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13 Oct 2009 / Julie

Silly Hat Day. Bc laughter is good for you

Yesterday was MPOW’s staff day. The theme for the day was “Stress less…Enjoy the Rest” and to that end, we all received mini back massager toys and enjoyed a speaker, Rosanne Torpey*, who spoke to us about laughter, silliness, perspectives, and stress. She spoke about how we all need to lighten up, rely on our technology less, be open to different perspectives more, and not forget to take that 30 minute walk or laugh break.

While on vacation i had a moment of clarity about my life and how i had let work and other things start to dictate what and how i do things, instead of keeping myself in control. I decided to return to work with my new attitude and infect everyone with it. As it turns out, i came home and got sick so i kept the infecting piece to myself for a while.

Then on Sunday, at a friend’s baby shower, the brother of the father was making balloon hats for the few kids that were in attendance. Of course, i had to get one. I got a specially made “Level 10 Zany” hat and ring.

And, as if i hadn’t gotten the point already… the keynote speaker yesterday kicked things into high gear for me and today i came in to work and announced that next week (during our department meeting) was going to be Silly Hat Day. To emphasize the idea, i’ve been wearing a newspaper hat i’ve had on my shelf for a year. I’ve already gotten many “thank you for making me laugh” comments from around the building and it’s not even noon.

If there’s one thing i’ve learned from my father (well, really there’s tons) is to not take yourself too seriously. Life is too short to take things, especially yourself, seriously. Wearing a silly hat, or bringing a rubber chicken to a meeting (like my dad is known for doing) reminds people that we’re all human, we’re all in this together, laughter is good (and healthy) and allows people to be silly which helps force the tension out of your body and your mind.

Silliness and laughter really does make you feel better. Go ahead, try it now. Laugh. Even fake laugh if you have to, it will still work just as well. You’ll feel your muscles relax and you’ll be more centered to continue on with your day. You know it’s true- you can’t throw a ball while you’re laughing can you? No, cause you’re too relaxed!

So won’t you join me in Silly Hat Day on Wed, Oct 21st? Let your silliness be infectious! Upload your picture and post it on flickr, twitter, or in the comments here. Thank you Beth, for prompting that this idea go beyond the walls of my building.

Update: Thanks also to Beth for creating the Silly Hat Day Flickr Pool!
* Ms. Torpey’s bio as per our staff day pamphlet (no, i am not getting paid for this):
“Ms. Torpey received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hunter Bellevue in New York City, and her Masters in Science and Education from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Rosanne has 35 years of experience in working with behavioral disorders. She worked as the Nursing Education Specialist for 19 years at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, Maryland and served as the National Training Director for the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program in Washington, DC. She is a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Rosanne Provides extensive consultations in the areas of Managing Aggressive Behavior, Workplace Violence, Anger and Stress on a local and national level.”

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