2017 has been the year of self-care and for good reason. While news cycle exhaustion and stress certainly aren't positive in their own right, they've at least been a catalyst to create more conversation about taking better care of ourselves mentally. If you’re looking for ways to make self-care easier, you need not look any further than your phone. From apps for self-care to self-care products you can purchase, technology is helping make taking care ourselves even more accessible.
Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s good for our minds and bodies. Even science says so. Feeling cooped up? Just getting outside can give your mood a much-needed boost. Want to feel fancy free and fight dementia? Try doing a little dance. Really. Leisure activities like dancing are associated with a lowered risk of dementia. Perhaps cooking is your go-to from of self-care. That’s good too because the smell of rosemary may help with memory. If you’re looking for a little tech-based assistance with your self-care, you have plenty of options.
My technological self-care method of choice is a dose of Netflix. A little feel-good TV is an easy way to give your mind a necessary break. When you’re all Netflixed out, here are nine other ways women are already using technology to aid in their self-care routines and how you can add them to yours.
1. Check Out Apps for Meditation
Science suggests that the benefits of meditation range from boosted self-esteem to lowered levels of depression and anxiety. However, if you’ve never tried meditation before, getting started can be kind of intimidating. Apps like Headspace make meditation and other mindfulness practices more approachable, through things like guided exercises for meditating. So, if you’re looking to add meditation to your routine but aren’t sure how to start, check out some meditation apps for mindfulness that you can take with you wherever you go.
2. Check Out Apps for Mood Tracking
Simply keeping track of how you’re feeling can be an important part of self-care. Whether you know you’re prone to lows and want to see if they correlate with anything in particular or you just want a better sense of your moods as a whole, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to track your mood. Using mood tracking apps, like iMoodJournal, are easy-to-use and make tracking your mood less daunting than keeping a physical journal may be. The period tracking app Clue also gives you a mood tracking options, as hormone shifts in our cycle can certainly play into how we’re feeling.
3. Check Out Apps for Positive Thinking
Want to know a simple daily habit that can improve your overall happiness? Of course you do. Science suggests that practicing a daily mantra can make you happier. Even something as simple as a one-word phrase can lead to health benefits like lowered anxiety levels and decreased fatigue. Apps like Happify and Good Blocks bring positive thinking to the comfort of your phone. Happify even gamifies positivity, giving you games and activities to guide you to thinking less negatively.
4. Get a Lamp That Simulates Natural Sunlight
Being stuck inside 9 to 5 can take a toll on our mood aside from work-related stressors. Some studies suggest that light plays a significant role in our mental health, with natural light helping reduce anxiety and depression. If you’re looking for self-care product you can purchase, a lamp that simulates natural sunlight might be worth investing in. This daylight lamp from Beurer is available on Amazon for $60, which might be worth it if you spent a lot of your work day away from a window.
5. Get A White Noise Machine
Sleep is seemingly the easiest, most affordable method of self-care. However, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy. Some scientists suggest white noise can help you sleep better. If you’re looking to get the most out of a midday nap or just want to get a solid 8 hours at night, it might be a good idea to look into a white noise machine. Don’t want to splurge? You can also give this free white noise app a try.
6. Listen To Podcasts That Promote Mindfulness
If you’re looking for media to put you in a good mood or just want to give your eyes a rest, try finding a podcast to listen to. Want to make your morning commute a little more meditative? Check out a podcast that promotes mindfulness. If you’re looking for a little reflection on life’s big questions, On Being with Krista Tippett might be for you. Meditation Oasis is a podcast dedicated to helping you relax, if you’re looking to add meditation into your day.
7. Breathe In Sync With This Gif
Self-care doesn’t doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. It can be as simple as a few short breathing exercises. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, this gif might help reduce your anxiety. Try inhaling as the gif expands and exhales and it contracts. Simply having something to focus your mind and breathing on can be a way to take care of yourself.
8. Follow Self-Care Accounts On Social Media
Get self-care reminders right to your timeline with accounts like @tinycarebot on Twitter. From simple reminders to stretch your arms to reassurance that you are not alone, accounts like @tinycarebot bring self-care to you when you may not realize you need it the most.
9. Put Your Phone On Do Not Disturb
While it may seem counterintuitive to the rest of the list, simply turning your phone off can provide a sense of relief. Studies suggest that sleep disturbances are associated with deteriorated health, just in case you need another reason to put your phone “Do Not Disturb Mode” while you’re sleeping.