Being responsible for the well-being of another isn’t easy, whether you care for someone professionally or you’re a family caregiver. Feeling stress and anxiety is very common, and if it’s not managed, that stress can lead to bigger issues down the road like burnout, depression, or even physical health issues.
There are many ways to relieve stress (click here to discover 8 quick, science-backed ways in this article), one of which is to utilize technology – specifically using software and apps. In this article, we’ll outline five apps to help you manage and reduce your caregiver stress. They range from free to paid, and each has a unique method of stress relief – because what works for one person may not work for another!
Journaling is a great tool for stress management, and CBT Journaling can help you do it on the go.
“CBT Thought Diary is a journal with a purpose: it uses effective tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Positive Psychology to help improve your mood.Think of this app as a space to reflect on your thoughts, both positive and negative. Record your mood, reflect on your emotions, practice gratitude, and analyze your thoughts with proven & effective techniques.
Thought Diary will help you evaluate, understand, and change your thoughts and feelings. By using this application, you can work to identify your emotions, analyze how and why you’re feeling this way, challenge those negative beliefs, change your thinking patterns for future situations, and remember positive experiences.”
This app is mostly free to use but there’s a pro mode that can unlock additional features for a monthly subscription.
This free app focuses on breathing as a form of stress management – a very easy and effective method when we have the right direction:
“Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management.”
Sometimes just focusing your mind on something else is all you need to reduce your stress level. Many of us play puzzles and games on our phones, but did you know that certain kinds can help with stress relief? That’s what the Personal Zen app offers:
“Personal Zen is the only mobile game clinically validated to reduce stress and anxiety. Play the game and find relief. It’s that simple! Using a proprietary brain training technique, this easy and fun game leaves you feeling recharged and less anxious after using it for just minutes a day, a few days a week. In addition to the core therapeutic game, developed by leading scientists, Personal Zen provides you with mood tracking, journaling, and exclusive tips and tools. Use it anywhere – at home, during breaks in your day, or on-the-go. Personal Zen provides immediate relief and boosts stress resilience when used over time.”
Personal Zen is free with optional in app-purchases,
Getting enough good sleep is crucial to stress relief and overall health. The Calm app features many amazing tools to help you do just that, and there are also great tools to help with mindfulness and meditation throughout the day.
“Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes so you can choose the perfect length to fit with your schedule. Sleep Stories are bedtime stories that are guaranteed to lull you into a deep and restful slumber. Calm has 100+ exclusive Sleep Stories for adults and children alike, featuring well-known talent such as Stephen Fry, Matthew McConaughey, Leona Lewis, and Jerome Flynn. Drift off to dreamland and wake up refreshed.”
Other great features include:
- An original Daily Calm every day: a 10-minute program added daily to help ease you into the day or unwind with before bed
- 7 and 21 day mindfulness programs for both beginner and advanced users
- Calm Masterclass: Life changing audio classes featuring world-renowned experts
- Calm Body: Mindful stretching and movement to relax your body during the day
- Music: Exclusive music engineered to help you focus, relax or sleep
- Soundscapes: Ocean waves, Heavy Rain, Camp Fire, Babbling Brook, and other sounds to help you sleep
- Breathing exercises to help you relax
- Unguided timed meditation
- 30+ soothing nature sounds and scenes to use during meditation, yoga or to help you sleep
Note that this app requires a monthly or yearly subscription to access, but it just may be worth it!
This app takes stress and anxiety relief to the next level with multiple options to suit your needs.
.“Whether you’re feeling anxious, lonely, overwhelmed, or just burned out, Sanvello will meet you where you’re at. Think of it as your feel-better toolkit, including therapy, coaching, coping techniques, meditations, and goal and mood tracking, designed by experts to help you feel better.
Best of all, your Sanvello journey is customizable to you. The app checks in with how you’re feeling so you can track your emotions and progress over time. As patterns are identified, Sanvello will provide customized tools, rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, to keep you on the path to feeling better.”
Sanvello is free to download and use. The premium version of Sanvello allows for unlimited use of all tools and is available through many major health plans (“upgrade via insurance”) or through an auto-renewing subscription.
Technology can be a great tool to help you reduce stress and take care of yourself while you take care of others. If you’re a professional caregiver, it can help you find more joy in your work which will translate to better care for your client. For family caregivers, managing stress is vital to keeping your family relationships as healthy as possible.
If you as a family caregiver are experiencing more stress than you can handle, consider bringing in a professional to help. You can learn more about in-home care services here, and feel free to book a time to chat with a client service specialist who can help determine if we’d be a fit for your family.