So who wants to use technology to get into effortless routines for a happier, healthier life... Um me, yes please and thank you!
I'm not here to tell you that TikTok is the best form of therapy, but there is serious science behind dancing sparking major endorphins, so I’ll just leave that there…
In all seriousness, technology has completely changed the game for every industry under the sun and the self care industry is no exception. From apps, to consumer products, and everything in between, our accessibility to mental health is broader than ever before.
As a full time caregiver for my mom I know the importance of taking care of my mind and building routines as best as anyone. I decided very early on in this journey with Ma'dukes that we were going to prioritize feeling good, choosing joy, and making time for our health over all else. To be honest, we didn’t really have a choice. Making these things a priority was the only means to surviving and has been the catalyst to everything you see here at A Log Cabin in Brooklyn. Not to brag, but we’re kind of experts on self-care over here.
That’s why I want to let you in on our secrets to success, specifically, how we use tech on a day-to-day basis to ensure we’re on our best self-care behavior. Here’s our list of top six, absolute must-haves when it comes to gadgets and apps for staying connected to your mental health game from sunup to sundown:
- Elevate App - You might have already heard me raving about this on IG a few weeks back, but this is the App that I use every morning to level up my mind. The app has lots of brain teasers, puzzles, and simple math problems for getting your mind working asap and keeping your cognition super sharp. Y’all this is better than an espresso and healthier too, I promise. With no caffeine necessary you’ll shake off any morning grogginess after only a few minutes and be ready to kick-start the day.
- Calm App - Another can’t-live-without-it app. While it does require a subscription to unlock the app’s full potential, it is oh so worth it. From bedtime stories, breathing exercises, white noise, and background sounds to keep you focused all day long, this app is a literal vibe. It’s always shocking to me how much sound and our breath is connected to our mood. Do not underestimate the impact this app can have on your energy levels and especially your ability to sleep! If you’re someone who’s in a bustling city, dealing with a hectic commute (okay, so maybe not right now, but normal is right around the corner, right?) this app is a game changer for helping you relax and settle into your evening.
- TalkSpace - Yaaasss therapy queens! Can you believe that therapy has gone from totally taboo to damn near chic in the last 10 years? Bless up! Therapy is so accessible there is actually “an app for that”. If you’re someone who has never gone to therapy before, or who struggles to see the value in therapy it truly doesn’t get simpler than this. From the comfort of your own phone you can live chat, video chat, or even text a health professional about where your head’s at and how you're feeling. With no pain or sacrifice involved whatsoever, there is strictly only gain here folks. This last year was a doozy, make sure you have the tools to move on and be set up for success when the time comes.
- White Noise Machine - As most of you probably already know Ma’dukes is a huge fan of white noise. She’s immediately on her way to dream land at the first hum of our favorite white healing noise playlist on Youtube. Whether you’re using the Calm app, a Youtube video, or a white noise machine, sound is a hugely powerful tool in aiding your ability to not only get to sleep but to sleep through the night as well. Our personal secret sauce here is combining healing sound with healing smell through white noise and diffusing oils in a bedside diffuser. Seriously, you cannot go wrong. It’s important with Alzheimer’s, but for all of us, to get in the habit of a nightly routine to help our bodies and minds recognize it’s time for sleep. Using sound, smell, and visual aids can help prompt your brain to wind down and prepare for rest.
- Massage Gun - You already know I’m obsessed with my massage gun, right? I’m a total massage gun stan so forgive me for once again hitting you with my sales pitch, but yo! This thing has changed my life, real talk. Especially with my recent increase in physical activity and hiring a personal trainer, my recovery period has been cut in half with the help of this handy hand-help warrior. Obviously with COVID, going to get bodywork done is somewhat out of the question, especially on a recurring basis. Technology has made the practice of caring for my muscles and joints so accessible from my own home! Saved time, saved money, saved body!
- Natural Sunlight Lamp - When it comes to Alzheimers, incorporating daytime light into our space is crucial in minimizing confusion. Beyond our specific use-case, this light can help with seasonal depression, brightening smaller spaces (hello city living), and generally promote a state of alertness and focus. I’ll admit, I was never picky about the lighting in the home or the bulbs I purchased to replace old ones back in the day, but your lighting plays a big-time role in your wellness. Our bodies are designed to get outside in the sunshine y’all. Vitamin D is a key component in our health, so getting lighting that mimics this as much as possible, while yes, still getting outside, can have major impacts on your happiness and energy levels.
No matter if you’re a total tech nerd or someone who can barely get around their laptop without getting flustered, there are so many tools right at your fingertips just waiting to make your life easier. Everyone’s mental health journey and needs are different so don’t forget to take time to really reflect and identify what it is you need out of self care gadgets such as these. Our must-have list isn’t going to be a one size fits all, so it’s important you do the reflective work to decide what’s going to serve you most before you invest.
Bottom line is, you’re not alone and technology can help to make things easier. If you can dream it, it’s probably already on Amazon Prime with next day shipping. Decide what you need, seek help, and invest in the things you believe in.