Sometimes you need help to relax
You’re only human, there’s only so much you can take when caring for your older adult.
Short breaks are a great way to reduce caregiver stress and help keep your temper in check. The challenge is that when you get a few minutes to yourself, it can be difficult to truly relax and stop thinking and worrying about your senior.
We found something perfect for stress relief for caregivers – a completely free mobile app that helps you get into a relaxing zone in as little as 2 minutes!
Calm is a free app that helps you de-stress
The Calm free mobile app is perfect for quick stress reduction breaks anywhere, anytime (like while you’re hiding in the bathroom to get some peace). It’s simple to use, doesn’t require sign up, and offers a variety of relaxation programs.
The app has soothing nature backgrounds and sounds. You can daydream that you’re on the beach, walking through a meadow, or listening to a rainstorm. Set a timer to let you know when your quiet time is up or choose a guided meditation session where a calm voice helps you break away from day-to-day stresses and focus on yourself.
The basics are completely free
In the DailyCaring office, we use the Calm app often. There are more advanced programs that require a paid subscription, but we’ve been very satisfied using the app’s free features.
Don’t be afraid to poke around and see what the programs are about. The paid ones will be obvious – you’ll be asked to subscribe. Just exit that screen and return to the app to continue using the free features.
How to use the Calm app
Calm app home screen
When you open the app, you’ll see a peaceful nature scene, hear the soothing background sounds, and see three buttons – Profile, Meditate, and Scenes. Meditate is the primary focus of the app, so we’ll talk about that first.
Meditate menu – recommended session and Programs
In the Meditate area, scroll down to see dozens of relaxation programs and options. A recommended 5 minute guided session is shown at the very top (in the blue rectangle) so you don’t even have to scroll through the options below.
The 7 Days of Calm Program
The Program section has guided meditation series that help you with a specific goal, like learning the basics of meditation in 7 Days of Calm. That program is free. The rest require a paid subscription.
Unguided and Guided
In the Unguided section, Timed Session is free. It’s a simple timer that lets you know when your relaxation session is over. We like to set the timer for 5 minutes, close our eyes, listen to the background sounds, and pretend we’re on vacation in a beautiful place.
In the Guided section, Calm and Body Scan are free. The rest are marked with little lock signs and require a paid subscription. We like both of the free guided sessions. A soothing voice helps you get out of your racing thoughts and focus on your breathing and body. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to follow and how relaxing it is.
Choose from dozens of relaxing nature scenes
This is a list of all the available nature scenes and their accompanying background sounds. Download the scenes you like to your phone so they’ll be available when you swipe left or right. They’re all free. Press the play button to get a preview of the scene’s sounds.
You can select scenes from this list or switch scenes by swiping left or right on the Calm app’s home screen. Our favorites are Tropical Beach, Fireplace, and Plains of Wheat.
If you choose to create an account, this is where you can track all your sessions. Without a profile, there’s limited tracking.
Inside any of the button areas, there’s a little gear icon in the upper left corner. That’s where you can choose various app settings. Creating a profile is completely optional.
Regular stress relief for caregivers is essential. Studies have shown that even short breaks reduce stress and improve health and well-being. Even if you only have 2 minutes, the Calm app can help you get out of your head and escape the pressures of caring for your older adult.
You might also like:
— Reduce Caregiver Stress Using Your Smartphone Alarm
— 10 Ways Caregivers Can Take a Quick Break Right Now
— 2 Ways to Manage Caregiver Emotional Stress: Tips from a Social Worker
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Wikimedia Commons