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Taking Care of You
Rebuilding: 10 Ways To Spring Forward
By Jennifer Snyder 
May 29, 2005, 01:48

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The whole notion of setting my clock ahead an hour each spring usually leaves me feeling a little resentful.

An hour lost; don't they know what I might have accomplished with an extra sixty minutes of work, or a little more sleep?

This year, however, was different. Anxious to leave winter behind, I didn't focus on the loss of an hour but took delight in the promise of warmer temperatures, and even contemplated how my coaching clients could use this season to 'spring forward'.

Here is only the beginning of a list to get you started:

Go for a walk alone. Stretching and moving has been shown to improve clarity, creativity, and memorization. If you'd like some entertainment for your walk, the public library and Cracker Barrel offer books on tape.

Get moving with friends; even with children peddling ahead on bicycles, you should have an opportunity to share stories and support.

Venture further than your neighborhood. Spring and summer schedules often afford greater flexibility. Could grandparents or former spouses care for the children while you took a night, or even a weekend, away?

Attend one of your children's friend s little league games (if you're already sitting through your own children's games, skip this one). An evening on the bleachers is another good way to interact with adults while your children enjoy playing with friends.

Host a yard sale. Is this a good time to clear out old belongings and old memories? The money you raise could even fund that weekend get-away.

Recreate your old favorite spring rituals. An evening of fun with the kids doesn t have to result in great expense. Would they enjoy chasing lightning bugs, playing with sparklers, spitting watermelon seeds, or running through the garden hose?

Dine al fresco. Whether it's dinner in the backyard, a picnic in the park after work, or the outside tables at McDonald's, you're going to cherish this memory when January rolls back around.

Listen to music under the stars. Does your community have a symphony or jazz band that offers free outdoor concerts? Pack up the kids, the lawn chairs, and enjoy the beat together.

Snap your surroundings. Invest in a disposable camera and take pictures of budding trees, blossoming flowers, and growing children. If you re making new memories and want to redecorate your home around your new definition of family, this could be a good way to start.

Try something new as a single woman, or as a family. Take the first step to develop new routines that affirm you. Is there a place you've wanted to explore, a new restaurant you've been anxious to try, or a goal you can't believe you're finally going to tackle?

The season provides you with an ideal opportunity to honor your newly restructured families, and yourself. Whether you are creating new rituals, taking that first big step, or making time for your own self-care, may you experience joy and satisfaction as you Spring Forward!

Jennifer Snyder is a personal coach and workshop leader for separated and divorced women who cannot wait to proclaim their own power. She can be reached at 919/414-7197 or visit her website at

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