Tag: concentration

Finding sanctuary in the storm

As if life isn’t chaotic enough, March brings its own kind of crazy. As poet John Clare observed in the March entry of his “Shepherd’s Calendar”,

“March month of ‘many weathers’ wildly comes,  

In hail and snow and rain and threatning hums.”

When the internal and external climates are swirling, we need a place to take shelter.

Insight Timer has lots of FREE* resources for meditation, motivation, yoga, and relaxation. With many different hosts, there should be someone that matches any mood, goal, or vibe. There are even live sessions, which creates an immediate connection that may be missing in our day-to-day.

* The only payments on Insight Timer are voluntary donations

How to make Self Care fun

Our lives seem to be getting busier and busier. There is much to do, and less time to do it in. Frequently that leads to stress and anxiety as we struggle to fit everything into our day. I know I’m not very good at prioritizing taking care of myself. Hopefully these apps will help make it easier to fit in time for self care.

1. Aloe Bud

Aloe Bud  is an easy way to make sure you’re taking care of yourself every day. The app sends gentle nudges throughout the day, reminding you to drink water, eat, reach out to friends and more. Instead of guilting you if you aren’t doing well, Aloe Bud encourages you to celebrate even the small victories.

You can download Aloe Bud in Apple’s App Store.

2. ToDon’t

The ToDon’t app might sound like the opposite of self-care, but hear me out. The app works on getting you to procrastinate bad habits or what you don’t want to accomplish that day. ToDon’t could potentially help you avoid bad choices like checking social media or letting laundry pile up.

You can download ToDon’t from the App Store or the Play Store

3. Calm

Whether you live with anxiety or just had a busy day, Calm can help you find a few moments in the day to feel peaceful. The app offers hundreds of meditations on topics including anxiety, stress, sleeping, forgiveness, gratitude and more. The sessions range from three to 25 minutes long. The app is free to download, but in-app purchases range from $15-$80.

You can download Calm from the App Store or the Play Store.

4. Lumosity

If you play games to distract yourself or wind down from a long day, this could be for you. Lumosity lets you play games, learn and improve your mind all at once. The app includes puzzles, memory games, logic problems, meditation techniques and more. As you play, you can track your progress while learning your strengths, weaknesses and cognitive patterns.

You can download Lumosity from the App Store

Sounds can improve health and concentration.

For people with sensory and attention issues, focusing on tasks is a major problem. We are frequently sidetracked by intrusive thoughts and “shiny” objects as our brain desperately seeks out stimulation. It’s not laziness or as simple as being easily distracted, our bodies do not reward our brains for getting things done like other people do. Most peoples focus is based on what is important, our brains focus based on how interesting something is.

One thing that can help is providing supplemental stimulation. Something that can fill in the stimulation gap between what we are doing and what our brains need. Here are some tools that I have found success with, and I think will help others.

Background music. 

I find that music that doesn’t have lyrics works best. The genre is up to personal preference. For me Electronica, Instrumental Metal, and Lo-Fi House music works great. Others may prefer Classical or Jazz. For me, that doesn’t provide enough stimulation, but everyone’s brain is different, so find something that works for you.

Nature sounds/White Noise.

    There are lots of options out there, but one I particularly like is https://mynoise.net/. It provides highly customizable soundscapes, and you can even save them once you get them just the way you want. You can also load soundscapes that others have made. They have apps for Android and iOS, so you can take your happy place anywhere! Studies have shown that nature sounds can even improve health outcomes, so there are benefits beyond additional focus. Others, like Calm.com, also provide mindfulness features. I was sceptical of mindfulness for a long time, but I have found it highly beneficial over the last few years.

Hopefully this helps you live a more peaceful and successful life! Please let us know if any of these tips helps you, I love to hear that something I suggested has helped someone. If you have your own tools that help you focus, please let me know. I like to try new things, and am happy to share tools that help people succeed!