I’ve been very open about my journey with mental illness, but what I didn’t realise was that I hadn’t shared much about how I manage it outside of powerlifting. One of the benefits of living in a digital age is that there are apps for just about everything – including ones to help improve your mental health. I’m one of those people who does not overly like guided meditations as I find they can stress me out more than calming me down as my mind will wander.
Two apps that I’ve found that help me to manage my mental health are called Perspective, a mindful journal, and Breathe.
Perspective is something I have only recently started using, and was recommended to me by my friend Anna.
I was never really one for keeping a journal, as I never knew quite what to write. However, Perspective enables you to keep a journal electronically and provides you with the ability to reflect on your day by prompting you with questions. It also enables you to rate your day, and note if you’ve spent time doing things you enjoy, such as spending time with loved ones, reading, or training.
I find that this prompts me to really reflect on my day, and also helps me to recognise anxiety triggers, which is helping me to learn how to mitigate them earlier.
Breathe is an app I discovered when I first purchased my Apple Watch in August, 2017. This app pops up a few times during the day to remind you to take some time out and breathe every day. You’ve also got the ability to set how long you would like to breathe for, up to 7 minutes at a time, with the app guiding you through when to breathe with light pulses from the watch.
I usually try to stop and breathe about 4 times per day, for a couple of minutes at a time. I find this helps me to refocus, especially when life stress has increased.
The apps mentioned above are only two options out of many apps in the market which are targeted at improving mental health, and not every app will work for each person. If you have any apps that you find are great for helping you mitigate the effects of your mental illness, I’d love to hear about them!