Liv·a·ble (adjective): worth living; enjoyable

Every Livable Lesson will encourage you to prioritize your own health and happiness by:

1. Sparking inspiration from a quote/research.
2. Connecting the quote/research to what you deserve as a teacher.
3. Promoting accountability with related actions to implement inside and outside your classroom.
4. Encouraging reflection with a related wellness question.


“Joy emanates. When we concentrate on being in a place of joy, we model what it looks and feels like and help those around us feel happier and more fulfilled… We can also improve our own well-being and the learning environment for our students.” – ASCD

What You Deserve

Do we have a completely distorted view of joy? Are we so consumed in modern-day “pleasures” that the most impactful and simple causes of joy can come off as boring to some?

Joy is a state of mind that is achieved through simple acts.

Joy has the power to make your day-to-day feel purposeful, meaningful, and rewarding. Think about it—you can eat vegetables at every meal, but if you aren’t experiencing joy, your health will never reach its full potential.

The lower our “joy tank” gets, the more we struggle to feel inspired and pay attention to all the good every day brings. In fact, it’s truly a modern dilemma; we live in a world of endless exposure to “pleasurable” things—social media, technology, food of any kind, etc. When we are constantly bombarding our brains with these things we believe to be “pleasurable,” we actually feel less joyful. Therefore, our day-to-day, if not infused constantly with these things, can seem “boring.” We are unable to find joy in driving with the windows down with a favorite song on because we are used to the way our brain feels with, for example, social media. 

Consider how you might come home from work, sit on the couch immediately, scroll on social media, and then turn on the TV. Ask yourself if you’d be in a genuine state of joy after doing these things. Now imagine doing the same thing the next day; it makes sense that your joy tank is only getting lower and lower. 

It is KEY to sustaining true health and happiness that we re-evaluate what is truly joyful for us. We must be intentional about creating boundaries with modern-day pleasures and instead, focus on the simple joys that actually have the power to ignite optimism, fun, and happiness. 

I challenge you to make a “joy tank” list. Jot down any SIMPLE things that have the power to create joy in a given moment. 


  • Playing a game (maybe even unrelated to your content area!) with your students

  • Cooking a favorite meal

  • Baking a delicious dessert 

  • Driving with the windows down

  • Calling a friend

  • Putting away your phone

  • Reading outside

  • Painting

  • Going on a walk in nature

  • Exercising

  • Putting on a favorite song

  • Taking a bath 

  • Playing a card game or board game with your family instead of watching TV 

As we continue to prioritize these experiences that have the power to create a joyful state of mind, we will more naturally find the positives, think optimistically, and illuminate light.


At School: Create a class-wide “joy tank.” One day a week, have students choose something from the joy tank to do together in class.

At Home: Challenge your family members to create “joy tanks.” Dedicate an hour every week to all doing an item on your “joy tank” list at the same time!


What pleasurable thing do you have a conflicted relationship with/what is controlling you? (sweets, social media, binge-watching TV, gaming, etc.)
How is this restricting your access to genuine joy?
How can you set boundaries around it?

In health and happiness,

Lauren Girgash
Founder and CEO of Livable Learning