is Here
March 20th is the official first day of spring, but we can “spring clean” our house and mind anytime of the year. I am grateful for the extra hour of sunlight so that I can enjoy an evening walk to admire my neighbor’s beautiful garden, and my husband will have an extra hour of daylight to clean out the garage! Afterwards, we can maybe reward ourselves with a delicious shamrock milkshake!