The Value of Lightness in Heavy Times.

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These days, many people are feeling overwhelmed, drained, and worried. And given everything that’s happening, it can feel frivolous to worry about our own happiness. However, research shows that people who are happier are more interested in helping other people, and more interested in taking action in the world. So if it is selfish to worry about our own happiness, we should be selfish—if only for selfless reasons! One important element of happiness can be a feeling of lightness, of fun, of levity. Levity can include rest, calm, and activities that help us feel recharged. Making time for levity doesn’t mean we’re ignoring serious issues, or neglecting our responsibilities; it allows us to gain energy and focus. For instance, a person might consider…

  • Spending time in nature
  • Reading a great book each night
  • Making fun plans with friends and family
  • Re-watching a favorite comedy series
  • Planning a weekly “Empower Hour”


By making time to recharge when we can, we help build the resilience we need to weather crises and manage periods of uncertainty more effectively. In this way, we strengthen ourselves to be more helpful to others and our community—now, and in the days to come. It’s that old cliche: you have to put on your own oxygen mask first before you help others.

Remember, what can happen at any time, often happens at no time. If something’s important to you, it can help to put it on the calendar. What kind of levity do you want—or need—more of in your life?



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