Life is hard.
There are bills to pay, money to make, people to love, and doing all of this while trying to attend to yourself. Most of the time the focus is on so many external factors that we never have time to think about ourselves. We’re being told “Eat healthy! Exercise! Get some fresh air!” but sometimes it isn’t that simple.
When the focus of health and care is on the physical, we tend to forget that we also need to care for our mental health as well.
Physical and mental health can go hand in hand. Sometimes physical issues such as injuries or immune deficiencies can affect our mental health. We feel stressed, anxious, depressed, and anything in between. Other times, our mental health affects our physical needs. We can be so anxious it’s hard to reach out to friends, or so depressed it’s difficult getting out of bed. We know what things can help us feel better, but it’s hard getting to that point.
Thankfully, we’re not alone.
It’s easy to feel like the only one struggling. But luckily, there are other who know those struggles and find ways to help others cope or find resources. Mental health especially has been on a slow path to being de-stigmatized, and people are taking advantage of this. Apps exist that both provide resources for mental health care, and also provide ways to aid your own mental health yourself. Here are a few apps that do just that.
Daylio provides a nice and easy way to track your moods. You pick your mood for the day, then you’re taken to a screen where you add the activities you’ve done during the day. If there’s not an activity it provides, you can add your own! It also enables you to make notes of anything else that happened in the day you might want to look back on. The coolest part is that it gives you weekly and monthly reports, so you can see how often you’ve been in certain moods and what activities you’ve been up to.
What’s Up? is designed to provide skills to handle anxiety, depression, and various kinds of stress. It gives you a place to add journal entries on how you’re feeling, and even a tracker for your positive and negative habit tracker. Additionally, it gives a lot of information about negative thinking patterns and how to combat them, information or various lifestyle issues, and building your self-esteem. When you need other resources, it has helpful websites you can use and even forums to participate in to relate to others.
This meditation app doesn’t just give you “breathe in, breathe out” techniques. Insight Timer offers different ways to meditate so you can find what’s right for you. There’s options for during the day, before you sleep, and even offers an assortment of sounds to choose from. Language options are also offered, and you can tailor your meditation to a specific function such as stress or love.
Like staying in bed? This app is perfect for you! #SelfCare is a companion for relaxation and mindfulness. Virtual you stays in bed all day, and have different simple activities to engage in. There’s a cat on the bed waiting for cuddles. A massager sits on the table waiting to be used. Tarot cards scatter on the floor for when you need guidance. During each mini task or game, affirming quotes appear on the screen to remind you you’re amazing. The cool thing about the app is how much you can alter your environment to fit your aesthetic, from the skin tone of virtual you to the colors of the clothes you leave on the floor.
Aloe Bud is a little pocket companion to help with your self-care journey. You have the power to choose what you want to improve on, and Aloe Bud gives you gentle reminders along the way. There’s no shame or pressure involved; just a cute little pixelated friend giving you activity cards and reminders to be who you want to be.
Want help with physical self-care too? Say no more!
Sworkit is the workout app you can tailor to your lifestyle. Only have twenty minutes for some leg work? This app has your back. Need to do some squats? It will put that butt to work. You can choose what area of your body you want to work on, how long you want to exercise, difficulty, and more.
There’s a long list of yoga apps to use, and this is one of the best. Down Dog offers a variety of styles of yoga to choose from. You can do a vinyasa flow or relax in a few restorative poses. Each time you open the app you get a unique practice, and can focus on a certain element to benefit you. It has yoga for hamstrings, neck, shoulders, back, core, and more. Now you can even choose what voice you’d like to hear from your instructor (my personal favorite being Carlos) and the speed you’d like to flow.