01 Dec Our Favorite Relaxation Apps
Stress is nobody’s friend, taking its toll on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Patients pursuing fertility treatments are at especially high risk of experiencing higher-than-normal stress levels due to their structured treatment schedules and the ups and downs of the infertility journey.
5 Apps Worth Trying for Stress Management & Relaxation
As we head into the holidays (a notoriously stressful time for our patients), this was a great time to share five of our favorite relaxation apps. They are perfect for listening to while in planes, trains, and automobiles or while trying to get a good night’s sleep on your in-law’s lumpy guest bed mattress.
However, we also recommend integrating some of the practices that work for you into your daily life. Managing stress and increasing relaxation is a healthy life practice and will benefit you through fertility treatments, pregnancy, and into parenting!
The Calm App is specifically designed to reduce stress and improve sleep habits for those who struggle with getting to sleep, interrupted sleep, or have insomnia. Those who use the app regularly also benefit from improved focus and less anxiety. Prioritize this one if you have sleep issues. As you know, healthy sleep habits are essential for balanced hormone production – a foundation of fertility health.
Once downloaded, you’ll receive daily meditations and access to the app’s extensive offerings of sleep stories and masterclasses. Calm is offered on a “Freemium” basis. You get seven days of free Calm access after paying a monthly subscription fee of $14.99. The app has been around since 2012.
The Headspace App was designed on the premise that meditating for just a few minutes daily can change your life. It focuses on meditation and mindfulness practices. We appreciate that Headspace engineers recommend starting with their 10-Day “Beginner’s Course” because it provides a foundation from which to branch out and start exploring on your own.
Our staff and patients also like that they ask for an initial commitment of just three minutes per day. That seems approachable by even the busiest of standards and is the perfect way to get your feet wet without feeling overwhelmed. Once you develop a more committed daily practice, we recommend exploring their menu of meditation and mindfulness classes led by some of the world’s most renowned spiritual and mindfulness teachers. Like Calm, Headspace offers a free trial, after which members pay a small monthly subscription fee.
3. Insight Timer
The Insight Timer meditation app advertises itself as the “#1 Free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress.” We aren’t sure if they are #1, but we have heard nothing but positive things from our patients and staff who use Insight Timer. And, for those on a budget, the app’s “Free” access makes it that much more appealing.
In addition to guided meditation and mindfulness chime reminders, Insight Timer subscribers have access to a library chock full of lectures, courses, and featured events.
4. Ten Percent Happier
Do you wish you could just be ten percent happier? There’s no doubt that the fertility journey is challenging one, and depression, anxiety, and frustrations around not being able to get pregnant “like everyone else” make many patients feel as if they live a subpar emotional existence compared to their peers.
The Ten Percent Happier app was inspired by a book with the same title, written by ABC news anchor Dan Harris. After experiencing a panic attack on air, Harris knew his life had to change. Part of that required “taming the voice in his head.” Does that sound familiar? Although skeptical of meditation at first, Dan Harris openly acknowledges how it changed his life.
The app’s meditation teachers are renowned leaders in the field, offering a range of different approaches to meditation, so there’s no “one size fits all” feeling. We also enjoy the Ten Percent Happier podcast that offers of relatable wisdom designed to help you meet the challenges and opportunities in your daily life.
5. The Mindfulness App
The Mindfulness App is another “we have it all” version of a relaxation app. It offers everything from guided meditations for relaxation or to help you drift off to sleep to reminder features encouraging you to become present in the moment, breathe deeply, and come back to mindfulness.
The app’s founder, Martin Wikfalk, originally designed the Mindfulness App to serve as a timed “reminder” since so many of his meditation students commented their biggest struggle was remembering to meditate regularly. Now, the app offers an extensive meditation library and reminder features. Meditations and talks are divided into categories, allowing users to select the meditations most likely to support their sleep habits, ability to focus, navigate intense emotions, and forge healthier and more authentic relationships.
Having a Hard Time Relaxing Around Fertility Treatments?
The team at Virginia Fertility & IVF understands how stressful an infertility diagnosis and treatment regime can be. That’s why we do our best to provide patients with a wide range of resources to support their journey. Are you looking for a fertility treatment team who prioritizes your full spectrum of health and well-being? Contact us to schedule a consultation.