back to top
Goodful

7 Actually Doable Ways To Feel Happier And Healthier In April

Revamp your online shopping habits, try a green thumb on for size, and more!

Posted on

Hey, all! We're finally, finally almost to spring — and if you're anything like me, you're emerging from a cranky winter hibernation needing help to feel like a functioning, happier human being again.

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

Here are a few tiny things that have been helping my colleagues and I feel a little happier lately — juuuust in case you want to steal them.

1. Be more intentional about when you shop online vs. when you shop IRL.

me picking my underwear before going shopping: listen bitch this is what you're gonna be crying in front of a mirror in so let's make an aesthetic out of it

As a really busy person, I'm obsessed with Amazon Prime. Being able to take two minutes to buy something and knowing it'll be on my doorstep in two days can be a lifesaver. But when I got to a point where I was doing pretty much all my shopping online, I remembered: Shit, some forms of shopping are actually fun — and great excuses to get out and about, which always does wonders for my mental health.

So, even though online shopping is more convenient, I've started asking myself which purchases I would enjoy making IRL, even if it means having to wait until I had some free time. For example, I used to order a lot of books online — but now take the time to go to the bookstore, which winds up feeling like a relaxing date with myself. But when it comes to shopping for clothes, I still find dressing rooms to be breeding grounds for insecurity and tears, so online shopping prevails.

Anna Borges

2. Take a break from delivery apps, because you'll probably discover your life will improve in *several* ways.

I'm not proud to admit this, but for the past three years or so, I pretty much never went grocery shopping, and I rarely, if ever, cooked. I lulled myself into the false belief that New York City groceries were expensive enough that it was pretty much financially equal to ordering Seamless or going out to eat. Turns out, that's a total lie. I was grossly overspending on tips and delivery fees, and always paying more for pretty basic things I could make on the cheap at home, like pasta. Plus, the joy of eating wore off. I love food and trying new restaurants, but since I was basically doing that every night from the comfort of my couch, I stopped looking forward to picking out and going to restaurants with people. I became exhausted by all of the options, too, and once I started to actually dread scrolling through Seamless to choose my cuisine/meal of the night, I knew something needed to change.I pretty much went cold turkey on the delivery apps two months ago, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. Now, I go grocery shopping about every two weeks (revolutionary, I know) and get basics like bread, turkey, cheese, soup, pasta, and other ingredients that can be used in basic meals. Having fewer choices for dinners is so freeing, and I feel really good about myself that I'm saving money and getting a little more creative about feeding myself. Plus, I spend way less time making decisions and even less time waiting for the food. Win-win-win!—Terri Pous
Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

I'm not proud to admit this, but for the past three years or so, I pretty much never went grocery shopping, and I rarely, if ever, cooked. I lulled myself into the false belief that New York City groceries were expensive enough that it was pretty much financially equal to ordering Seamless or going out to eat. Turns out, that's a total lie. I was grossly overspending on tips and delivery fees, and always paying more for pretty basic things I could make on the cheap at home, like pasta. Plus, the joy of eating wore off. I love food and trying new restaurants, but since I was basically doing that every night from the comfort of my couch, I stopped looking forward to picking out and going to restaurants with people. I became exhausted by all of the options, too, and once I started to actually dread scrolling through Seamless to choose my cuisine/meal of the night, I knew something needed to change.

I pretty much went cold turkey on the delivery apps two months ago, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. Now, I go grocery shopping about every two weeks (revolutionary, I know) and get basics like bread, turkey, cheese, soup, pasta, and other ingredients that can be used in basic meals. Having fewer choices for dinners is so freeing, and I feel really good about myself that I'm saving money and getting a little more creative about feeding myself. Plus, I spend way less time making decisions and even less time waiting for the food. Win-win-win!

Terri Pous

3. Download the Kindle app on your phone so you never have to worry about forgetting your book at home again.

Amazon / Apple / Via itunes.apple.com

I recently discovered that you can get the Kindle app on your iPhone and simultaneously have become a reading FIEND. Like, who knew the only thing between myself and the world's collection of books was my aversion to trying to keep a physical book open on my morning commute?! Seriously though — I've read so much and made my commutes so much more pleasant since realizing I can do it on my phone. As someone who loves the smell of paper and books, I'm kind of still adjusting to this newfound preference. But whateva — better this than not reading at all. (Psst: I'm currently obsessed with Pachinko!)

Michelle No

4. Instead of rewatching (and rewatching) old comfort TV when you're feeling depressed, watch something new.

Let me say that my favorite thing to do when I'm depressed is burrito up and rewatch The Office for the millionth time. It always feels like the only thing I can do, because when I'm having a Bad Depression Day, getting out of bed and showering can feel like a Herculean task. But over the years, I've realized that it actually makes me feel worse. The combination of zoning out and clicking next episode for hours zombifies me — and I always wind up beating myself up and feeling guilty over accomplishing nothing, even though it's totally unfair to expect more from myself on days like those. So, I've made one tiny tweak: I still let myself self-soothe with Netflix, but now, I make myself consume something new, whether that's a movie or a TV show I haven't seen. It seems like a negligible difference, but as silly as it sounds, it helps me feel like I'm accomplishing something. Is Netflix as a coping mechanism super healthy for depression? It's really not. But am I going to be doing it anyway? Yeah, sometimes! And this does a lot to make sure I don't come out of a Netflix binge feeling more depressed than before. And some days, that's as close to a win as I'm going to get. —Anna Borges
FOX / Via thealexandriaarchives.tumblr.com

Let me say that my favorite thing to do when I'm depressed is burrito up and rewatch The Office for the millionth time. It always feels like the only thing I can do, because when I'm having a Bad Depression Day, getting out of bed and showering can feel like a Herculean task. But over the years, I've realized that it actually makes me feel worse. The combination of zoning out and clicking next episode for hours zombifies me — and I always wind up beating myself up and feeling guilty over accomplishing nothing, even though it's totally unfair to expect more from myself on days like those.

So, I've made one tiny tweak: I still let myself self-soothe with Netflix, but now, I make myself consume something new, whether that's a movie or a TV show I haven't seen. It seems like a negligible difference, but as silly as it sounds, it helps me feel like I'm accomplishing something. Is Netflix as a coping mechanism super healthy for depression? It's really not. But am I going to be doing it anyway? Yeah, sometimes! And this does a lot to make sure I don't come out of a Netflix binge feeling more depressed than before. And some days, that's as close to a win as I'm going to get.

Anna Borges

5. Find a way to make yourself drink more water — like a water bottle that serves as a reminder — because yes, it's true, staying hydrated makes a world of difference.

Ashley McGetrick

This month I started drinking a LOT of water and WHOA, it's a game changer. My skin is clear, I'm way less hungry, and I just feel better. I got this HydraTrak water bottle because I tend to throw money at problems in hopes that they'll fix themselves. Usually, that's awful advice but this time it WORKED! The bottle was $15 and I have had 80–100 ounces of water every day since getting it. It has colored rubber bands at the top that you move down the bottle for each full glass you drink. It's so silly but I love moving the bands down and it's super motivating. Sure you could just track it on a piece of paper or your phone, but something about the bottle is just fun and has really worked! I definitely recommend both good old H2O and the HydraTrak bottle!

Ashley McGetrick

6. Call or FaceTime friends and family when you have little pockets of free time.

DreamWorks Studios / Via burndemfeelings.tumblr.com

I hate talking on the phone or video-chatting because it always feels like such a commitment, in part because I'm extremely bad at extracting myself from conversations. So what I've started doing to get those feel-good endorphins that come from talking to loved ones is reaching out when I know I only have a few minutes to say hi. Like, when I'm waiting for something to cook in the oven, on my walk to the subway, or as I'm picking up my room. It makes calls feel less like a Thing (which is an easy way for me to put it off) and more just a quick, natural part of my day.

Anna Borges

7. Try your hand at growing something simple to experience the joy of taking care of something.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

I tried regrowing my own vegetables for the first time this month, and honestly, it's brightened my life! I've been doing a lot of research about food waste lately and came across some tutorials about how easy it is to regrow celery, so I decided to try it myself. It's been two weeks now and my babies (as I affectionately call my tiny celeries) are ready to be properly planted. It's been so fun watching them grow on my windowsill — every morning I'm genuinely excited to check in on them.

Gyan Yankovich

That's all we've got! Here's to a month of embracing the little things.

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com
The best things at three price points