This past year has been well, something else. We learned, we loved, and we lost some. Looking back it can feel like a lot. We’re just sort of relearning how to live our lives. Personally, it feels like I’m a freshman in high school again, still finding my voice, where I’m fitting into and what’s to come.
But this all being said—there’s a lot that I’ve learned over the last year. I’ve had some very happy moments too, and developed routines and habits that have kept me sane and in the groove of things. I’ve been more mindful of when I’m online and off, and built boundaries that have kept me sustainable.
I’ve said 'no' more often, got back into a fitness routine, and even got back to reading a ton. I’ve made more time for friends and family, and explored more ways to keep in touch with folks as we grow.
I asked my friends, loved ones, and larger community what routines they developed — here’s a collection of routines that kept us sane that we’ll be keeping around for the years to come.
Being Mindful of Mental Space
My biggest thing that I’ve learned is the value and importance of boundaries. I found myself breaking down, overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s because I was very much a 'yes' person — yes I’ll join your zoom call happy hour, yes that sounds like fun, yes - I can do that. Sure I was doing things, but at the cost of my mental and physical health. Now I’m choosing to be more selective on how I spend my time, what I say yes to, and what my mental energy is like. — Erin Mikail Staples
Fitness and Skincare Routine
One is doing my trampoline classes at least twice a week, because it takes my endorphins to the top, it's amazing what only 20 minutes of jumping to music I like can do! I also developed a night skincare routine; nothing fancy, just micellar water and a moisturizer, but it really makes me feel like I'm being nice to myself and it helps me relax. It was all about self care and really finding time for myself - which wasn't easy to do, but I figured it's best to spend 20 minutes jumping than on social media lol. — Mariana Janjácomo
My new habit is taking a morning walk every day. It helps center myself, gets me excited for the day, wakes my brain and body up, and lets me see my neighborhood before most people are on the streets. Oh! And it’s a chance to catch up on podcasts — currently I’m enjoying Off Menu with James Acaster and Ed Gamble when I want to laugh, Desert Island Discs when I want to think, and The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week when I want to learn something new. — Sam Oshins
Daily morning and mid-day strolls. Since I haven’t had to rush into an office, I can go on a walk after my shower and soak up the morning sun and say hey to my neighbors. In the afternoon, also since I’m not in a congested mid-town Manhattan neighborhood, I can take a break and recenter while walking around my neighborhood. — Danielle Maveal
I used to cook normally, but the pandemic really got me into cooking more often. I look out for recipes, buy from local vendors and really enjoy the experience. I do a lot of cooking with vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Once I did cauliflower wings, amazing! — Marcelo Ayala, founder of Paralelo