Rise of Self-Care Apps

If you’re living in 2018 – you have probably heard how important self-care is. As the stigma towards mental health issues slowly decreases and there is more of a focus on taking care of yourself – it has created a market for self-care apps. I personally love and use many as a part of my daily routine. Ranging from the default “Health” app on my iPhone to Calm, Headspace, and Mend. All of these apps play a role in making my life a bit easier and my cell phone an actual productive and a healthy tool for my life.

This got me thinking in regards of the exciting trend of increased self-care apps in the market. According to Tech Crunch, top 10 self-care apps in the U.S. earned $15 million in combined iOS and Android revenue. The projected growth in self-care apps in 2018 were listed as 804 for iOS and 2,640 for Android.[1] This focus on mental health, self-care, and mindfulness appears to be a trend that is being noticed by Apple and other companies as well. Personally, as someone who is oversaturated with content from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms, having Apps that allow you to disconnect from that space and take care of yourself is really revolutionary and innovative. I believe the trend of increase in this space will continue as more people realize the importance of self-care as well as disconnection from constant stimulation from social media platforms. In addition, various researchers have also cited passive use of Facebook (i.e. mindless scrolling we’re all guilty of) can cause a mental health risk. [2]

With this surge of the demand (people willing to pay for or actively seek for self-care) and the need (more threats to mental health such as social media as well as constant stimulation) – are Venture Capital firms willing to back these type of apps?

It turns out that the VC world has been aware of this market and investment in mental health space has jumped from 7 companies in 2009 to 30 deals as of June 2018. One of the biggest player in this space is the Calm app which raised $27 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners as well as Ashton Kutcher’s Second Ventures. According to Pitchbook, 2018 was on pace to seeing more than $500 million funding invested in the mental health tech space. [3]

This is a really exciting time for both users of the various apps as well as companies that are providing these products. A shift towards self-care can only benefit society and increase overall social good. I am looking forward to seeing where the VC funding will be like at the end of 2018 for this space as well as how revenue models work for these companies. I am sure it will take balancing between creating more access but, also creating a profitable products to ensure continuance in VC support.

 

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/02/self-care-apps-are-booming/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/15/facebook-mental-health-psychology-social-media

[3] https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/a-look-at-the-boom-in-vc-funding-for-mental-health-startups

Spur of Happiness

Do you ever randomly get happy?

I went to the gym after work yesterday and a shameless target run. While I was done with my work-out, I could see a flurry of snow through the street light outside of my gym. Then on my drive, I listened to all the ratchet music that I could possibly listen to (don’t judge) and I just stayed in the parking lot admiring the snow. I could see the streetlight reflecting the flecks of snow on my dashboard and I felt happy.

Do you ever get scared that happiness is fleeting?

Right when I was happy for no reason, I also got scared that it might be a delusion. Was I just being oblivious to my problems and pretending to be happy? Would I lose this feeling and mourn it forever? I wanted to hold on to the feeling and didn’t want to forget it. I don’t think happiness is an illusion. Even if it comes from utter insanity, delusion or some sort of an accident – I think we should savor these moments of happiness.

I am so grateful that I got to feel that yesterday. I still have that lingering feeling today and I hope to hold on to it as long as it stays with me and I am ready to let go of it when it wants to leave.

 

 

Self-Love Equals Enlightenment?

Self-love comes up over and over again when you’re trying to get over a heartbreak. People will tell you that to love someone else – you must love yourself. It is cliché but, for a reason. Self-love is crucial to not only fixing your heartbreak but, also to being at peace with yourself. If you think about it, you are the most constant thing in your life. You have your family and your community but, your relationship to these external factor depend solely on your relationship to yourself. We should put as much effort to our relationship to self as we do to external relationships.

Recently, I watched a video by Teal Swan on YouTube. She talks about how self-love is the shortest path to enlightenment. She encourages everyone to ask this one question whenever you are faced with a decision: “What would someone who loves themselves do?” This question should be the guiding factor in how we treat ourselves.

What would someone who loves themselves do after a heartbreak? Would they wallow in their pain or would they try to move on gracefully? What would someone who loves themselves do with their finances? Would they spend recklessly or only make mindful purchases?

This question can be a guiding factor in how we move in life. When we treat ourselves with kindness and love – we can move on from the negative to our purpose. I plan on using this question with many decisions I face.

One thing I will say about this is that the answer to that question isn’t always the easy thing. You might be tempted to answer that question by saying “someone that loves themselves would take a bath and drink wine every night!” J ….and sometimes that is the answer. But, I think the answers might not always be what we want to hear. It might be difficult things we face. It might be choosing to make that cold call, choosing to finishing that assignment we procrastinated on, choosing to confront someone, and moving away from things that do not serve us.

Good luck with your self love journey.

Teal Swan’s video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQHv75ahYDQ

An App for Heartbreak?

After going through a fairly terrible heartbreak this Summer, I was on a quest to find a solution. I am a fairly logical person and I think break-ups are a part of life. Still, an end of a 6 year relationship was too devastating to use logic (even for me). I spent a lot of my time googling “how to get over a heartbreak” and listening to countless hours of YouTube videos. Some of them advocated for posting your best selfies in Instagram to show how well you’re doing without your ex and some just concluded only time could heal wounds.

I didn’t like either of those ways.

Yes, time is the only thing that heals breakups but, there are ways to cope with it that are much more healthier. Break-up is an obstacle we face that may cause us to feel extreme emotional pain. This pain needs to be taken seriously and be dealt with in the most healthiest way possible.

That is when I found Mend. Mend is a self-care app that helps people with heartbreak. Each day you go into the app and listen to a snippet that explains how we may be feeling. The person who reads the snippet to you has the most soothing voice ever (which helps). Mend was created by Elle Huerta who herself went through a difficult break-up and wanted a more healthier and better way to deal with heartbreak. And, she’s a Latina. Like, how perfect? 🙂

I have been using Mend for over a week and it truly helps me start my day off correctly. Whenever I listen to the daily lesson, it reminds me that my pain is not unprecedented. We all have gone through similar pains and heartbreaks. We have all dealt with difficulties. Although there might not be a pill to take and completely bypass our feelings – there are healthier ways to deal with heartbreaks. You do not have to succumb to resentment or anger and you can actually learn to be grateful for your ex (plays thank u, next by Ariana Grande).

Mend helps me take a better approach to heartbreak. I do not want to be a victim. I do not want to be bitter. I want to let go of my relationship gracefully with love and kindness. That is exactly what Mend is helping me do.

Despite all this, it would be careless for me to not mention how difficult the process actually is. There are days where I fall victim to the occasional social media stalking. There are days I cry myself to sleep at night. There are many days where I have to catch myself from crying at my desk at work. The pain is real and that is okay. We can accept the pain and treat the pain with kindness and love. We can embrace the pain and use healthy tools like Mend to help us heal in the way.

Happy healing.

Mend: https://www.letsmend.com/

Elle Huerta: https://www.instagram.com/ellenhuerta/?hl=en

Not anyway sponsored by Mend…..I wish though =)

Change

Is this the end of the year that is causing this feeling or is it just me? I have a strong inclination to change my life. Everything feels too familiar, comfortable, and close. I feel the need to be stripped away from who I am right now and start all over again. I feel the desire to get away from home, the same routine, the same job, and start fresh. Something feels missing. Something feels like it needs to be pulled away and ripped away from deep inside of me. Maybe it is sadness, maybe it is heartbreak, maybe it is old habits….whatever it is, I want to purge it out of my system. I want to escape somewhere new. I want to change my life. I want to get to a point where I feel free…and liberated and maybe even happy? I tell myself I am happy all the time. I am happy. I am grateful for what I have but, I cannot fight this need I feel for a new start. I imagine going home tonight after work and it makes me feel disgusted….not because there is anything wrong with my home. I love my home and my family but, just going to the same place makes me feel like my raw skin is exposed to the world. I feel like I cannot escape this sameness of everyday.

I looked for some ways I can change. Some new habits I can implement. I am writing it here so, maybe I will be inspired to do these things in the coming months.

  • Meditate: every self-help book, every motivational speaker, every corner of the internet has told me to meditate. I am so scared to be left alone with my thoughts that I avoid meditating. I am scared of my pain. I am getting more comfortable with this so, I will try to meditate at least 5 minutes per day. Even if I suck in the beginning – I will make it a habit.

 

  • Work out: I have been really good at working out and it has made my mental health much better. I will continue this trend and try to work out at least 15 – 20 days a month. Every other day.

 

  • Read: Reading has given me so many tools this year. I have really become a better person by just reading so, I will continue to read every day for 30 minutes.

 

  • Travel: This is a big one. It is so cliché but, I have been dying to travel. I think I need an escape and I know travelling has always soothed my soul. I have an intense desire to get away from it all. Go somewhere far way. I will travel at least 3 times. I will travel alone.

 

  • Gratitude: I will practice gratitude each day after work.

 

  • Work hard: Yes….changing your life requires hard work. I took the first step and signed up for a coding bootcamp this year so, I can finally transition out of my current job. I will practice coding every day for 3 hours for 6 months. 3 hours every single day with no excuses.

 

  • Less YouTube / Less Netflix: I will stop watching YouTube and Netflix mindlessly. I tracked my time on YouTube this week and by Thursday, I had spent 22 hours watching YouTube videos. That is almost an entire day. Granted, I listen to things on the background while I do work but, I could listen to positive things. Instead, I watch mind numbing negative content.

 

  • Stop Numbing Myself: Numbing comes in many forms…. For me, it is constant stimulation to the point that I cannot be alone. I need music, background noise, social media at all times to feel “okay”. I use all these to numb myself from how I am feeling. To completely disregard my emotions and thoughts. I need to STOP numbing. How can I do that? I am not really sure yet but, I think less time with mindless content and more time just being silent will help.

 

  • Mindful with Shopping: I have been spending A LOT of money. I think I use it as an escape. I think I use it to distract myself. I get a high whenever I get an Amazon prime delivery. My goal is to NOT spend any money on frivolous things for 3 months. That includes make-up, personal care items, and even books. I will buy a journal but, that is about it. No more spending sprees on Amazon. No more buying things when I am sad. No more spending money just because.

 

  • Move: Last one….I have an inclination to move. I hope it happens soon. I don’t know how or where….but, I want to MOVE away for at least a year.

 

 

Have you changed your life? If so, how did you do it?

 

Alma.

Facebook is making me sad?

In this world and age, heartbreak goes alongside Facebook. We cannot talk about getting over a breakup without mentioning social media. Going through a fairly bad break-up and seeing my ex get engaged has been a whirlwind. One smart thing I did was that I deleted my Facebook. I was feeling great. I was moving on. I was feeling super zen. I was empathetic and even grateful . But, this weekend I made the mistake of logging back into my Facebook. Facebook was almost a trigger for me. Once I logged in, I went through the normal process of looking through my ex’s profile and people he’s close to. I saw something I didn’t like and the negative spiraling began again. I found myself feeling unworthy and going back into that phase that I worked so hard to avoid. I didn’t want to feel sad anymore. I didn’t want to relive the scenarios and think of “what ifs’” again. I just wanted to move on but, going back on Facebook intensified my negative feelings. It made me feel unworthy, sad and depressed again. It reinstated my negative though pattern and loop and I found myself going back to imagining my ex with his new significant other. It drove me crazy. This happened on a Sunday and last night after work, I felt the worst I have felt in awhile.

That Monday, I had gone to the gym, I ate properly, I worked, I applied to jobs, I read for 30 mins and practiced my gratitude. But, at night all my negative emotions came back rushing in. I found myself praying to God to make the pain go away. To make it a bit easier on me. I didn’t know where these emotions were coming from but, I can tie it back to logging into Facebook again. It started on Sunday and yesterday, it just got so much worse. The loop of negative feelings were back to when I first started my healing process.

I deleted my Facebook again and I am still working through feeling better. Like my post from yesterday says, progress is not linear. We cannot expect it to be. It requires constant effort and betterment. I am trying to do just that. It’s not easy but, I hope I will get there someday. I can’t wait till one day I look back on this and it becomes a faint memory that has helped me become a better and a stronger person.