By Debra K. Waranch, LCSW-C
As we approach the midpoint of the Pesach holiday and continue to settle into spring, let’s take a moment to think about what this transition can mean. Pesach celebrates freedom and rebirth, just like spring.
Research repeatedly tells us that being outside with nature elevates our mood and can often relieve stress. Spring and the sunny, warm weather allow many of us to breathe more freely (assuming you don’t suffer from allergies.) Seeing the flowers, hearing the birds and feeling warmth on our skin can actually raise our mood level and balance people of all ages. Children have a great need to run and play, especially outdoors.
Often we can “shed” our winter ways, and grow ourselves further with the change of season. This is a time where we can encourage ourselves and our children to take stock of where we are and where we are going. It’s an excellent time to find out what your children are thinking and feeling about their friends, academics, their interests, the arts, and athletics. Also find out how they are sleeping and eating. Ask yourself, are we having enough family time, down time, are we feeling too rushed or overscheduled? Spring is a time for reorganization and rescheduling.
See this as a time for a “Spring Cleaning” change. In order for this to happen, everyone needs to take a step back and assess the situation, sometimes individually or with another person for guidance. Listed below are ways to move toward change.
Have a family meeting. The best way to execute change is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Share your wishes for change with your family and guide them in the right direction.
Remember that change can be hard. Be aware of the difficulties involved and don’t expect things to happen overnight. Make sure to let your children know to expect that change takes time.
Use spring as an analogy for change. Try explaining the process to your family in ways that will support your efforts. For example, you can say, “We are moving from the dark cold winter, into the warm spring with blooming flowers.”
Keep your changes manageable. Try to avoid making this mission too overwhelming. Choose a reasonable number of changes. It’s hard to work on too many things at the same time so focus on one to three changes.
Start by looking in the mirror. Take the lead and pick a change that you personally want to make, then model it for your children.
The overall message is to teach your family that all of us are always growing and developing, and that change can be a good thing. So take advantage of the new season and use it as a springboard for change.
By Debra K. Waranch, LCSW-C, JCS Therapy Services
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