I’ve expounded before on this blog the importance of self care, but it merits repeating—particularly during these stressful times. Lawyers and law students are, in my opinion, in particular need of self care due to the sheer amount that you work. Work is important. Your family is important. But you are also important, and you won’t be able to do much of anything if you neglect to take care of your health, so please remember to check in with yourself regularly. In light of this, I’ve collected a few self-care apps that can help you to build healthy habits, mentally and physically.
The gyms are closed, and running with a mask on isn’t ideal for everyone. So it’s important that we get our exercise in where we can. Stretching Exercises at Home may not be the most creative app name, but it’s definitely descriptive—the app has plenty of stretching routines, most of which take fewer than 10 minutes. Which means you can do them when you wake up, before going to bed, or when the long hours at your desk are starting to strain your back. It even has a splits trainer, if that’s your thing, but just waking your muscles up every now and again can work wonders.
Perhaps the premier meditation app, Headspace can help you get into the right, well, headspace. Meditation is, admittedly, not for everyone (regardless of what meditators say), but if it’s something that you’d like to pick up, Headspace is the app to do so with. It has all kinds of modules to focus on mindfulness and quiet and even on sleep. Some of the benefits of meditation include reduced anxiety and lower stress levels, so it’s definitely worth checking this app out if those are things that you struggle with.
Tired? Hungry? In a bad mood? Got a headache? Chances are good that you’re thirsty. Drinking enough water takes actual effort, more than you’d think, and not drinking enough can have major health consequences. So please hydrate. WaterMinder, or the hundred apps like it, can help you figure out how much water you should be drinking in a day (the old adage of eight glasses of eight ounces isn’t going to cut it), lets you track every drop you drink, and will ping you when you should probably grab a glass. Staying hydrated is so important, so be sure to do at least this much for yourself.
No lie, I actually kind of love Woebot. This app is a friendly little robot AI character who helps you tackle issues like anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. It’s basically like having a tiny therapist that lives in your phone. Woebot also offers modules on various coping mechanisms like gratitude journaling and mindfulness, and tools for these that you can use right in the app. It’s a nice daily check-in on your evening commute or, in this post-commute world, at the end of a long day. It doesn’t even feel like you’re talking to a robot … usually.
Sleep is literally the best thing for your body. It’s importance to how you function (physically, mentally, emotionally) cannot be overstated. Imagine if you only charged your phone for ten minutes at a time—it’s going to power down a lot sooner than you want it to, which will only make things harder for yourself. The same could be said for nights when you short-change yourself on sleep. Sleep Cycle is a great app for tracking your quality of sleep, how long you are actually asleep every night, and finding patterns that can help you sleep better. It even has an awesome alarm function where it wakes you at the lightest part of your REM cycle, cutting down on your snooze-button abuse.
Aloe Bud is nearly as soothing as the plant it’s named for. It sends gentle notifications to remind you to do something in service to yourself—whether that’s taking a meditation break or just refilling your water bottle. The app then logs the actions you take, which can help remind yourself that, even if you weren’t “perfect” today (whatever that means), you still took steps to care for yourself. And that’s what really matters—not being the model of self care, but just remembering sometimes to do something good for ourselves.
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