At the end of every year, as a new blog tradition, I always try to write down at least ten things that have helped make a year better or perhaps helped make the year more tolerable. Basically, the things that allowed me to keep my sanity instead of descending into madness. Each year, these things can vary from things that brought me great joy to things that have brought me great comfort during the year. 2022 became a year of discovering that there was a lot of toxic things in my life and I spent the majority of 2022 cutting those things out completely. Also, I spent a lot of that time really making an effort to work through the scars that were left by a lot of those toxic things. Needless to say, by the time December hit, I have been exhausted, burned out, and I had to retreat into my gremlin cave quite a bit. So apologies in advance for just disappearing out of nowhere. I promise, we’ll sit down at a later time and catch up, a life update, but for now, enjoy these ten things that made a difference during 2022.
➸ 1. Squishmallows
I talk about mental health, chronic illness, and stuffed animals A LOT. All the time, actually. In 2022, I discovered Squishmallows and as someone who has sensory issues, severe anxiety, permanent PTSD, and more, these little plushies have been a big changer for me. They’ve helped make traveling by car a little easier, they’ve helped with talking and communicating with others during a flashback or helped with sleep during a night terror, etc… I know many people may not understand or maybe you do because you also like stuffed animals. They’ve really been making things so much better for me and I had to make sure they took the first spot on this list.
As I mentioned above, I have chronic illnesses, chronic pain and endometriosis to be exact, and I’m always looking for ways to help manage my levels of pain outside of medication. Enter my wedding anniversary present from my spouse. This has been a changer for my pain levels. While this doesn’t fully get rid of the pain, it makes things a little more tolerable when the pain is incredibly high. The weight of this blanket also helps with my sleeping as well. If you like weighted blankets or you use a weighted blanket to help with anxiety, sleeping pattens, or to help aid with night terrors then you might be interested in this blanket. I really love mine and it’s helped a lot. So I had to put it on this list.
➸ 3. Crystals
Crystals! Yes, crystals! In some of my book posts, you may have seen some crystals popping up. I have always been a lover and collector of crystals, but this year I’ve been rebuilding my collection due to having a lot of my pieces stolen from me. So I’ve been rebuilding and honestly, I forgot how much I loved searching for particular pieces, and then finally getting those pieces. While this has been a very emotional, soul quaking thing to do and work through, I’ve been enjoying my time searching, hunting, and finding. I’ve missed stepping foot in crystal shops and connecting with others who enjoy crystals. It’s been emotional, but I’ve been enjoying many parts of this process and it’s been a big part, since the summer of 2022.
➸ 4. Cozy Grove
As you may or may not know, I absolutely love gaming! I play a wide plethora of games from Dead By Daylight to Cyberpunk 2077, all the way to the cozier, more casual games like Cozy Grove! If you’re a lover of Animal Crossing or even Stardew Valley, I have to recommend this cozy, casual game. I have recently been reconnecting with my love of Cozy Grove and helping the bear spirits on this island. After the developers released the dlc, I have been playing as much as possible. It surprised me how much I missed this game, but it’s the perfect game for when my brain has very little brain power and I don’t have the mental capacity to read anything. I do want to emphasize that this game is a day based game. There’s only so much you’ll be able to do, like Animal Crossing. If you end up picking this game up or checking it out, definitely let me know your thoughts and which bear spirit is your favorite!
➸ 5. Coral Island
Another game! Coral Island has been another game that’s really nice to curl up with and decompress after a rough day. Coral Island has easily become one of my favorite games. It might even become one of my top ten favorite games. There is a wide plethora of things to do in this game, but the true highlight of this game is the diverse cast! There are so many diverse characters in this game like single, romanecable characters, body diversity, characters with scarring, a character with stretch marks, a plethora of characters of color, and so much more! This is one of the most diverse games, especially farming sim wise, I’ve seen be put into production. Now, this is an early access game which means the developers are still working on the game, still adding things, etc… So the game isn’t fully released yet, but if you’re a gamer, a farm simulator lover, or a casual game lover then you need to put Coral Island on your radar!
➸ 6. Waterloo Sparkling Water
I don’t know when I started going really hard for seltzer water, but this year was a huge year for seltzer water in my life. The funny thing is before 2022 I was never a seltzer water drinker or lover. Honestly, I drank kombucha more than I ever did seltzer water. Until I had a friend recommend it to me during a game night of Dead By Daylight. So when I found a case and gave it a chance, I was completely surprised how much I enjoyed it. That moment was a huge game changer and now it’s one of my go-to drinks for game nights, nights when I decompress and want something refreshing yet fizzy.
➸ 7. Hiking
Hiking has been taking over my life. In 2021 I picked up a lot of hiking gear and started hiking different trails and different places around my state. One of the places I end up hiking had actual ruins and waterfalls, and it was such a magical experience. Nature has always been a source of restoring my soul, finding balance within myself, and just always breathes new life into me. Truly, I’ve been trying to go on as many nature adventures as possible in 2022 even getting the chance to go to a beach for the first time in a long, long while! I’m hoping to carry this over into 2023 and continue going on nature adventures in the future.
➸ 8. Plants
Honestly, out of everything on this list, this one surprised me the most. Green became the color of 2022 as I began picking up plants any time I had to run to Home Depot. I’m not sure exactly when this started in 2022, but I’ve always had succulents or cacti in my home. 2022 just became a year where flowers and various types of plants started to brighten every table, every window sill, and even in the more low light areas, splash hues of green in them. Though we’re still house hunting and prepping our current home for market, it hasn’t stopped me from checking out all the plants in stores or stopping at local plant shops and greenhouses.
➸ 9. Rain Lofi
Rain lofi has been such a blessing with trying to focus during work, doing things at home, working on projects, and even reading. For all the reading I did this year, rain lofi was right by my side. Though I do feel like every time I make one of these lists, I’m just recommending the newest lofi video I’m listening to or watching while doing stuff. Truly, the lofi help. Just like asmr, the lofi music has been such a lovely way to help me stay productive in 2022. Even on my off days, rainy lofi helps me through it.
➸ 10. Fruit Snacks
Look… LOOK… Don’t question on why these are on this list, okay? 2022 was the year I thrived because of fruit snacks in my home and they have helped with making sure I’m taking care of myself. A lot of times having a pack or two reminds me of needing to make meals or they’re there for me when I need a snack break, to get that brain fuel going again. They also serve as a great snack for traveling, reading, working, and just for so many occasions. They’ve even helped on the hard days, the bad brain days, or the days when the chronic illnesses make things difficult. Now I keep two giant boxes of fruit snacks in my pantry and scatter them all throughout my home, and bags, just in case!
I feel like 2022 was a year that really highlighted the importance of self-care and taking better care of mental health. You know, I think that’s okay though. You’ll always have years that are ups and downs, and that smack you in the face with constant reminders. With 2022 now behind us, I’m truly hoping 2023 will be like a breath of fresh air for us. I want each and every one of us to prioritize self-care, self-love, boundaries & limits, and most importantly, the moments we’ll remember to infinity and beyond. And in case no one has told you, I’m proud of you for surviving another year (whatever that may have looked like)! I’m hoping with all my chest that 2023 is kinder, more gentle, filled with warmth and love, and plenty of rest for all of us. Let me know in the comments below some of the things that brought you joy or comfort in 2022, and I’ll catch you in the next post! 💚