Being able to recognize what you are feeling and why you are feeling it can be sometimes be a challenge. Having the ability to stop and figure out what you need in a particular moment is something that takes being honest with yourself, patience and trial & error.
To find out what works best for you, is to try out various coping strategies, aka 'gardening tools'. For example, when you find yourself stressed and have some 'weeds' popping up, try taking a walk, doing a quick breathing technique, or playing a game with a friend or family member. Keep track of what works to help you take your mind off your 'weeds' (your negative thoughts) and focus on your 'flowers' (your positive thoughts) but also take note of what doesn't help!
Sometimes, we just need some alternate activities to disrupt those weeds from growing. That's why today in this #PullYourWeeds Blog post we are making "#PullYourWeeds® Pinwheels" which is 'positive distraction' tool to help you get out of the weeds and back to your flowers!
This flower themed pinwheel can help gardeners of all ages when they are feeling sad, scared overwhelmed, or mad. Just spin the wheel and see what calming or relieving action (gardening tool) you can take to help you try and redirect your thoughts. It's also a wonderful way to introduce new coping strategies at home or in the classroom!
What you'll need:
Cut a small circle out of one of the paper plates, a slightly larger circle from the second, and cut flower petals from the third.
From the scraps cut out a very small circle, poke two holes in the center, and thread through your twist tie. Poke one hole in the center of each of your paper plates. Paint the plate with the petals like you would a flower and the two other plates colors of your choice.
Attach all three layers - small circle, larger circle, circle with petals - by poking the twist tie strands through and securing.
Then, cut out a square on the small circle and write "I feel..." above the cut out. On the second layer, write some of the difficult feelings you experience - stress, anxiety, sadness, frustration, impatience, etc. Then on the outer layer, write some enjoyable activities or techniques that help disrupt negative feelings and emotions - take a walk, read a book, listen to music, drink cold water, do a craft, talk to someone you trust, 5 minutes of deep breathing, take a bath, play a game...
When you feel some of those difficult feelings coming on, spin your #PullYourWeeds® Pinwheel and give that coping strategy a try!
Did you do this activity with you students or with you kids? Send us pictures of your pinwheels! This craft is a wonderful example of how to incorporate SEL art projects into your classroom and at home. Thanks for reading along and remember gardeners....