Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s top daily ritual is simple – she makes sure she gives herself dedicated ‘me time’ every day. “My number one daily habit is to give myself permission to be happy”, she said in a recent Refinery29 interview. “It’s physical and mental; it’s my diet, physical activity, and emotional state. That’s all tied together.”
Obama acknowledged that it can be difficult to set aside time for oneself. “As women, this can be challenging because we’re not always taught to do it. We feel like it’s somehow selfish.” Regardless, learning to prioritise your own happiness is vital for wellbeing. “I’ve learned that when I actually put myself on the priority list along with everyone else in my life, it actually benefits them, too,” she added.
Last year at the Obama Foundation Summit, she said the secret to happiness was being organised. “I have to plan my happiness. That’s the thing, we think happiness just happens and it can, but you’ve got to work in some happiness too,” she said. Now, the former First Lady explains that by putting herself first she is also benefiting those around her. “When I’m happier and healthier, my family is happier and healthier, and it affects how I interact with my friends and the people I work with,” she told Refinery29. “So I’ve freed myself to say, yes, I can make choices that make me happy, and that will ripple out and be good for the people I love as well.”