Let’s talk about self-care apps! While I took a no-holds-bar approach at the very beginning of quarantine (It’s the end of the world! Why not scroll all day?), I’m realizing that might not be the most sustainable solution for a pandemic that shows no signs of fully ending. Also, winter is coming, and well, there’s about to be a lot more inside together with our children time than we all might want.
The good news is that tech can be incredibly helpful in managing self-care. We’ve found apps to help you stay on track with exercise, mental health, connect with friends, and — yes — even improve productivity so you have more time to yourself.
Related: One Good Thing a Day: A beautiful easy exercise to help get you through these crazy days
Self-care apps that support mental health
If you’ve been meaning to find a therapist, but the idea sounds a bit overwhelming, consider one of the many mental health apps that connect you with an actual real-life therapist online, like Better Help or Talk Space. If you just need a little mental boost, try these meditation apps or the Happify app, which actually gamefies positive emotions. Go figure.
Self-care apps that improve sleep
It may seem counterintuitive, but I’ve found tech so useful in improving my sleep hygiene. And study after study says good sleep is imperative for our physical and mental health. You can use one of these great sleep-tracking apps to help figure out your sleep patterns and adjust them, or to set a consistent nightly bedtime. Our editor-in-chief Liz uses the sleep stories feature of the Calm app to fall asleep every night.
Related: 9 creative, healing, self-care gifts that go beyond bath salts and chocolate
Self-care apps that improve productivity
Since many of us are working from home these days, creating some boundaries between work and play can be helpful. I like the BeFocused app (previously called Pomodoro), which Kristen and Liz covered on their time-management episode of Spawned. It breaks your work time into 25 minutes of intense focus, followed by a 5-minute break. It can also be helpful to have an app that blocks your social media during certain hours of the day like Freedom. The Fabulous App is a great comprehensive self-care app that’s geared toward improving habits, and its so aesthetically pleasing I look forward to using it.
Self-care apps for fitness
Earlier this year, we covered gym alternatives for quarantine workouts. And while we’ve started to inch our way out of quarantine most places, I’m still finding these resources helpful especially since many workout classes might be forced inside when the weather gets colder, and working out in a mask might be a little tedious for some folks. Pro tip: you can download the Peloton app even if you don’t have an off-brand bike (but still want an instructor to yell at you.)
Self-care apps that help you connect with friends
Yes, maybe Marco Polo doesn’t seem like a self-care app at first blush, but it can be a brilliant way to see some friendly faces — even if you’re not in the same time zone. Kristen swears by it, and uses it pretty much every day to connect with her closest friends. Also, check out this list of Christina’s ideas to stay in touch with friends through tech.
Top image: Bruce Mars via Unsplash