In the first installment of our Digital Wellness series we covered how incrementally building great habits can lead to renewed creativity and even greater happiness at work. We also told you that we’re big proponents of making time for our personal wellbeing because we believe that’s how great teams can do great work. Well, this post is dedicated to just that: providing you with a round-up of tips and tools to enhance your self-care so that you can be your best self and help your organization achieve even greater success in 2022.
Our Digital Lives and Wellness: How Are the Two Connected?
It’s no secret that we spend more time than ever in front of screens or otherwise being connected to the cloud, to apps, and to many other tools that define our digital lives. Their presence in our day-to-day life can help us with anything from planning to troubleshooting, but not without the potential for burnout. In a year when so many of us continue to work from home, often juggling family care and teaching duties, we want to take this opportunity to highlight some clever ways tech tools can work for us by helping us take charge of our self-care habits and rituals.
MEDITATION, JOURNALING AND SELF-REFLECTION
Whether you’re a seasoned writer or are completely new to the art of self-reflection, journaling and introspection have been found to lower stress levels, improve clarity, and lead to greater happiness over time. The same has also been found to be true for the practice of meditation. These tools can help you along your journey to greater wellness:
5 Minute Journal: this app uses the principles of positive psychology, a burgeoning field of research, to incrementally build a gratitude and self-reflection practice. It offers guided journaling exercises and prompts, and it can also help you set daily notifications to keep you on track.
Journify: if writing is not your cup of tea, this ingenious app turns the practice of journaling into a voice-first experience. It lets you record your thoughts on the go, track your mood based on the audio content you create, and it can also generate live transcripts based on your entries! Everything is encrypted for maximum privacy, and you also have the option of organizing your recordings by theme.
InsightTimer: if you’d like to try your hand at meditating, this app comes with a global community that provides guided meditations, free courses, sleep support, yoga and gentle movement sessions, live group events, and lots more. Practice solo or in a group setting, set your own custom experiences or simply enroll in the sessions led by experts from around the world. There are over 100.000 offerings to choose from!
Shine: if you’d like to set personal growth goals as a pathway to greater mental health, this app sends daily motivational texts, offers “Shine talks” on topics ranging from anxiety to self-love, and has features designed to help you set a daily self-care routine. It was featured as Best of 2020 by the App Store and was a 2019 Webby Award Winner for Best Lifestyle App.
Perhaps you’d like a different twist on wellness this year and are ready to try more hands-on methods. Or should we say full-body? The following are emerging wearable tech tools that can support you with anything from improving your sleep to monitoring your respiration.
Spire Stone: is a patented respiration sensor that measures your breathing patterns all day. If your breathing becomes tense or erratic, a gentle notification gives you actions you can take to help you relax. Spire also offers visual exercises and guided meditations to manage stress.
Cove: is a patented headset that activates a skin-to-brain pathway associated with relaxation and mental wellbeing. It helps you sleep better and manage stress––and it can be used anytime, even when catching up on your favourite show or while at work. Talk about multitasking!
Muse: this headset is an immersive meditation device that provides real-time feedback on your mental activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to help you to refocus during the day and recover overnight.
Nowatch: this watch is what the company calls an ‘awareable’, because it calibrates against your body’s unique physiology to optimise the insights needed to restore physical and mental balance. It pairs ElectroDermal Activity, also known as skin conductance, with an algorithm to accurately predict cortisol contribution, which influences emotional, mental, and physical performance.
NATURE & ARTS THERAPY
Of course, screen-free options for relaxation abound, but they can also be enhanced by thoughtful apps to spark your imagination, guide you to new places, and support you on your journey to wellness.
Parks Canada's National App has features to assist you with your trip planning and explore country-wide parks. Its new Learn-to Camp section also helps you find all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first camping trip––including recipes, packing lists and insider tips. Popular features also include maps, personalised itineraries, science lessons, and photo sharing.
AllTrails: this app blends fitness and travel to help you make the most of outdoor recreational activities. Whether you are hiking, mountain biking, climbing or enjoying snow sports, the app allows users to access a database of trail maps, complete with crowdsourced reviews and images, to get connect you with nature and yourself.
DotDotDot: if it’s arts therapy you’re looking for, this fun app features high-quality, handcrafted artworks that relax, entertain, and challenge you at the same time. Connect the dots and let your imagination take over!
Polygon App: is a 3D puzzle game that helps you relax while creating stunning artworks. You can also colour/recolour existing pictures and let the app guide you into relaxation.