Mobile phones can be used as spaces for wellbeing, practicality, and life improvement if you know which tools to get hold of. Today, most of the latest Android and iPhone devices feature built-in screen time monitors. They’re useful for tracking how you spend your time online. You get a weekly report on how long you’ve been on various applications so you can build awareness around your cell phone usage habits.
In Nir Eyal’s book ‘Hooked’ – a guide for building habit-forming products – he unpacks what’s known as the Hook Model, a theory of building habit-forming products. Psychologists and wellness professionals have warned against the overuse of cellphones and the habit-inducing designs behind some apps, built to make us spend more time using them. But what if the online tools we used on our phones were habitually used by us for wellness, positive goal planning, and stress reduction?
Here are five tools to help you turn your phone into your wellness bestie.
If you’ve ever sat down with your printed-out bank statements, been overwhelmed and decided on doom scrolling through social media instead, then the 22Seven app is for you.
The 22Seven financial planning app securely integrates with your online banking to categorise and track your spending. The program conveniently categorises your spending into streams such as grocery, vehicle and health expenses, and it includes built-in tools for budgeting, savings and other financial goals.
Some argue that the first step toward change is awareness. Using financial planning tools that help with tracking and becoming aware of positive financial planning tips is a great start to reaching your goals. For example, for those looking to own a new home, BetterBond’s online calculator makes it easy to calculate how much you can afford based on your household income and monthly repayments, at a time that is convenient for you. You can easily adjust the calculations based on the current prime lending rate and other factors, such as how much deposit you have. The calculator is a useful tool to determine affordability whether you are buying your first home or your next investment.
Find your zen
In a hurly burly world, the only thing you can control is your reaction to what’s happening around you. For a calm, more mindful approach to life, start off every morning with meditation. It sets the tone for a balanced day, where you feel better equipped to handle whatever comes your way. Insight Timer is a brilliant free app for anxiety, stress and sleep. It has thousands of free guided and sound meditations that you can search for by theme, length or instructor. The tool also features some of the best meditation teachers of our time, plus meditation sessions with celebrities known for their keen interest in mindfulness, such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Russell Brand and Gisele Bundchen.
Asking for help
Sometimes all you need is a day off. For most of us juggling home keeping, work, wellness and our personal lives can take its toll. To get some respite from the many responsibilities of our day-to-day, industrial psychologists are recommending wellness days. These are work days where a person who is not ill chooses to take the day off to rest and recuperate. For those wellness days or any day of the week that you need assistance (because who wants to do household chores when you took the day to rest?), we recommend booking someone to assist you. Alen Ribic of SweepSouth notes that this type of assistance can take a massive load off your plate and really give you the space to relax and unwind. The SweepSouth app lets you book a professional home cleaner the day before so that you can really put your feet up and focus on unwinding.
It’s okay to ask for help sometimes, or even advice when you’re unsure and in need of it. Kena Health brings medical advice to you with the touch of a button wherever you are. Using the app, you select the topic you need help with and whether you require a mental health professional, nurse or medical doctor and then connect with one in minutes.
Be visual and aural connection
As humans, we often receive peace of mind through listening to the wisdom of others. Audio streaming app, Spotify has a host of podcasts started by some of the 21st century’s greatest wellness gurus. ‘We can do hard things‘, a podcast by acclaimed writer, Glennon Doyle, opens us to honest conversations around the hard parts of everyday adult life and how to navigate them. For those days where you just need a pick me up, build a ‘start the day right’ playlist with some motivating songs, like Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Hills or ‘The World is Yours’ by Nas.
Some people say trip planning, even if you’re not going to take the trip, can release dopamine and have a stress-relieving effect on our bodies and minds. The Jurni travel tool is a repository of some of South Africa’s most magnificent little-known gems. Think of aparthotels, family-owned guesthouses, and B’nB’s scattered amongst the country’s most beautiful locations. You can search for activities, and locations and take imaginary holidays for yourself or make a booking at jurni.travel.
With these tools in mind, consider setting aside a few minutes each day to do something that goes towards your self care. Your phone can be a healthy tool for you to plan your future, enhance your personal well-being and gain daily piece of mind.