Social Media Unplug challenge!

Social media is part of our everyday lives. As a matter of fact researchers found that we spend on average 5hr a day on our cell-phones, which is 35 hours a week, 6 days a month and 72 days a year (https://www.camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/give-me-a-break-from-social-media).

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Question is, what would happen if we decide to ‘unplug’ from our mobile devices, for a weekend, or even few hours?

  • You’ll get more work done, and you’ll do it faster (no distracting notifications and pings)
  • You’ll get your creative juices flowing
  • You might feel anxious at first (ever felt those ‘ghost vibrations’ in your pocket?)
  • You’ll feel less stressed
  • You’ll feel more self-assured (and not let likes define how great you’ve spend your last vacation)
  • You’ll get more sleep (ditch that blue light screen!)
  • You’ll strengthen your face-to-face relationships (wonders happen when we’re not staring down at our phones)
  • You’re less likely to get bored (ever wondered when you’ll have time for that book sitting on your night table?)
  • You’ll sit less (yay for joining that Zumba class on Monday!)
  • You’ll learn more about yourself.
  • more…

Start by choosing an evening, weekend, or another set period of time in which you can pull the digital plug. You can set your own rules, but it’s most effective if you can shut off all devices.

Are you up for the challenge?

– Sapere Aude

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Top 5 Mental Wellness Digital Apps

By Rachel B.

1. Moodnotes

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Description: MoodNotes by Thriveport, LLC offers the user a new innovative approach to journalling. Designed in conjunction with two American psychologists, it employs cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. It works by asking the user to capture his or her mood in the “face” icon, and then allows the user to add detail with a note-function. By translating your emotions into data, it empowers you to chart your moods, recognize patterns, target negative thinking traps, and develop better self-awareness. This app will be a useful companion to counseling with a professional therapist. Read more at Wired.Co.UK.

Cost: $4.59

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Requires iOS 8.0 or later.

You can purchase and download the app here

2. Headspace

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Description: Headspace is a wildly popular app – co-founded by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson – that teaches the user meditation through authentic and accessible voice guided sessions. Over the summer of 2015, version 2.0 was released to much fanfare. Each user’s journey is now mapped into a timeline (much like Facebook) and shows the user’s development and achievements over time. In the beginning, you work through the “foundation” sessions. From there, content is divided into four categories called “Health,” “Performance,” “Relationships,” and “Headspace Pro” (which allows the more experienced user to experience meditation sessions unguided by Puddicombe’s voice). Users have reported that the app has allowed them to develop the skills to meditate for extended sessions, which has improved their mood, sleep and daytime energy levels.

Cost: FREE for first 10 meditation sessions

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices.

You can download the app here.

3. DBT Diary Card and Skills Coach

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Description: Based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan, this app is a rich resource of self-help skills, reminders of the therapy principles, and coaching tools for coping. This app could be useful to explore and learn about DBT as a therapeutic practice, or be used in conjunction with therapy with a professional.

Cost: $4.99

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iOS software, iOS 7.0 or later required.

You can purchase and download the app here.

4. Optimism

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Description: Optimism by Optimism APPS is a mood-charting app specifically designed for people coping with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Based on your input of core data for each day, the app generates graphs and charts to give you a portrait of trends in your well-being, sleep quality, and exercise frequency, etc. One of the strengths of Optimism is that it highlights medication and the importance of adherence in treatment approach, which other mental wellness apps tend to overlook.

Cost: FREE

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iOS 8.0 or later.

You can purchase and download the app here.

5. Freudie

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Description: A silly, fun app called Freudie by The Psych Files that lets you select and insert an image of the iconic father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, into any photograph or selfie.

Cost: $1.19

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iOS, requires iOS 6.0 or later.

You can purchase the app here. 

If you know of any other apps that help you to prioritize and manage your mental health, please leave the names in the comments.