By Caroline Best ( Student Intern) and Alex Raymond, RD, LD.
I totally admit I’m that person who comes home to visit and gets heckled by their parents for checking their phone too much.
While I completely acknowledge that spending lots of time scrolling through twitter or Instagram (TBH me most nights before I fall asleep.) can be distracting and not the best for mental health, there are ways where you can use your phone and apps for mindfulness and self-care. Now, disconnecting from technology is absolutely a great form of self-care. And I recommend everyone try it out. I did a weekend without my phone and a week without social media once. It cleared up SO much time for other activities and felt great.
However, if you’re like me, with work and various other commitments, its pretty realistic to assume you’ll have your phone near you a big chunk of the day on most days. There are a few apps I’ve gotten into that really help me practice little moments of self-care throughout the day.
1. Aloe Bud
I LOVE this one. You schedule pop up reminders for yourself. I use it to remind myself to drink water throughout the day (not my strength). To take medication. And I have two little *breathe* reminders where I take 5 minutes to just chill and focus myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in a busy work day and forget to do the small things. This reminds you to take care of yourself with cute sayings. My favorite is when it reminds you to drink ” You gotta nourish to flourish- Hydrate!” 🙂
I tried this one out because a friend recommended it to me. I was a little skeptical about it. But I ended up really liking it. It guides you through short meditation sequences. You pick your “ideal meditation” and goals. So, you pick when and where you want to meditate. I did after breakfast at home in the mornings. And I liked that, so I stuck with it. You also pick your intention for meditation, I alternated between being increasing my focus and starting my day calm and centered. Again, I was pretty skeptical about using a meditation app but I really enjoyed working it into my morning routine. And my mornings were calmer and more productive which is always a plus.
This one is described as a sleep cycle alarm clock which I think is the coolest thing. You keep your phone near you and it monitors your sleep throughout the night. Then it wakes you up when you’re in “light” sleep versus “deep” sleep. I think its such a cool thing to try out. It helps you feel like you’re waking up more naturally, versus being jarred awake by a normal alarm clock. I used this one for just a week because I didn’t love sleeping with my phone next to me ( I accidentally flung my phone straight to the ground one morning – it was such a Monday.). However, I used it to figure out when the best times for me to wake up were. Then, I set my regular alarm clock using that info, and it was super helpful. I feel like most people have the goal of feeling more well-rested, and this app helps with figuring out how to do that.
This app is SO wonderful. I found it super recently and the more I know about it, the more I love it. The whole premise is an app that helps you find solutions to deal with stressors in your life. And as indicated by the name, for each day to be a little happier. It has tips, games and activities that all have scientific evidence linking them to increased mood. You get a happiness score based and the goal is to increase your happiness score using positive psychology. I love the activities, it sounds a little cheesy but its such a nice break in the day and they make me smile.
5. Grateful – Gratitude journal App
As someone who (semi-regularly) journals, I love the idea of being able to reflect anywhere. I’ve decided I’m going to make this app my summer project. You add in things you’re thankful for throughout the day. You can add text or pictures you take. Then, you can look back on your phone and see all the things you were appreciative of or what made you smile.
Self-care means something a little different for each of us.
But, we can all agree that self-care is an integral part of our lives, especially as you are working on recovery from an eating disorder. So, why no get creative with your self-care?! I’ve definitely enjoyed these apps personally, so my suggestion is if you’re interested, try one ( or all) out. If you don’t like them, that’s totally okay. I promise I won’t be offended. Each of us have a different style when is comes to stress management. Self-care is all about feeling your best and finding what works for you. If you have any self-care apps you love, let us know. We’re always looking for things to try out. 🙂