Well, here we are. We've officially spent a year in quarantine, and what a year it has been. A lot has changed since last March, and we've all had to get used to a "new normal" and have experienced some tough times. Some of us have felt a lot more sadness and suffering than others. It hasn't been an easy time, but I don't have to remind you of that.
I don't know about you, but I distinctly remember leaving the office in March of last year and preparing to work from home for just a few weeks because it would all be over by then. Ah, bless my naïveté.
I've been doing a lot of reflection as the one-year mark approached and thinking about all the things I've learned about myself and the ways I've coped with the ups and downs. I definitely can say I've grown and learned a lot. I've gotten to know myself a lot better since I've been quarantining alone for the most part. I've learned to be more grateful for all the things in my life, and I discovered new forms of self-care and methods for looking after myself better.
So I'm wondering, Have you been reflecting on the past 12 months as well? What has helped you? What have you learned about yourself and the world? What has surprised you? We posed those questions to our Instagram followers, and they shared some really thoughtful responses, which I've compiled below. Take a look and see if any of them resonate with you. If you want to share your own thoughts, we'd love to hear. Send us a DM or comment @thethirty.
What Self-Care Practices Have Been Most Meaningful to You This Year?
Brit Bennett The Vanishing Half ($16)
"Carving out time to read for fun."
"Going on a one-hour walk first thing in the morning before checking my work email."
Insight Editions Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal ($15)
"Speaking into gratitude every day."
Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask ($50)
"Exercise, a full night's sleep, embracing no makeup, and not styling my hair every day."
Bala Weighted Bangles ($55)
"At-home workouts… which I hated before but now love."
Klei Lavender & Aloe Vera Relax Bath Soak ($28)
"Unplugging with a nice bath."
Space Btwn Meditation Essentials Kit ($119)
"Meditation and group Reiki."
Waves Puzzle Co. 49-Piece Iridescent Waves Puzzle ($40)
"Journaling and non-stressful crafting like puzzles and paint by numbers."
"Setting night and morning routines. They are my only link to 'time.'"
"Getting outside and stretching mid-workday."
Denik Cosmic Floral Journal ($10)
"Journaling every night."
"Fostered dogs: a good reason to get out of my house, and I get lots of love in return."
What's Something That Has Surprised You About Yourself Through All of This?
"I was able to make positive changes in my life and my career."
"How sentimental I became and also how resilient."
"How much I enjoy being home now."
"How much I enjoy an introvert lifestyle. I thought I was an extrovert all these years."
"How peaceful it is to do nothing."
"I have grown tolerance for my discomfort."
"I was settling in my relationship—that ended, and I started therapy. Now, I can ask for what I need."
"I am powerful also when I'm alone."
"How much I really loved working remotely—it removed a lot of daily stressors."
"I still love being at home all the time!"
What's the Best Purchase You've Made That Has Improved Your Year?
Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme Candle ($32)
"Scented candles and skincare products."
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle ($200)
"An espresso machine, Eufy vacuum, and games like Monopoly Deal."
JumpSport 250 In Home Cardio Fitness Rebounder ($269)
Apple AirPods Pro ($199)
"AirPods and a new yoga mat."
Zella Live in Pocket Joggers ($59)
"A puzzle mat and more sweatpants."
"Noise-cancelling headphones to work from home while sharing my studio apartment with my boyfriend."
Olive and June The Mani System ($80)
"Bala Bangles and Olive and June nail kits."
Ugg Fluffette Slipper ($70)
Casper 10-Pound Weighted Blanket ($169)
"A weighted blanket!"
Alo Warrior Mat ($100)
"At-home gym equipment."
Glennon Doyle Untamed ($16)
"Books! I had stopped reading in university, and since March 2020, I have read 40-plus books."
This article originally appeared on The Thirty
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