The Project of "Me"
Go on social media and you'll find the term self-care all over the place. Mental health discussions are becoming more commonplace and people are talking about their feelings and their mental health in new and more honest ways, sharing stories and struggles. Brands are following suit and bringing these topics into the forefront with various campaigns emphasizing mental health awareness.
Progress is being made. Which is awesome and so so SO refreshing.
Working on your mental health and self-care as a personal project has never been more accessible. There are digital tools that allow you to work on "you", all without leaving your couch if you prefer not to. Raise your hands if you are a social anxiety hermit on the regular - me too.
I have been using a few different apps for the past few months to track things, be more mindful, and generally focus on the project of "me". Here are the ones I have found the most helpful.
I have spoken about the Headspace app a couple of times now in other posts. I recently upgraded to the premium plan (a present from my husband) and the upgrade has been 100% worth it so far.
If you're not familiar with Headspace it is a meditation app that focuses on the basics of meditation right on your phone. Guided sessions take you through the basic principles and help you hone your skills. More specialized courses focus on different topics like Self-Esteem, Anxiety, Wellness, Grief etc.
To read my post on meditation and how it has helped me click here.
To find out more about Headspace click here. Have questions about it? Shoot me a message or a comment.
This next one is something I have struggled with getting my head around. There are lots of people who believe in the power of simply saying positive things on a daily basis. Visualization and manifesting your destiny are also buzzwords I am hearing more and more. From vision boards to journaling and so on there are lots of people jumping on this bandwagon. I have been skeptical about the power all of this stuff really has.
Having said that, there is something to be said for telling yourself a different story about who you are.
If you tell yourself you are weak and stupid long enough, you will start to believe it. Maybe if I tell myself amazing things about myself, even if right now I don't believe them, one day I will?
So I researched some daily affirmation apps and came across Think Up. You can write your own affirmations or choose from one included in their library. I have chosen preset ones from their library focusing on self-esteem and empowerment.
Each day you go in and record the affirmation in your own voice. You can then play them back if you like. Some days I record them and others I simply read them to myself.
So far, things seem to be moving in the right direction. I am going to stick with the habit and see any long term impact.
Take a closer look at the Think Up App here. Do you do any type of visualization?
Tracking food. Fun right? This is something I have done on and off since I was a teenager. From tallying up Weight Watchers points, counting calories, macros, all of it.
Lose It! is my favourite fitness tracking for a few reasons. Its user interface is fresh and fun to use. Visual icons for food etc. are small design touches that make a nice user experience. I also love that on the paid version, I can get more granular with what I am tracking. Currently, I am focusing on eating fewer carbs and eliminating sugar. Lose It! helps me closely track my macronutrients so I stay on track.
The last thing I'll mention is that is connected to our scale, which makes tracking weight and other data, like body fat percentage, really easy.
I feel better about my body when I am eating clean and tracking my nutrition and Lose It! makes it fun and simple.
I am NOT a good sleeper. Just ask my poor mother. Even as a baby, I wanted to party all night and sleep all day. In some ways, nothing has changed. It can take me a long time to fall asleep and I am easily woken up if there is a bump in the night.
I am a capital B when I don't get enough sleep. If I'm running on 5 hours of interrupted sleep I lose all ability to cope. And yes, I have thought about this should we ever decide to have a baby. It's gonna be rough.
The Deep Sleep app provides white noises and other sounds that can help you drift off into a restful sleep. It's been a life saver for me on many a night.
Find out more about the Deep Sleep app here. Hopefully, it helps you fall asleep more quickly.
Way of Life
The Way of Life App is also one I have mentioned before. My husband has been using this app for a long time and I eventually downloaded it and jumped on the bandwagon.
The app essentially allows you to track habits, whether it's a good one or a bad one. You can list a bunch of negative habits: "smoked a cigarette", "drank alcohol", "ate McDonald's", whatever you like, and then track on a daily basis whether you did these things.
I use mine to track positive habits like "did yoga", "meditated", "took my vitamins", "read", "did some writing", "said my daily affirmations" and so on. On the paid version of the app, you can add as many of these journals as you like. On the free version, you can add up to 5 items to track.
I use this to track all of the good habits I am working to maintain on a daily basis. When I visited my naturopath she gave me a paper grid with a similar structure to this. Pick 5 things that make you feel healthy and strong, and try and do 3/5 of them every day. This digital version of a paper tracking sheet goes with me everywhere and is something I have really stuck with.
It's a great way to maintain consistency with your self-care and see how far you have come.
Find out more about the Way of Life here.
What Apps Do You Use?
Being a digital nomad, constantly moving from one place to the next, and running a small business provides its fair share of stress and uncertainty. Tracking habits and working on self-care in a really formal and regimented way gives me a routine and some consistency as we move from place to place and face new situations.
Do you use any apps to keep your mental health and wellness on track? Let me know in the comments.