“I love living in the future.” ~ John Comes, the husband
Its one of his favorite sayings, he’s such a tech guy. I love living in the future too truly, but its also pretty stressful. Even for those not pre-disposed to an anxiety disorder, life “in the future” can easily become overwhelming. Our bodies didn’t actually evolve (yet) to the current type of stressors thrust upon us, so it is so important for us to take care of ourselves and look for ways to find balance emotionally.
So I was thinking about how we can use technology to our benefit, and even though my smartphone can sometimes increase my stress…being connected and ON.ALL.OF.THE.TIME. I know its also very helpful in many ways. There are a lot of awesome apps that I use to manage my life and work, and with a little crowdsourcing thrown in, have developed a list of mobile apps that help us decompress, de-stress and even manage anxiety.
One of the interesting things was when I took time to think about and talk about which apps reduce stress, I discovered that they fit into a 4 key categories that I think that say A LOT about the areas of life that cause us the most stress and anxiety, and ways we can counteract it.
- household management/grocery shopping
Household Management/Grocery Shopping
By far, this was the category that got the most responses to my informal poll. Some key apps that come highly recommended include:
Available for iOs, PC, Adroid, Windows Phone and Kindle, Wunderlist allows you to manage and share to-do lists such as grocery and household lists.
Available for iOs, Android, Kindle and Windows 8.1, helps you manage the family choas with shared calendar, shopping lists and to-do lists.
An android app that will help you keep track of shopping needs, your pantry’s inventory, and manage to-do lists.
A complete digital hub for home management that includes web and mobile apps. See my review and giveaway going on now!
Also check out apps from your typical grocery stores, such as Costco (which has a nice app where you can access their current coupon book).
Do you have any other grocery and home management apps you’d recommend?
A community-based traffic and navigation app that both John and I use regularly. Seriously, waze is crowdsourcing at its best. You and other drivers in your area share real-time traffic and road info to enhance the navigation system. It not only tells you what time you will arrive (and it is right 99% of the time!) but also where you’ll encounter road hazards, construction, police, etc and it will re-route you on the go if traffic builds and there is a quicker route to take. I have a phone mount in my car and use this all of the time.
That’s the only nav app I’m sharing because honestly I can’t think of anything else that compares. Do you have any other navigation apps that you’d recommend?
A category that I believe to be just as important for our stress and anxiety and sometimes even more so is distraction. Finding ways to relax and entertain the mind is a must. Whether that is playing a simple mindless game; or a more complex strategy game; a slow paced word game; reading a book; watching a movie or TV show; or listening to music, finding electronic distractions have been a blessing to me. For example, Candy Crush is a simple mindless game that was a favorite of a few people. For a time it was good for me too, but after a while it just pissed me off so I stopped playing. But you get the idea. Here are a few of my favorites:
I love reading on the go. I find it so relaxing to read a few chapters at night right before falling asleep using my kindle apps for iPhone or iPad.
A calm and meditative game recommended to me by friends is Zen Bound. The developer says “It is something to be enjoyed at a slow pace: a game where a high score is not the goal. Zen Bound is designed to challenge in a subtle way, it does not attack or force the player. There is also an element of self-reflection, for each of the sculptures is a representation of a state of mind or a human emotion.”
Other favorite slow paced games of mine are Frozen Free Fall, Words with Friends and Letter Quest. For movies and television, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and the new Disney Movies Anywhere.
What entertainment apps/games do you enjoy? I’m always up for trying something new.
This free app allows you to ring a mindfulness bell whenever you want, or you can set it to go off at intervals throughout the day as a trigger to mindfully ‘check-in’.
The idea of the gratitude journal is to write down 5 things you are grateful for each day and it will change your life. A friend of mine has used it and recommends trying it out. I think I’ll be checking it out soon. I truly believe in the power of positive thinking.
Happier is a fun social gratitude journal combined with a positive community! Be inspired to keep track of the small happy moments in your day and feel awesome when they help someone smile.
These are just a few apps recommended to me that promote a more positive outlook. I also did a search for “anxiety” in the iOs app store and there are actually 707 results, which I think it awesome. I’ll be continuing to check out a few sporadically and report back. If you have any other recommendations for mobile apps to reduce stress and anxiety, please let me know so I can include them in my upcoming reviews.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way.