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This Is Your Permission to Chase Joy in Times of Crisis

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Being a millennial means you’ve lived through multiple recessions, wars, climate crises, and even a pandemic. Every day it feels like there’s more bad news whether it’s a celebrity death, an international conflict, or simply the United States government essentially flipping off all their citizens just because they can.

Something we need to remember is that it’s OK to preserve joy even in times of crisis. 

Despair seems to be the norm nowadays. There’s always something new going on that reminds us that people don’t have basic rights, or if they do, they can be stripped away. Capitalistic power grabs shift the poor and working class’ day-to-day. Homes are being bought only to be turned into Airbnbs in cities where the homeless rates are skyrocketing. There’s always something bad happening, and that’s why I beg you to find your joy. 

You will burn out if you don’t find your joy.

Joy is just as revolutionary as protests, and there’s no reason why people should feel ashamed for still living their lives, unless you were one of the people hanging out with people during lockdown every other day. That’s different, sorry not sorry. 

If your joy isn’t harming anyone, and instead it’s preserving your will to go on and live in spite of all the bullshit the news throws at us, then you are not doing anything wrong. Laugh, dance, sing, paint — continue to do the things that remind you hope is out there and life is still worth living. 

I can’t speak for you, but my ancestors didn’t make it through being enslaved, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and all that followed for me to not go outside and still find what little joy I can in such desolate times.

Don’t feel guilty for chasing happiness in the rough times, or for individually having a good day when the collective is not. Honor all of your emotions and needs, not just the negative ones. Joy needs to be a part of your survival plan, somehow, someway.

Lead image courtesy of contributor

Originally published: May 3, 2022
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