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The Best Things We Did in 2021 That We'll Actually Keep Doing

Ready to kick this year to the curb? Do little housekeeping first — some parts of 2021 might just be worth holding on to.

Sarah Burns · about 1 month ago

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Turning over a whole new leaf as a family in the new year sounds great, but...doesn't it also sound like a lot of pressure? Instead, what if we all agree to celebrate whatever progress we made (even if it was just making it through the year), and agree to keep doing the things we’ve discovered bring us joy: Big things, small things, activities we knew existed but never tried before because there wasn’t time, or it seemed silly, or too hard, or whatever the reason.

So, cheers to the things we’ll probably keep doing next year — and if you haven’t done them, it’s never too late to try something new!

Using Tech to Keep in Touch

Keeping in Touch

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Video calls are nothing new, but the way we use them has definitely changed. With challenges like travel restrictions, health concerns, and miles of distance between us, video calls have become a vital way for friends and family to stay connected. The good news is, there are more ways than ever to connect, even over long distances. Make the most out of the time with a plan, and accessories that make spending time with loved ones even easier.

Baking

Kid Baking

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According to the oldest crumbs ever found, humans have been baking for at least 14,000 years, so it seems pretty safe to say it’s more than just a craze. You probably had the best intentions for that sourdough starter you’re just now remembering you’ve forgotten to feed: the warm, delicious smells filling the air, the simple joy of handcrafting a single loaf at a time. But even though you’re probably not doing as much baking as you envisioned, chances are you likely know at least a little more than you did when the year began. Celebrate your progress as a baker, and try these kitchen helpers to whip up something new.

Puzzles

Family Doing a Puzzle

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Since the start of the pandemic, puzzle production has ramped up to new levels, with puzzles for almost every age and skill level, and new generations discovering them as a fantastic family activity. Meditative and engaging, puzzles are a form of screen-free entertainment — and for many of us, they're part of a larger self-care routine that helps us unplug and destress. 

Tie Dyeing

Tie Dye

What goes around comes around, and tie dyeing’s heyday is long from being over. Technology takes this retro craft into the modern era with kits containing everything you need for an easy, manageably-messy DIY that’s fun in any era. Check out one of our favorite stress-free sets and trick out tees, jazz up jeggings, then wear your DIY creations with pride. 

Practicing Self-Care

Family Meditating

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Making time for yourself can be a really hard habit to get into; especially when we’re used to being pulled in a bunch of different directions. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend: if they admitted they were feeling tired, or stressed, you’d probably tell them to take a break. Self-care does take practice, so try to be as nice to yourself as you are to others, and use a time-out activity to slow down, check in, stimulate your brain, or blow off some steam. Remember: you can’t be there for others if you’re not there for yourself. 

Creating (and Eating) Charcuterie Platters

Charcuterie

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Charcuterie is really just a fancy French word that means cured meat, but these sharable, snackable platters have come to mean so much more. Creativity has taken hold of classic charcuterie, with delicious results. It’s not just an appetizer either; loaded up with cheese, fruits, veggies, or even breakfast foods, there’s always something for everyone, and so many ways to make this meal the main event. Try these to upgrade your next shark cootchie nosh night:

Growing Things

Kid Holding Plants

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Safe to say, humans have known how to grow things for a pretty long time now. But I can say this was the first year that I, in my NYC apartment that gets about 7 square inches of sunlight for 20 minutes a day, successfully grew anything. Based on my social feed, and the success of niche hashtags like #PlantTok, I’m clearly not alone in my quest to cultivate a green thumb. The internet made things easy, with my algorithm coughing up videos full of propagation hacks, tips, tricks and foraging hints I dare not try on these city streets, but love watching. Gardening might not always be #trending, but growing things will never go out of style. Make it easier with a couple tools to help encourage things to grow – we’re rooting for you. 

Reevaluating How We Spend Our Time

Working from Home

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As we edge closer to normal let’s ask: what about normal could be even better? We’ve had a year of unique challenges that have many reexamining goals and values – but that’s a good thing! Change is hard even in the best of times, but realizing something needs to change is the first step to make actual changes. Set yourself up for a successful new year with a few things designed to help you prioritize your goals, find a better work balance, and maybe even get some time away.