Self-care is always important, but in a year that can only be politely summed up by saying “not a great one,” it should be even more of a focus for individuals experiencing things that no one has ever really experienced before. A silver lining of stay-at-home orders and social distancing is the fact that most folks are at least finding a little more “me time,” and that is the best time for some self-care.
There are plenty of ways to practice self-care without technology, and for those who work in tech-heavy fields, simply distancing from a screen for a few hours is a great way to relieve stress, but, technology is certainly popular for a reason, and there are many apps that can help you increase your mind, body, and soul, as well. And given the fact that COVID hasn’t been particularly nice on peoples’ wallets, in addition to their minds, bodies, and souls, we have put together a list of the five best apps for self-care that won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
Many mental health educators point to sleep as the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy mind and body, because without a good night’s sleep, and a steady sleep cycle, on the whole, it’s just simply more difficult to complete day to day activities to the best of your ability. The app tracks your sleeping habits, and suggests ideas to ensure you get a few more hours and a little more regularity. Main features are free, and for a small upgrade, the app can also track heart-rate and other factors that occur during your slumber.
When writing about apps for the mind and body, it’s tough to overlook the Mindbody app if, for nothing else, the name. But in addition, this free app is a tool to find health classes near you, from yoga and Pilates, all the way to group spa and beauty sessions. This app is especially useful for the traveling types, as it will help you stick to your routine even when you’re away from home… and the app also highlights which classes offer discounts for first-time attendees!
Meditation has been linked to several mental improvements, from increased attention span, to being and anti-depressant, and many things in between. If you’re like most Americans, you’re quite a busy person, even in the times of quarantine, and finding time to cut yourself off from the world can be a challenge, no doubt. The Calm app aims to help its users find this time by reminding them of the importance, providing calming music, and even creating plans to piece together small blocks of time (as little as 3 minutes) to provide the same effects for the mind and soul that longer meditations would otherwise provide.
Couch to 5K Runner
Much like mediation, exercise is something we most know is good for us, but we don’t always prioritize finding time for. Fitness apps are not in short supply, so if you have a certain workout niche you’d like to look for, there is probably an app for that, but a good one for the layperson who just wants to add more exercise to their routine (something that helps body and mind), Couch to 5K Runner is a great starting point, with novice-level incrementation to help you get fit without demanding a lot of your time. Not everyone who uses this app needs to be a 5K runner, and users can keep the entry-level exercises if they choose… but many decide to move on up, even if they hadn’t planned on doing so when downloading the app.
For both novice and experts at practicing meditation, guided meditations are a great way to get “help” focusing and allowing the meditation to really do it’s work on your mind and soul. Insight Timer has pay options, but the amount of guided meditations that come with the free download are more than enough to get you a lot of trial time with this app before you decide if you want to get the paid content. Headphones sold separately!
A healthy mind breeds a healthy body, and both of those breed healthy souls, so be sure not to just focus on one of the elements listed above. A steady focus on each will ultimately help you grow the other two as well.