May is mental health awareness month. A lot of times we can get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to take care of ourselves. Whether we’re managing a career, family, school, etc. it is important that we learn how to care for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The Where it’s AT team is here with AT that may help improve your overall mental health.
Our smartphone can be used as AT! There are so many apps that can be used to help improve our mental health. Apps are convenient because most of us have smart devices, so the support we need is always at the tip of our fingers.
- Calm is a popular mindfulness app designed to teach meditatation. Studies have shown that the Calm app can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, improve focus, reduce anxiety and so much more. This app can help users find inner peace and navigate life stressors through meditation. Calm is available on Apple and Android device and offers different subscription packages, including a monthly subscription of $12.99.
- Another great mindfulness app is Moodfit. MoodFit is a great app because it helps reduce stress, build resilience, helps with time management, teaches how to respond versus react in different situations, and with consistent use the app can help motivate and improve self-esteem. The Moodfit app is available on Apple and Android devices and requires a monthly subscription of $10/month.
- Reflectly is another great app that can help improve mental health. The app has several tools designed to motivate users throughout the day and bring out the best in us, with Reflectly users can track their mood and identify what caused any negative feelings, and users can practice mindfulness exercises. Completing Reflectly’s daily challenges can greatly impact mood, build motivation, and contribute to overall mental health. Reflectly is available in the Apple app store, and the Google Play store and the app does have a free version so you can give it a try at no cost.
There are other smart wearable AT devices that can assist in improving mental health.
- Fitbit watches are great wearable devices that can help users keep track of their mental health. The Fitbit charge 5 and higher can help users understand how often stress occurs, what might have triggered it, and how they respond mentally and physically to that stress. With the Fitbit charge 5 users can also practice breathing exercises to help deescalate feelings of anxiety or stress. The Fitbit charge 5 is currently available on Amazon for $100-$150.
- Nightware is another great add on for smartwatches. The app monitors movement and heart rate during asleep. When it detects changes that could possibly indicate a coming nightmare, the app creates vibration patterns in the watch to help wake users up. This is a great watch feature that is designed to help people suffering from PTSD so they can get a more restful sleep.
- Another great device is an Apollo bracelet. Apollo bracelets can be worn on wrists or ankles and are designed to improve a body’s resilience to stress, so users can relax, sleep, focus, and feel better. With Apollo wearables, users are able to access sleep and enter a relaxed state of mind to support feeling calm at night. Apollo bracelets are selling for $350.
Smart devices are great AT options that can help with mental health, but if it’s not your preferred AT, there are so many other inexpensive options that might already be in your home.
- Aromatherapy can enhance our psychological and physical well-being. Full disclaimer: this is not medically approved, but scents can trigger emotions. Diffusers naturally and evenly release the scent of an essential oil in a space. Aromatherapy candles can also be a great low-cost option to improve our well-being. Candles can help boost your mood, and release stress. We can also make our own scents with spices in our homes (this is great because you can use all natural ingredients). Depending on choice of scent, all anyone needs to do is grab a few spices and herbs, put them in a pot with water and put the heat on low. These are all simple and low-cost options that can help us relax.
- AT for mental health does not have to be expensive. Puzzles and coloring books are great AT options that can help relax the mind and make people feel good. Studies show that puzzles increase the production of dopamine, which is a chemical that regulates our mood. Coloring is another great option because it helps relax the brain. Both are great low-cost options that can increase mental stimulation and improve our overall well-being. Puzzles and coloring books are available on Amazon for $10-$20.
- Fidget toys such as fidget spinners and stress balls are also great low-cost options that can help reduce stress or anxiety. Fidget toys can enhance our ability to remain calm, hold focus, and stay attentive. These are both great options that can positively impact anyone’s mental health! On average, fidget spinners cost $10. Stress balls on average cost $12.
There is so much AT and so many resources that can help improve our mental health. Make sure to explore all your options to find the right resource(s) for you because what might work for some, might not work for everyone.