back to top

23 Tiny Changes You Should Try Out

Small changes, big difference.

Posted on

So here's a collection of the easiest small changes you can make – they all take under 10 minutes.

1. Look up Ruby Etc's illustrations.

Elliot/ Trapeze

Ruby explains that she uses creative outlets for her mental health issues:

“I think anyone who’s been there has heard the standard ‘flick a rubber band against your wrist’ or ‘squeeze ice cubes’ mantras used by professionals. No one really tells you that creative outlets like knitting and doodling can also work really well. It’s about finding what’s right for you in that moment; there’s no right or wrong way to go about this stuff. When I was struggling with frequent and intense urges to hurt myself or worse, drawing was one of the only nondestructive ways I could express the overwhelming distress that was behind them.”


2. Delete Instagram from your phone.

Kendall Jenner/

I think Kendall Jenner speaks a lot of sense when she talks about deleting Insta:

"I just wanted a little bit of a break. I’m always on it. I would wake up in the morning and look at it first thing; I’d go to bed and it was the last thing I’d look at. I felt a little too dependent on it so I kind of wanted to take a minute."

I deleted Twitter and Facebook from my phone about a year ago, and have never looked back. I still use the browser versions of the site, but it's so nice not to feel tied to notifications, and to stop scrolling for the sake of it.

3. Think of one good thing.

5. Try these morning yoga poses.

Facebook: video.php

Cat Cow is the nicest stretch and is super simple.


6. Stop hate-reading.

Sarah Burton/ BuzzFeed

You know what I mean. Unfollow that person on Instagram who makes you mad or jealous or annoyed. Stop reading that blog or that columnist who rubs you up the wrong way. Life is too short.

8. Occupy your hands.

Ailbhe Malone

"I recently bought a tub of Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty," Sophie says.

"It's basically just a fun thing to squish while you sit at your desk/read and I am finding it is really helping with my concentration. It has also helped me stop getting bored and wandering over to the snack room as it keeps your hands busy. Also it looks pretty!"

You can buy the putty here for £9.99.

9. Gather some photos that mean a lot to you.

Becky Barnicoat/ BuzzFeed

This suggestion comes via commenter tiggaplease.

"I rarely feel like reading during rough times, so I made this little board with pictures of achievements or happy times to inspire me and remind me that life is not always rough. So I’ve put up the obvious college graduation that meant so much because I was the first in my family, a couple taken in a fun setting at a former job where I was having the time of my life (until I was laid off, but I got back up on my feet), and any other “first” that I had immortalized. Anything, really, that reminded me both of struggles I’d had to fight, but victories or progress in the end. "

If this feels like too big a project, why not print out photos of your friends to put at your desk, or change your phone background to a photo that makes you smile?


10. Find a quote that resonates with you.

Flickr: victius

Commenter Sara Reichert suggests:

"One of my favourite self-care methods is looking up quotes from my favourite authors. When I'm anxious or overwhelmed, it really helps to spend just a few minutes re-reading pieces of wisdom from a writer I admire so much. It's almost like getting a miniature pep-talk from Sir Terry Pratchett or J.K. Rowling (my favourite authors). I always end up feeling both relaxed and energized, ready to flex my own creativity."

Here are 49 quotes to get you started.

11. Write a nice email.


I recently sent an email to an editor I admire, congratulating her on how well her team had worked together on a big story – and how positive I found it that her team all supported each other's roles in getting the story.

The message took me less than five minutes to write, and though I felt a bit cringe for sending it, I really meant what I wrote. Over the rest of the day, all her team members stopped me to say thank you, and how nice it was to have their work recognised. I felt great, they felt great, and I'm going to do it more often now.

12. Invite a friend to come to a party with you.

Loryn Brantz/ BuzzFeed

In this helpful article Dr Joanna Silver, psychologist at Nightingale Hospital, explains: “It’s important to realise that it is normal to feel anxious at gatherings so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘perform.’ Concentrating on breathing properly can be really helpful. It can sometimes be helpful to go to a large gathering with a friend so that you feel more comfortable.”

13. Read this piece about anxiety.

Maggy van Eijk

In this piece, 14 people with anxiety reveal what they were feeling behind the scenes:

"Often anxiety is illustrated by a grey-lit portrait of someone clutching their head in their hands or biting away at their fingernails with a nervous look on their face. In reality, a lot of people with an anxiety disorder look perfectly natural on the outside while dealing with their symptoms."


14. Reflect on this interview.

Flo Perry/ BuzzFeed

Broadly UK editor Zing Tseng is super cool and eloquent, and articulates really well the need to sometimes live outside of your head. It's good advice:

"I live so much in my head (and in words and emails) that I sometimes forget that I need to take care of my body. Just go out dancing to dumb, mindless music one night, or work out, or take a long bath or walk where you’re not looking at your phone or listening to a podcast or music. Just literally be in your body with zero distractions. It’s hard!"

16. Make a low maintenance plan for yourself.

Natayla Lobanova/

This tip comes via commenter Jade Stokely:

"I went super back to basics with my expectations of myself. Like, if I tell myself I'm gonna work out and meal prep and clean and draw on my day off, I am just not going to get out of bed because it's too overwhelming. (Instead of exercise I just try to stretch once a week. Instead of pressuring myself to eat healthy, I just try to eat twice a day minimum. etc.) So even if all I manage to do is get out of bed, I can still tick the box or give myself a sticker or whatever,and I can just be proud of what I did manage."


17. Try out "Flowy Beta".


Commenter Laura Hughes suggests playing "a brilliant app called Flowy Beta on Google Play for a great calming game."

It's an app designed to help with anxiety and panic attacks. So far it's only available on Android, but keep an eye on the FB page for more.

18. Think of the good you're going to do today.

Jenny Chang/ BuzzFeed

This is part of a larger piece on how to be a morning person. The morning person boat has 100% sailed for me, and I will never wake bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But I loved the intention behind this:

"The thought of all those unfinished tasks may drive you up a wall, but if you focus more on the impact that will come from completing them, you might feel better, Lombardo says. So, say that you’re a nurse or a janitor in a hospital, focusing on the good that comes out of these jobs — healthier people and a safer environment — might keep your negative feelings toward them from swirling around in your head. The same goes for all of your personal goals — just think about how accomplished you’re going to feel once you’ve taken a step toward reaching them."

19. Dress like you mean it.

Ailbhe Malone

Whenever I'm down, or feeling unsure of myself, I dress like the best version of me. Lipstick, a giant silk shirt, tight jeans and high heeled boots. Sometimes faking it on the outside helps you feel a little better on the inside.

20. Dance around the kitchen.

Big Machine Records

Without getting too Gilmore Girls, I've taken to having a little kitchen bop when I'm stressed. I stick on 2-3 tracks (Christmassy ones, at this time of year!) and, well, bop. It always helps.


21. Plant some seeds.

I love this anecdote: "I usually sit outside with my dog and pot seedlings for hours, just taking my time relaxing and focusing on the little seedlings. After they’ve been outside growing for a while it’s like a proud parent moment — you’ve seen them since they were tiny seedlings and now they’ve grown up to full blossoming plants."

If you don't have a garden, or a windowsill, you can still look after a plant by your kitchen sink. My recommendation? A geranium – they're cheap, colourful, and practically impossible to kill.

22. Accept when you make a mistake.

One of my greatest fears is everyone noticing I’ve fucked up. So when I make a mistake, it feels like the literal end of the world. But instead of holding this worry close to me, I’ve started letting others know what’s happened. I tell my friends, and ask for their advice on what to do next. It’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be. Nobody expects you to always know what to do.

Comment below or @ me with your suggestions for easy self-care tips and you could feature in the next edition!