Sometimes you need help to relax
Taking short breaks is a great way to reduce caregiver stress, improve health and well-being, and help you stay calm and patient.
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 older adult.
We found something perfect for stress relief for caregivers – a free mobile app that helps you quickly get away from caregiving thoughts and worries and into the relaxation zone.
We explain what the Calm app is, what parts are free, walk through screenshots so you’ll know how to use it, and share our favorite “hidden” features.
Calm is a free app that helps you de-stress
The Calm free mobile app is perfect for quick stress reduction breaks anywhere, anytime – even if you’re hiding in the bathroom to get a moment of peace.
The app is simple to use, doesn’t require sign up, and offers a variety of relaxation programs. You can choose between meditation, music, breathing, and sleep stories.
There are also a variety of soothing nature backgrounds and sounds. You can daydream that you’re on the beach, walking through a meadow, or in a rainstorm.
The app’s basics are completely free
Calm has many basic programs and features that are completely free to use. And, they’re fast and effective at relieving stress.
The majority of the programs do require a paid subscription, but feel free to ignore them and stick with the free stuff. The paid programs will be marked with a small lock icon.
The app also offers a lot of customization and choice. Slide the backgrounds around to change them and look around to explore the features.
How to use the Calm mobile app
When you first download the app, there will be a few setup screens asking you to sign up for an account and answer a few questions. Feel free to skip these by tapping the “x” at one of the top corners.
If you’d like to save your favorite programs for easy access or track how often you meditate or use other programs, you’ll need to sign up for a free account.
You don’t have to decide right away, give the app a try first to see if you like it. If you decide that you’d like to sign up for an account, use the menu at the bottom to select More > Profile.
Calm app home screen
When you open the app, you’ll see a peaceful nature scene, hear the soothing background sounds, and see a menu along the bottom – Home, Sleep, Meditate, Music, and More.
We’ll explain how to use the major features and share some “hidden” ones that we love.
In the Sleep section, there are a selection of stories read by calm, soothing voices that help you relax and fall asleep.
Most of them require a premium (paid) subscription, but there are a couple that are free – look for the pictures without the lock icon.
To play a sleep story, just tap the picture.
Sleep Stories section
In the Meditate section, there are several free programs scattered among the paid ones.
We recommend starting with 7 Days of Calm, which helps you learn the basics of meditation.
Explore the other free programs to find the ones you like best.
If you’re looking for a simple meditation timer, look for the picture labeled Timed Meditation. Set the timer for 1 minute or more, listen to the peaceful background sounds, breathe, and relax.
The Music section contains dozens of free calming and soothing soundtracks. Explore to find the ones that put you into a calm and relaxed state.
In the More section, you’ll be able to find additional programs – most of which require a paid subscription.
But in this section, you’ll also find two of our favorite “hidden” features: Breathe and Mindfulness Reminders.
From the More page, tap Breathe to start a simple tool that helps you slow your breathing to instantly calm your body and mind. Use the gear icon in the top right corner to adjust the timing of the breaths.
To find set an alarm that will remind you to use the Calm app or just take a few moments to breathe, tap Settings > Mindfulness Reminders.
This is where you can choose different background scenes and control the volume of the background sounds.
If you decide to create a free account, tap Profile to sign up.
This is also another place where you can choose to purchase a Calm Premium subscription (though there are Calm Premium buttons all over the app).
Recommended for you:
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- Reduce Caregiver Stress by Celebrating Accomplishments
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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