Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Foundation of Happiness is Health

Since my presentation at UM Sport on Feb 5th, a number of other projects have come up. Sometimes a foot in the door is all you need to get the ball rolling! I am currently organizing a health promotion event for the month of April for all employees of Maastricht University. The photo I put up is the employee health committees logo.
When I worked as a corporate health and fitness consultant for Trifit when I first graduated from University I had the chance to develop a number of these types of health promotion programs and when I was hired at McMaster I joined the Healthy Workplace Group so that I could continue to share the importance of healthy living with the community.
I am really excited about this opportunity. It gives me the chance to marry many of my passions and interests. I get to be creative, meet new people and inspire others to become more physically active. I have also been invited to facilitate some physical activity events for international students. What can I say, when it rains, it pours! This weekend Nick and I will celebrate our first Carnaval and then we are headed to Paris Sunday to Tuesday. Paris is a city that I have always wanted to see and I'm excited to share my first visit with Nick. There is so much to be happy about :)
The title of my blog today "The Foundation of Happiness is Health" comes from my recent self reflections on happiness. According to an article posted by Lululemon, we can start to control happiness by coming back to its three measured components: pleasure, meaning and participation in life. When I first arrived here I felt a little lost and there were some days that my emotions got the better of me. I was missing my family, my community and my sense of belonging. I feel like I have settled in and am hitting my stride largely because of my connection and passion for health. My regular participation in a variety physical activities and having fitness classes to teach gave me a sense of connection. I felt better about myself because I was doing something positive for my health and I was getting to know my community through exploring running trails and trying different activities offered in Maastricht. Teaching classes gave me a schedule and allowed me to connect with others by sharing knowledge and my love of exercise. Teaching fitness gave me purpose and meaning. I had a place to be and people who relied one me. I have participated in local races, connected with the University staff and students as well as the Maastricht community because of my teaching. Health really has been the foundation of my happiness here. My advice is to firstly, find pleasure in everything – big and small. Whether it be running and enjoying the scenery in a new place or learning to count in Dutch in a fitness class. There is always something to be excited about. Secondly, search for understanding and discover meaning and purpose. There is a reason you are where you are and a purpose for every opportunity that presents itself. Thirdly, commit to and participate in your life. Don't count down the minutes, make the minutes count. Seek out opportunities and embrace new relationships. In the end, what you get out of an experience is up to you. Embrace it and enjoy it :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Alana!

    Its lovely to read about the new opportunities - glad you are finding wonderful things to do in Maastricht.

    Best wishes & we should have another movie night!

    Hannah (Laura & Stephanie's friend)