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    16 Small Things That Helped Me Feel Normal Again After An Incredibly Stressful Year

    Some may seem silly or unexpected, but they were all genuinely important to my growth.

    We all know 2020 was a pretty wild year. Some of it was really bad, but I also believe that some of it was pretty good. Despite dealing with so much anxiety, stress, and overall discontent, I found a number of small things that improved my year last year — and I've already taken many of them into 2021.

    1. I started doing virtual running videos on YouTube with my treadmill.

    A treadmill with a TV above it

    2. I bought a light therapy lamp to give me a sense of daylight when I can't go outside.

    A person holding a light therapy lamp

    3. I started listening to a really good podcast that (thankfully, for me) keeps episodes on the shorter side.

    4. I got a PERM and didn't look like a clown or a grandma.

    5. I bought some really adorable handmade earrings from a small Etsy shop.

    6. After having them for a year, I finally started using my blue light–blocking glasses — and they actually helped.

    The glasses

    7. I started practicing more yoga, courtesy of YouTube.

    8. And I paired that yoga with a stunning vegan-suede yoga mat.

    A cat on a yoga mat

    9. I signed up for a weekly meal prep subscription — but not the kind you're (probably) thinking of.

    10. I tried recipes I found on TikTok — and some of them were really, really good.

    A person holding a dish of hashbrowns

    11. I made an appointment to see a psychiatrist to help with my severe anxiety.

    12. I bought a reversible plushy to show my fiancé my true emotions.

    13. Speaking of my fiancé...I got engaged!

    A person proposing to another person

    14. I basically lived in my weighted blanket for the majority of 2020.

    15. I found vegan donuts nearby to devour as if my life depended on it.


    16. I signed up for a Book of the Month club.

    Two books

    What are some of the small things — habits, hacks, products — that have improved *your* life in some way over the past year? Tell me in the comments below.