Hi friends- Happy Friday!
Kendall here — feeling all the feels about this post today! We recently asked you all to share some of the lessons/habits/routines that you’ve developed over the last year that you hope to continue as the world slowly opens up. As I went through all of your amazing responses, I was reminded of all the good that came out of such a difficult year (and counting…).
While there was no shortage of disappointment, fear, worry — and let’s face it, pure boredom in 2020, we gained some incredibly sweet moments and learned valuable insights.
This post feels especially emotional and timely for me as I’m heading to get my first vaccine dose today, and I’m already feeling incredibly grateful/can’t believe the progress that’s been made. ❤️
We’re not the people we were pre-pandemic, and in a lot of ways, that can be a good thing! The most challenging times provide opportunities for the most growth and progress.
As the world slowly opens up and we begin to get out more, meet up more, and plan ahead more, let’s not forget the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves and the habits, routines, and practices we put in place for our mind, body, and soul.
Without further ado, let’s jump in!
Pandemic Reflections: The Quarantine Lessons That GG Readers Are Holding Onto
BY FAR the #1 submitted response — everyone wants to continue their daily walks! As one GG reader put it: “why did we never take walks before?” Some of you walk every day — rain or shine, some walk during their lunch break, others after work to decompress. Some of you walk alone in silence, others listen to podcasts or audiobooks, and others walk with a partner or friend and sip wine. Needless to say, we all like our walks for both the physical and mental benefits — and the dose of fresh air. Whichever walk you like to walk, let’s keep it going!
Mindful cooking and eating
Many of you hope to continue your cooking streak! One GG reader says she’s going to continue making two trips to the grocery store each week with a set ingredient list. I think we all learned to truly enjoy meals — and the art of making them — over the past year.
Cherish the people that show up during challenging times
Quarantine forced a lot of us to reevaluate our friendships. While you may have drifted or broken up with certain friends, you also probably strengthened others — the ones who show up, check-in and support you during tough times. It’s an incredible feeling to be confident and secure with who your “people” are — and maybe even more important, who they aren’t.
Budgets and boundaries
Many GG readers touched on budgets and boundaries and are committed to keeping up with both! This time has allowed a lot of us to be strategic and intentional with budgeting (not as many spending temptations/occasions) and boundaries. Time is the most valuable thing we have — and the past year or so has taught us to say no to the things, tasks, and people that just don’t serve us.
I definitely feel this one! For someone who used to rush to an intense workout class every morning, I can hardly recognize that former version of myself now! Many of you have fallen in love with home workouts and are never going back. The time and money you save with at-home workouts is hard to beat!
Slowing Down & Keeping Life Simple
Lots of GG responses had a similar theme around not overextending, staying less busy, and saying “no” more. As one GG reader put it: “I want to keep space in my schedule moving forward. Just because I can be free, doesn’t mean that I have to be.” I love that. There’s a boundary we can all benefit from!
Shopping local, women-owned, and BIPOC-owned businesses
Many of us have become much more strategic about where we spend our money over the last year and are committed to making our voice heard with our wallets.
Looking for some amazing brands to support? Check out these post for 30 Black-Owned Businesses to Shop Today, Women-owned brands to support, and this summer gift guide with unique gifts all from Black-owned brands.
Exploring your own city
One GG reader said she and her family were always on the go, in and out of airports, and they plan to continue to explore their own city and put bonding time over travel commute time. Let’s continue hitting up parks, new areas, and different restaurants and shops in our own backyard!
GG readers love finding ways to have creative dates — that don’t require a restaurant. From picnics, day hikes, and playing games, it’s nice to know we can mix things up and don’t have to be in a crowd to connect!
Looking for date night ideas? Check out this post for 21 at-home ideas!
Intentional Morning Routines
When many of us no longer had to rush to the office each morning, we created a morning routine that was much more enjoyable than a hectic scramble. Many GG readers want to preserve their intentional morning routines moving forward. Some ideas that were shared: coffee in bed, getting up earlier to savor quiet moments, 15 minutes of chores to start the day with a clean space, drinking lots of water, writing in a gratitude journal, and meditation.
Never underestimate the joy of a planless weekend! Overcommitting is not self-care. Consider this your reminder that these can continue as often as you’d like into the future! A few of you also said you want to continue to unplug from social media over the weekend as well! (Many recommend deleting your apps on the weekends altogether!)
Home DIY Projects
A few of you want to keep investing in your space and making your home beautiful. Love this sentiment! The past year has taught us all just how important the roof over our heads is — and what we need or want in a space to best function and love.
Another popular submission! GG readers have been reading! Many of you read much more over the past year because it helped to set a boundary from work, it offered a screen break, and it helped you unwind before bed. And several of you started book clubs and you’re not turning back!
Calling Friends Regularly
One GG reader said she wants to continue to call friends regularly — not just with news or to ask for advice, but to just check-in. (This is an especially great thing to do on your daily walk!) And another reader says she wants to continue her weekly video calls with her extended family. Yes to staying in touch with friends and family more!
Taking Days Off When You Need It
Did you ever take PTO just because you needed a day off in the past? I think a lot of us saved up our precious vacation days for times that we were going to physically be out of town. Remember to take days off when you need them — whether you’re lying on a tropical beach or just lying in bed! We all need to embrace mental health days!
Being Kinder to Ourselves and Bodies
Love this one! So many of you said you feel more comfortable in your body, are kinder and more in tune with your body, and are committed to giving yourself grace. And a few of you commented that you care much less about your physical appearance now. All of this is welcome to continue into the future!
Was 2020 the year that forced us all to evaluate our self-care game? It sounds like it! Many of you want to be sure your self-care routine comes with you into the future! Some of the elements you commented on were taking vitamins regularly, taking more baths, investing in good loungewear, unplugging and improving (and sticking to) skincare routines.
Being Present and Enjoying the Little Things
Lastly, another overarching theme in your feedback was the desire to be present and enjoy the little things moving forward. As one GG reader put it “weekly joyspotting.” (I love this term and want to adopt it moving forward!) Here’s to remembering that the little things in life are really the big things ❤️