My Favourite Apps I Use Daily (That Aren’t Social Media)

To anyone who refuses to update their iPhone on principle: first of all, power to you. Personally I’m a sucker for the promise of new emojis, but kudos for resisting the temptation to check out Apple’s newest, probably arbitrary features.

However, if you are participating in la résistance contre Apple, that means you probably haven’t seen the new Screen Time feature that Apple rolled out. The feature shows you how much time you’re spending on your phone each day, and what that time is being allocated to. It’s super confronting to see how much time you (I) spend on your (my) phone, and especially how much of that time you (again, I) have been spending scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Looking at my daily screen time now, it’s 3:40pm and I’ve spent 3h 38min on my phone of the 5-ish hours that I’ve been awake. Granted, an hour or so of that was just spent on Apple music while I worked out this morning. But 2 whole hours of it has been on social networking sites (mainly Instagram)! I’m almost embarrassed to even put those numbers in this post (please don’t judge me).

So a couple of weeks ago, after dissecting and neurotically obsessing over how much time I was wasting on my phone and all the productive things I could’ve been doing in those hours instead, I made a pact. I vowed that I would make an effort to make the time that I spend on my phone more productive. Instead of opening the same social media app for the 3rd time in 15 minutes, I downloaded some apps on my phone that will (hopefully) benefit me more than just seeing memes and fitspo posts and Barbie doll-esque influencers float across my screen. So here’s a list of my favourites that I use regularly, if not daily.

Remente

I randomly stumbled across this one on the app store, decided to give it a go, and haven’t looked back since. I guess it’s kind of life coach-y, but it’s more so just an app to help you stay on track with/accomplish your goals. It also has features that allow you to evaluate and talk about how you feel about different areas of your life (the categories are Love & Relationships, Health & Fitness, Career & Education, Personal Development, Family, Friends & Social Life, Fun & Recreation, and Finances). You can set goals within these categories, or just general life goals. The app sends you articles and resources based on how you rank each category, as well as various courses like meditation courses and workout courses. It’s really helped me to stay motivated, especially with regards to exercising and staying active, and I love that I can jot stuff down that I’m thinking or feeling without feeling like I’m having to officially ~journal~ everything.

My Fitness Pal

Part of my 2019 resolution to take better care of my body means making sure I’m staying active and eating right. While I’m not trying to become a calorie nazi, I do still want to make sure I’m consuming a good balance of macronutrients everyday and not putting things in my body that aren’t going to help me feel good. My Fitness Pal has made it so easy to track what I’m eating everyday and gives me a really clear view of how many carbs, fats, and proteins I’m getting in everyday. It also shows me how much Vitamin A and C, iron, fibre, calcium, and other goodies I’ve consumed each day. It’s helped me get a much better sense for the portion sizes I should have at every meal and I love that it connects to other health and fitness apps I have like Nike Run and the Apple Health app, as well as showing me healthy recipes and exercise and wellness tips.

Flo

This app also goes hand-in-hand with my resolution to make sure I’m on top of taking care of my body. I’ve tried tons of different period-tracking apps, and have given up on most of them because they’re inaccurate and/or hard to use. Flo is super accurate and allows me to enter tons of various symptoms as well as other things that can affect ~that time of month~ like exercise, medications, diet, and sleep; then the app recommends articles based on the info I’ve entered. It helps me take care of my body better and recognise signs and symptoms.

She Reads Truth

Here’s something I never thought I’d say a year ago: I’m a huge morning person. I love getting up early and working out, making breakfast, and having some time to myself. Something I’ve started doing before I get my day started is reading a devotion every morning. I’ve found that the ones on She Reads Truth are the best and they have tons of different daily plans to choose from. If you’re religious and looking for a devotional, definitely try this one out!

Headspace

Headspace is an awesome way to clear your head at the beginning or the end of your day. They have tons of guided meditations based on what you want to focus on or accomplish and you can choose different areas of your life to focus on, such as work and productivity, falling asleep or waking up, personal growth, life challenges, physical health, education, etc. I never used to really ~believe in~ meditation, but this app has been really beneficial for me getting into a great mindset before my day starts each morning.

 

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Easy Ways to Create a Positive Headspace for Yourself

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that my resolution this year was—is—to be more positive. In the post that I wrote about this resolution, I detailed the ways in which  it has changed my life mentally, physically, and emotionally. I wrote about how all the positive changes I was creating were putting me in a much better headspace, but I didn’t mention that one of the best byproducts of this is how much easier it’s become to pull myself out of a bad headspace. Not only do I no longer get as down as I used to, but I also find it much easier to bring myself out of that negative space now.

Being that I’ve always thought that it’s pointless to have good thoughts and not share them, here’s a list of all the ways I create a more positive headspace for myself.

Turn negatives into positives

It’s so easy to find the negatives in each day: I hate waking up early; my train is late; it’s so cold outside; I’m hungry. But it’s actually just as easy to find positive things about your day: I’m so glad I woke up this morning; I have a cheap, convenient, eco-friendly way to get to work and uni, even if it is a couple of minutes late; I love winter fashion and I have tons of great coats and scarves to choose from; I have the ability to walk out my door and find any kind of food I want, at any time I want, and I have the money to pay for it—not everyone is so lucky. See how much longer the list of positives is?

Be grateful

I’ve made a habit of listing a few things each morning that I’m grateful for. It makes the day so much more bearable and puts me in a good mood. It’s such a positive way to start the day! I find that once I start listing things I’m grateful for, it’s hard to stop.

Thank you, not sorry

It’s so important to replace negativity with positivity when you’re talking to people. Know the difference between when you need to apologise, and when you need to be thankful. Just don’t go overboard and cut out “sorry” completely—taking responsibility for your poor actions is just as important as being grateful for what others have done for you.

Be nice to people, but also be nice about people

It’s one thing to be nice to someone’s face. But the true judge of character is how you speak about someone behind their back. Thinking negative thoughts about others and spreading hate about them will only serve to make you unhappy in the long run. It’s nice to be nice!

Be nice to yourself

It’s so, so hard not to be your own biggest critic. But wherever you can, practise a bit of self-love. Compliment yourself. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend. You’ll be amazed how much happier and more confident you’ll feel.

Take it slow sometimes

I’m a big believer in me-time. But I’m also a big believer in staying productive, and often these two things clash. I get in over my head with projects and assignments and work, and I begin to burn out; but feel too guilty about taking a break to stop. At times like that, you need to remind yourself that the world doesn’t revolve around what you accomplish. You can’t be your best you or do your best work if you’re worn out. Pause for a moment; read a book, watch some Netflix, catch up with a friend, take a nap, do some exercise. Do what makes you feel rejuvenated and at ease.