In a new comedy Netflix special, Taylor Tomlinson delights us with her depiction of technology that “the internet is the most beautiful, amazing, disgusting, horrifying thing in the Universe”. Of course, it can give way to mind-numbing isolation and a perfect distraction from life’s difficulties that we’d usually rather avoid, but it can also provide us with innumerable supportive resources to pursue recovery and maintain our health and wellbeing.
It also exists as a way to take what is learned in session, and transfer it to everyday “real” life. True, meaningful recovery takes place when individuals are able to harness the tools learned in therapy and actively apply them to their mental, emotional, and physical selves.
The first tool that comes to mind when considering the usefulness of technology are apps that allow us to actually track our time spent online. It is important to check out how we spend our digital lives, and this will likely give insights into areas of concern for you.
This might be as simple as checking your phone’s built-in screen time tracker (called ‘Digital Wellbeing’ on Android phones) or downloading software that helps you prioritize and keep track of time.
On both built-in versions of the apps, you are able to set time limits for specific categories or the apps themselves, and once time has run out, they will block further use. For apps that are known distractions, this can be entirely helpful in increasing focus and eliminating distractions.
Additional functions of time-management apps allow you to have a central place to organize and track important events and tasks, and schedule out time for self-care as well. Whether you’re using a task management platform, or simply using the Notes or Reminder apps built-in on your smartphone to take those thoughts from buzzing around and swarming in your brain to a system that makes sense to you.
Meditation and Relaxation
Meditation is the active pursuit of mindful awareness that seeks to connect the brain and body to bring one to a state of calming peace and awareness of self and one’s surroundings. Meditation and its sister, Yoga, are often recommended or included in holistic treatment programs to help clients access inner strength and a sense of peace.
However, much like attempting to solve math equations without the teacher present, trying meditation on your own can at first be confusing and frustrating. Meditation apps provide structured suggestions and guided activities to provide support.
Many different apps have been developed in this space to help those new to the practice:
Books and Podcasts
It’s possible that you still have not jumped on the podcast train, or taken the time to explore what information is available to you online. However, this is one of the best ways to make use of your time, whether you’re on the bus, driving to an appointment, or getting ready in the morning. It may take some time to discover a podcast that you love, but it can be a truly influential experience to sit back and listen to others’ perspectives as they chat on various topics, or to get caught up in the plot of a suspense-filled drama.
Individuals in treatment who invest in their mental well-being by reading on subjects related to their recovery often find healing in their selections, whether they’re reading for enjoyment, as a means to learn more about a particular topic, or as a supplement to therapy sessions.
Research on sleep hygiene and its connection to mental health and wellness place it high on the priority list as an area of concern for those in recovery. While the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep is ideal, research indicates that we are rarely truly resting for that time regardless of how long we sleep. Sleep studies suggest that lack of sleep contributes to symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, migraines, and difficulty concentrating (just to name very few).
Using apps like Calm, or others that allow you to tailor your sleeping environment can be helpful in initially falling asleep, where apps like Sleep Cycle will take over and track your REM cycles and wake you in the morning during the ideal time, at your lightest sleep. Other apps built into your phones such as Do Not Disturb and the android equivalent are also important to help build healthy routines around sleep.
Addiction Recovery Apps
Recovery from addiction requires a great deal of support outside of the time allotted for individual and group meetings. As people and the behaviors leading to addiction change and adapt, so too have the resources that are available to those in recovery.
Apps for recovery include those mentioned above, as well as tools for peer support, clinical support, educational materials, and interactive check-in and support features to foster healthy personal and peer accountability. Some of these addiction recovery apps may be helpful tools in the journey of recovery.
Recovery at The Haven
Today’s technology has evolved to provide viable resources for those in recovery, although it’s possible that you will need more support than just what these apps can provide. Recovery is a journey best traveled with both internal and external resources, including access to qualified treatment professionals that are able to expertly tailor treatment to meet your needs. If you or someone you know is ready to begin the journey of recovery, contact us today!