Prioritizing Happiness

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My career started in the journalism industry, meaning I used to write blog posts like this all. the. time.  Back when I was the editor of my college newspaper, they were technically called “Letters From The Editor”, but they were posts just like this one.


I’d usually spark inspiration for my letters through the news cycle that week; if it was freshman orientation, I’d write about crying in the shower on my first day of college. If the university was getting heat for unfair faculty contracts, I’d talk about fair wages or the power of the people. This gave me an opportunity to always be engaged with what was going on in my community, and constantly think about my own opinions and how I could use them to productively contribute to the world. It was literally my job to spew my own opinion, and I loved it.


Now when I write, it’s usually an email home to a parent regarding their child’s behavior. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.


I could sit here and blame adulthood (“I love writing, I just don’t have time anymore!”), but, if I’m being honest, I just stopped putting effort into something I loved to do because it no longer felt productive …until now, of course, when I write to you guys.


This has gotten me thinking about how we as humans tend to throw something away once it becomes “unproductive”. If it’s not making money, making our homes, or making progress, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I think we have forgotten that we can do things simply because we like to do them, even if they don’t seem to “serve a purpose”.


In fact, we should be blocking off time for ourselves and the things we love to do. Not every moment needs to be spent ticking something off the endless to do list that seems to grow with every breath we take.  That list will only keep multiplying, but your satisfaction and happiness will not. It’s up to you to nurture your own joy. 


For me, this looks like taking time out of my day to read, run, write, lift, sing, drive around with the windows down, try out a new recipe, and look at dogs online. For you, it could mean joining a hockey league, breaking out the old bowling shoes, or taking some time to walk the beach. 


With that being said, some days it may feel like fitness is an unproductive “hobby”. Why go to the gym when you have eight loads of laundry that need to be done? But remember that:

A. Fitness is productive for MANY reasons. It improves overall physical health, cardiovascular endurance, bone density, etc. It reduces your risk of MULTIPLE different diseases, and is proven to improve overall mood and mental health.

 B. If you enjoy it, you should make time for it. End of story. 


We are better people when we make time for ourselves. Prioritizing yourself and your happiness should be the #1 task on your list, because you will be a better version of you for all those other things you need to do. 


Don’t get caught up in the endless rat race of life. There will always be clothes to clean. There will always be dishes to wash. There will always be things to do. Prioritizing your health and happiness should be on your  list, too. 


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