Our phones–whether we like it or not–are with us almost constantly. While that could mean we’re spending more time on our phone than we like, it can also make them our handiest tool.
We don’t often think that about phones and wellness as a happy couple, but when we use them intentionally, our phones can be helpful in establishing wellness habits. And since we have it will us most of the time anyway, why not make it work for us? When we are intentional about how we use technology it feels a lot less like it’s using us.
Here are four ways you can use your phone for wellness:
Set reminders for habits you might overlook while at work:
There are a lot of little habits we should do throughout the day to keep ourselves healthy and content. Things like eating regularly, moving our body around, interacting with people, etc. But it’s very easy to get caught up in all of your work or feel like you’re too busy to think about anything until you’ve finished. And it’s true, being on top of your work and keeping track of every healthy habit you want to maintain is a lot to ask of a person! You can share some of this mental load by using your phone as a support. Use a reminder app, a calendar app with a reminder function, or recurring alarms–anything that will allow you to set repeating reminders or alarms for those days you’re at work and won’t pause to think about self-care until you’re back home. Think about how you feel at the end of a workday. Do you have a headache? Are you grouchy? Hungry? Which needs aren’t being met throughout the day? Then set reminders based on those things. Some could be:
- Reminders to drink water (5x/day)
- Reminders to get snacks (2x day)
- Reminder to stop consuming caffeine (set a specific time of day)
- Reminders just to check in with your body and see what you’re ignoring (do you need to use the bathroom? Do you have a headache? Do you need medicine? Are you feeling jittery and need to shake it out a bit?)
Use it as a wellness log:
This one is less automated than the first suggestion, but can really help you get to know yourself, your stressors, your body’s reactions, things that help you feel better etc. Whether in the notes app or google keep or wherever you keep notes on your phone, keep a log of your stressors as they come up, and what helped you deal with them in the moment (if anything). It’s a great resource to help you notice patterns of stress, which will help you identify any needs that aren’t being met or areas in which you need support. It’s also helpful to make a section for coping mechanisms you’ve found helpful so that the next time you’re too stressed to think of a way to deal with it, past you has already done the heavy lifting.
Use it to not use it:
Yes, phones can be wonderful tools when used intentionally. But, part of using something intentionally is deciding when not to use it. With our phones that gets a little harder–because every app on there is designed to make you keep coming back! Focusing is hard enough already without being distracted by endless notifications popping up on your screen. The constant distraction of a phone can lead to feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and increase any stress we’re already feeling. Even if you love your job, work can be stressful, and we want to minimize any additional stressors as we re-adjust to the workplace after a long year. You can download apps like dewo or focusme to block notifications or apps and sites altogether, which can help you put your phone down without feeling the need to pick it up again until you actually have a moment to do so.
Keep a wellness folder:
To help keep the different wellness apps or tools you use on your phone in one place, make a folder! Keep your reminder app, your timer, your notification blocking apps, etc. But you can also find other helpful tools for wellness like meditation or mindfulness apps. When you’re stressed at work take a five minute break to use one of those wellness apps/breathing exercises/etc. instead of jumping mindlessly into a distraction.