“Seeking joy has been an active practice, because joy doesn’t come easily for me. I’m prone to long periods of fog, as you’ve called it, and if I don’t seek (and make) light, I would stay in it even longer, would possibly never emerge. I swear by keeping routines, which includes taking care of my body—eating enough, sleeping and waking at regular times, getting fresh air, that sort of thing. I also put limits on things that smother my joy; for me, this is primarily the internet, which provides endless messaging that I am not doing enough, am not good enough, and just generally steals my attention and energy, which I would prefer to use on things which nourish me. I believe in the power of creating small joys, instead of waiting for a big one to arrive miraculously in your life. I made a list of these joys so I can refer to it when I’m deeper in the fog, like a menu to order from. 100 joys. They’re simple, but effective—things like bubble baths, calling a friend, dancing, buying flowers, eating dark chocolate, a cup of tea. Some months, I have to challenge myself to meet a quota, when I’m feeling very down. It helps. Little step after little step. Little light after little light.”

— Leila Chatti, from an interview with Sneha Subramanian Kanta in Parentheses Journal, Issue 10