Songs that my kids request me to play over and over inevitably wind up stuck in my head despite my best intentions to keep them separate. A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins has become part of this repoirte of songs I’ve collected. I’ve realized after listening to the song for the thousandth time, that it contains some important life tidbits on spicing up routine or monotony. In case you’re not familiar, a Spoonful of Sugar, sung by Julie Andrews playing the nanny Mary Poppins sings to her young charges about how to make the chore of cleaning their playroom more enjoyable using the metaphor of medicine to represent the chore or task to be undertaken. The particular lyrics that stick out “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, you find the fun and snap the job’s a game. Every task you undertake, becomes a piece of cake, a lark, a spree It’s very clear to see that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down in the most delightful way.”
The song got me thinking about all the mundane chores or tasks we put off or procrastinate from doing and what ways we could inject some fun or lightness into these activities to make the “medicine” more bearable. Small changes can often make the biggest difference in altering a routine or getting out of a rut that you may be in. Taking a different way home , listening to music while you fold clothes, catching up on the latest show you’ve been binge watching while doing the mound of dishes in the sink, having a work out buddy rather than going it alone, running outside vs. the treadmill at the gym or changing the location of where you eat lunch at work. There’s something to be said for mindfulness and focusing on the task at hand while having no distractions like music or TV but there is also some magic in making tasks seem less burdensome and being able to look at them in a different way. When tasks seem manageable and less like “work” or “exercise”, people for the most part, are more willing to do them.. Look at areas where you may be stuck or dreading activities and think about how you might be able to change it up. Good luck and thank Mary Poppins if you are successful in finding your own spoonful of sugar this week!”
Lindsay S. D’Ascoli, LCSW
Lindsay is Licensed Clinical Social Worker, practicing at the Light House Retreat and Wellness Center. She uses cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and creative arts methods in her work to help teens, women and moms manage anxiety, mood instability depression, trauma, family and relationship issues. For an appointment, please call 914-589-7188.