Self-care is a buzz word that has been thrown around a lot in the last year or so. It’s one of those things where it is very important but people joke about it or misrepresent it so much that it seems unimportant. All self-care means is that you are taking actually good care of yourself. You’re eating nutritious food, drinking water, giving yourself time to relax, and keeping up on your hygiene. This all seems so simple, but in these modern times, it’s so easy to just get caught up in social media, work, or any of the other things vying for our attention. It’s harder to make sure that you are working at your full capacity. So here are some of my favourite apps that I use for one aspect of self-care or another.
I have become addicted to this colouring book app! There are a million of these apps or variations of them, but this one is very mesmerizing to me. First of all, it’s a colour by number, so you don’t choose any of the colours used in the picture, just place them where they are supposed to go. I didn’t think I would like this aspect since half the fun of colouring it choosing what something will look like with colour. However, it just increases the relaxation aspect for me! Instead of thinking too much about whether or not you’re picking the right colours or if there is enough variation in shades. Maybe I’m just crazy to worry so much about that in the first place, but if you’re anal like that too, this is the app for you!
There are also achievements for colouring the daily image or colouring different categories of images. I love achievement hunting so that’s really satisfying to me. The other satisfying thing this app has is that after you finish colouring an image, it shows you a playback animation of exactly how you coloured it in. Sometimes I choose how I want to colour images entirely on how it will look when that animation plays!
This one has it right in the title! I came across this adorable little app and have been in love since. The base of the app shows a cute little bedroom with a person hiding under the covers with their cat. The idea is that you are that person and you are still in bed because you need a self-care day. Around the room are different items like some tarot cards, a pile of laundry, and some books. All of these items are actually minigames or interactive displays, all dedicated to helping you relax, unwind, and be reminded that you should be kind to yourself. You can even pet the kitty and make him purr and snuggle up under the blankets! The tarot cards are meant to tell you what kind of day you’ll be having, the laundry is a match three game, and the books are a fill-in-the-blank word game.
Each day your goal is to make the sun rise again. You do this by playing the games or interacting with the other elements of the app. If you do enough and the sun has fully risen, you get a little token as a reward, which you can then store on a small shelf in the room. You also get a mini tarot card or a model of the moon if you interact with the associated item for that day.
Generally, it’s a very lowkey, calm experience. Throughout using it, you’re reminded that everyone needs to take breaks and that exhaustion is just a sign you need one. It takes about 5-10 minutes to raise the sun each day, so it’s not a big time commitment either.
Reflectly is a journal app that does most the work for you! Personally, I don’t really love journalling, despite all the positive effects it has on mindfulness and happiness. It’s all because I either don’t have anything to write or I have too much to write and I can’t get it down fast enough. Either way, Reflectly is the solution. This app asks you simple questions, many of them multiple choice, to help you record your feelings and what may have been causing them. Here is an example of some questions it may ask:
You can then elaborate on the kind of day you’ve had if you wish. Sometimes I do because I want to write down something specific or something I don’t want to forget about that day. It will also ask you a question of the day. This is usually some sort of hypothetical to make you think or a question about your life to help you reflect on it. It is also optional. I find it helpful to get my thoughts and opinions about something out in a different setting that social media. No one can read your Reflectly answers and tell you that you’re wrong!
Eventually, after using it consistently, Reflectly will be able to determine what triggers certain emotions for you. Maybe your job really stresses you out but you don’t realize is. Maybe hanging out with your current friend group actually leaves you feeling down about yourself. Maybe nothing brings your mood up more than reading or having a good meal. Reflectly finds those patterns so that you can change your life in order to try and lower stress and make you generally happier!
This is easily the simplest and least fun app on this list, but it has one thing that it does and it does it well! Focus keeper is a timer app. You use it to set up rounds of timers to help keep you focused on your work while also giving you time to rest. The free version of the app has the timer set for 25 minutes of focus, 5 minutes of break, and every 4 hours of that pattern means a 25-minute break. You can change those times if you want to cough up the $1.99 for Pro, but this set up is actually proven to help you get more work down while feeling less burnout.
If you use any of these apps, please let me know in the comments how they help you take better care of yourself and manage stress! If you have any other suggestions of apps you use for your own self-care, also drop them in the comments!