The last year has changed everyone’s routines, but it hasn't all been bad.

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It's no secret that the pandemic has changed everyone's routines (maybe more than once) over the last year. Whether it's learning to work from home, homeschooling your kids or just spending more time at home, many of us have picked up new skills we never thought we would have. Though there are definitely things we all miss and we've all had to make sacrifices, not everything to come from the last year has been bad. Many people have picked up new, healthy habits that benefit their bodies, minds and social lives. Here are some of the healthy habits worth continuing after we move on from pandemic life. 

Getting Outside 

Since it is generally regarded as safe to be outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to nature as a way to leave the house and get some fresh air. Not only can it boost physical health to make time for movement outdoors, but also it can benefit your mental health. Whether it's walking with friends outdoors or opting to workout in nature instead of the gym, the habit of getting outside regularly is worth continuing. Just remember to slather on the SPF as the weather warms up!

woman stirring dough for home made bread in kitchen
Credit: Getty Images / golero

Cooking (and Baking) More at Home

As our calendars freed up, we found more time to spend in the kitchen. Remember when everyone was making sourdough? Or banana bread and whipped coffee? The seemingly endless TikTok hacks and cooking trends made us reunite with our kitchens and get out of our comfort zone. There are ample benefits of making time for meals as a family. Plus, eating at home can help you save money and eat a little healthier.

Prioritizing Self-Care

It's no doubt that the past year has taken its toll on our mental health and wellness. It also helped us put into perspective how important it is to prioritize all forms of health, including our physical, mental and emotional health. This led to an increased interest in self-care to help us find relaxation in a not-very-relaxing year. Your wellness should come first, so we hope the increased interest in self-care products, apps and more continues. 

Connecting Intentionally

Sure, a Zoom happy hour isn't as fun as the real thing and a call with your grandma is not the same as a hug. Yet, social distancing has actually strengthened connections for some. Since it was so hard to keep in touch, it showed intentionality and effort to family members and friends when you did check in. It felt especially important for those who might have been at an increased risk from the coronavirus. I started calling my grandparents once a week and I wish I had started this routine years ago since it brightens my day and theirs. I will happily be continuing this habit well beyond the pandemic. 

Getting More Sleep 

Not having to commute might have given you some extra time in the mornings. Fewer events out of the house at night might have helped you get to bed earlier. For a variety of reasons, you might find yourself getting more sleep these days than you typically would. Sleep is important for health, from a healthier heart to improved immunity. We hope that everyone can keep up healthy sleep habits for more restful days, even when we can be more social. 

The Bottom Line  

The pandemic changed all of our lives in many ways, some of which will last long after it's over and we feel a sense of normalcy again. That said, not all of the changes over the last year were bad. From regular calls with loved ones to spending more time outdoors, these are some healthy habits to continue after the pandemic is over.