Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, many mothers have shared that they feel disconnected from how we lived life a year ago. While virtual life can be both a blessing and a curse, it can also serve as a lifeline. Here are five apps that focus on mental health, gratitude, or can serve as a tool to help you get through the day.
Daily Self-Care: Shine
Founded by two former work colleagues who realized that the support they provided to each other was instrumental. This support was “everything,” as they state on Shine, and they wanted to help more people.
The Shine premium account offers many tiers of daily support. Start your morning with the ‘Daily Shine,’ a nine-minute breathing exercise that sets an intention such as helping you when life throws you a curveball. Or working on letting go of the past. You can ‘check-in’ for the day and click on the mood you are currently feeling or click on gratitude. Depending on your perspective, the app will provide you the tools to help your work through this feeling. For example, when I clicked that COVID-19 was a worry, I was presented with a helpful article on “How to Build a Routine during the Pandemic.”
The app offers a library of meditations (800+) from some pretty cool people covering topics that affect many mothers, such a COVID-19, Black Mental Health and a biggie for moms, sleep. With gentle nudging from Shine, it will be suggested to write out a helpful mantra for the day, read, or post it on the community board.
Gratitude Journal: Presently
If you own an Android and are looking to document what you are grateful for this year, then you may want to try Presently. This free app (and adfree, whoo hoo) lets you record daily entries as well as a jaunt down past gratitudes. As busy parents know, it is easy to drop off from self-care; you can set helpful daily reminders to keep your practice going. It will also nudge you to share your thoughts by presenting you with an array of questions that get the brain and heart reflecting. You can treat Presently as your personal diary and keep your entries to yourself or share them with others. The app allows you to import and export entries.
Meditation & Yoga Support: Insight Timer
If anxiety or lack of sleep has been an issue for you, the Insight Timer app is a free app that has become quite popular. Insight Timer shares yoga, meditation and live sessions that can help with sleep and anxiety. There is even a mediation guide the kids can join in on from the wildly optimistic and happy Goldie Hawn, “Keep Your MindUP For Your Brain.” One of my personal favorite meditations is from the author and wellness consultant Alexander Elle “ReCentering In Times Of Uncertainty.”
If you would like to take your practice to the next level by having access to their library of micro-courses, you can sign up for a subscription that is $60 for the year.
Vision Boarding: Canva
Vision Boarding is when you create a ‘board’ that helps you set goals for the future. It is best to set a realistic number of goals, dig into old magazines, cut out words and images. A modern approach would be to design an ’a board’ via an app. Whether you craft on paper or your device, your board should feel inspirational and aspirational. Canva is free and offers fun fonts; using an array of templates, and you can add images, edit, change up with gorgeous filters, icons and shapes. The app is free, but you are charged for any premium elements you add to your design. You can download in multiple formats.
Mood Self-Care: MindDoc
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder—MindDoc is a self-management app that offers insights and monitors your mood. When many people do not have as many human connections as we had pre-pandemic—MindDoc can be a useful tool in self-management for mental health disorders. Not to replace a therapist or a psychologist, this app is for when you need to check in with your feelings and hear helpful words to calm you. The app costs anywhere from $4.49 a month. MindDoc ranges from $24.99 to $47.99 a year.
This story first appeared in New York Family.