In the summer of 2016, I was working at a summer camp in Toronto. As anyone who has worked at camp knows, these summers are filled with wonderful experiences but there are often more than a few stressful crisis that require staff to powerfully flex their problem solving muscles. This summer I had the absolute privilege of working with a coworker who became one of my best friends and greatest role models. One piece of advice this veteran camp coordinator passed down to young Amy was when crisis hits we have two choices, we can cry about it or we can laugh about it, and the better choice is always to laugh. I think of this approach to life often and continue to find inspiration and truth in this advice in a variety of life contexts.
I whole heartedly believe in the healing and therapeutic power of laughing. My work, education and overall approach to life are planted in this philosophy. Laughter is this amazing spark of life that I believe closely mimics magic. It is something that would be impossible to describe to someone who had never experienced it, something that no one needs to teach us, one day we just know how to laugh, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. Laughter heals us, it is a pure and healthy vice that fills us with serotonin and momentarily vanishes stressors. It moves through our whole body like a blissful, healing flood. It moves through an entire room like a powerful magnet, connects us to others and reminds us human joy and laughter are universal experiences. Having laughter escapes such as comedians, dog videos, Tik Tok trends, movies or your funniest friend, that can make you laugh even when you are crying or make you laugh until you cry are powerful tools that should always be kept in your back pocket. Laughter is a medicine that cannot be described or prescribed, laughter can’t be bottled up or sold over the counter, laughter is a simple magic that comes from a shared human experience. Sharing humanity through a funny story or an embarrassing video reminds us that life is too short to be taken too seriously, so let’s laugh and laugh often.
So friends, let’s have a laugh together. Although this year may have been filled with unforeseen challenges, let’s remember we have two choices, we can cry about it or we can laugh about it. So on some days, please cry if you need to, but I hope you can also find days to laugh.
With love and lols,
P. S. Here are some of my favourite laughter escapes. If you have one you would like to share with this community, please post it in the comments so we can all laugh together.
Amy is a fresh grad with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. University does not come naturally to a person with a learning disability, making Amy uniquely proud of her undergraduate accomplishments. Amy is working to be more open about her disability and strives to view her learning challenges as an opportunity for growth in resilience and creativity.
She has worked with rehab patients, people with disabilities, veterans and mental health clients searching for more equitable access to community recreation. She believes wholeheartedly in the therapeutic benefit of doing what you love, as often as you can.