People Are Sharing Small, Very Doable "Life Hacks" That Have Improved Their Mental Health Or Mood Over Time

·8 min read

We're all looking for ways to make our everyday lives a bit easier — but sometimes, it can be tough to find the time, money, or energy.

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A now-deleted Reddit user asked, "What small habits make a huge difference in the long run?" Here are some great ideas, plus a few more from the BuzzFeed Community:

1."It didn't change my life, but making my bed every morning makes me feel a lot better. It kind of starts the day. I know that I can't go back to bed when it's been made. Also, getting into a neat bed with tucked-in sheets at night is really nice. I make certain I change my bed linen once a week, always on Sunday, and I iron the sheets and pillowcases when I put them on the bed. It doesn't take long, the heat is good for killing dust mites, and they smell great. Getting into a bed with ironed sheets and pillowcases is a little luxury."

An unmade bed next to a made bed
Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

2."The pandemic made my work really hard and intense. I absolutely had a meltdown and spent months just crying and having panic attacks. I eventually admitted that I needed a break and took some time off sick. I spent the first week just sobbing in my bed but thought, 'Do one positive thing every day.' That positive thing could be anything that nurtures you, like reading or going for a walk, whatever you feel is a good thing for you to do. I got into counseling as well, but the difference within a couple of weeks was so marked. When you're overwhelmed, being healthy and active can feel like a herculean task, but 'one positive thing' makes you feel like you've achieved something good without it being even more overwhelming.

A woman walks a dog on the beach

"I got out of the habit after I got back into work but have started it again recently. I'll log off and do a 15-minute workout or read a chapter of my book, but it feels like I've done something good for me, which makes me feel better!"

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Justin Paget / Getty Images

3."Pouring the water into the coffee maker and coffee grinds into the filter, so when I wake up in the morning, I can simply turn on the coffee maker and let it drop while I shower. That way, I have a nice hot cup of coffee waiting for me when I get out of the shower and have time to sit around before getting ready for the day."

—Anonymous, Boston, MA

4."To help with my depression (and short-term memory loss, which is probably due to my depression), I take a quick picture or video, on Snapchat, of something that sparks joy in me so that I can get a 'Snapchat Memory' reminder of the simple things in life that make me happy. I just take the picture or video and save it for myself, sort of as a visual gratitude journal."

Left: A cup of coffee sits on a table Right: A dog lays in the grass

—Anonymous, 28, New York

Charushi Chugh/Jaclyn Tano / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5."On the advice of a CBT practitioner, I began mentally 'filing' my worries before bedtime. Sorting my nagging concerns into categories helped to control my spiraling thoughts, which led to better sleep, and ultimately trained my brain to stop pursuing unhelpful concerns. As an example, a worry like 'Will my baby’s pram fall into the canal when I’m walking on the towpath?' would be filed under 'Extremely unlikely to happen.' A worry like 'Will my baby ever sleep through the night?' would be filed under 'You are taking steps to remedy this — be patient.' I had to 'file' every worry before I slept."

—Anonymous, 38, UK

6."Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, no exceptions. Do it before coffee and before food. Your skin will get better, you'll be less groggy, and your overall health will be better. Hydration is so important for our bodies and minds!"

A woman drinks water outside

—Anonymous, 30, Washington

"The best decision I ever made in my morning routine was adding fruit to my water. I used to think remembering to drink water was a chore and would always forget to fill up my bottle, but the fruit adds such a great taste that it's become the highlight of my morning."

—Anonymous, 28, PA

Qunicastudio / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7."Every time I receive a unique, personal, or touching compliment, I write it down with the date and who said it. Years later, I have a wonderful list to look at when I am having a bad day or feeling down about myself."

—Anonymous, California

8."I always make too much stock when I cook, and I end up throwing it away. For the past month, I've frozen it in our spare ice cube tray and ALWAYS end up using it by the end of the week. It takes me 10 seconds to fill the tray and saves me wasting stock cubes."

Pouring broth into ice cube trays

—Anonymous, 32, Ireland

Annick Vanderschelden Photograph / Getty Images

9."I have three teens and one 12-year-old, so including my husband, there's six of us in one house. Laundry can get crazy. So, I gave each person a hook in the bathroom and assign one towel per person to use for the week. I wash them every Sunday and give them a new towel. No more running out of towels or towels on the floor. Having a certain towel assigned to them means I can tell who is leaving it on the floor, so this has cut down significantly. It's a game-changer."

—Anonymous, 34, Texas

10."I set up a period caboodle. So when I start, I have everything I need in one place. Including tea, vitamins, pads, and pain relief, and snacks I restock as necessary. It was easy to do, and I am so grateful every month for it."

Storing tampons in a container
Andrei Lavrinov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."Commercial time chores. Do something when a commercial comes on! Change the sheets on your bed, put a load of laundry on (or a finished load into the dryer), put things away, or dust. It works."

kljempson

12."My girlfriend and I love to go out to eat, but we never know where to go, so we play the 5-3-1 game. First, one of you will list five random places to eat at. Make sure the choices vary with both the food they serve and how it's served (drive-thru, sit down, etc.). From those five options, have the other person pick their top three. From there, both of you can decide on your favorite one for your next meal. It's made my life so much easier when deciding what to get for dinner.

A fast food flow chart

—Anonymous, 27, PA

BuzzFeed

13."Every time you leave a room, take something that doesn't belong there, and put it away. As soon as it is a habit, your house will stay tidy."

u/Enilorac89

14."I've started prepping my vegetables when I buy them, not when I need it. Cut that end off your celery the moment you take it out of your shopping bag. Pre-chop onions you know you'll use that week. Doing this when you're actually in a good mood is easy. Doing it when you're hungry, pushed for time, and cooking for you and other people is stressful."

A person cuts vegetables on a cutting board

—Anonymous, 32, Ireland

Photo_concepts / Getty Images/Image Source

15."Washing machine timer function. We are a concise family; two (working) parents and two kids, but manage to dirty an unruly amount of clothes. Put a load of washing in before bed or before work and set the timer to finish at a convenient hour. It’s a function even standard washers have, so take full advantage — especially useful when it comes to school uniforms."

—Anonymous, 35, UK

16."Saving something out of every paycheck. Get in the habit of saving, and it will keep you out of a lot of trouble."

u/javanator999

17."If I need to remember something like a bill I have to mail or an item I need to take with me to work, I leave it on top of my car keys near my front door. That way, I immediately notice it and won't forget it before leaving my house. If it's something that I can't physically leave on top of my keys, I'll write it on a Post-It note, then stick that to the car keys. I can't get through my day without doing it, or I'll definitely forget something."

A tray of essentials next to a front door

—Anonymous, 24, TN

Grace Cary / Getty Images

18."Instead of just setting boundaries with others, I set boundaries with myself as well. That way, I'm in control of the situation. You can't control someone's actions, but you can control your reaction. I'll still set boundaries with people, and if they still cross that line, I have a boundary with myself already in place that says, 'If this person breaks my boundary, I'm going to speak up, leave the situation, etc.' Really, whatever I've decided. It's helped me keep myself accountable. It's such a small trick, but it's made a world of difference in my life."

—Anonymous, 35, AZ

What's a tiny hack that made a big difference in your life? Tell me about it in the comments!