In the age of technology, it seems that self-care comes in all shapes and sizes. From the sleekest tablet to the tiniest smartwatch, your mobile devices can be a powerful asset to your well-being. Finding ways to make your phone work for you is crucial to a healthy lifestyle in 2021.
Even for nurses? Absolutely!
The healthcare field, particularly travel nursing jobs, can sometimes take its toll on mental health. With so much to do and so little time, how does one fit self-care into their tight schedule? The answer: stress management apps. Read on for the top 5 must-try apps.
If you’re a busy nurse who only has time for one app, Headspace is the way to go. The Headspace app is a mobile app that focuses on a variety of mental health resources, including:
- Guided meditation – Headspace has a large selection of meditations, ranging from beginner tutorials to more advanced practices. Users can choose from different types of guided meditation sessions, including stress management, breathing techniques, and self-reflection.
- Sleep – Headspace includes meditations and life hacks to help users get a better night’s rest. Those who struggle with insomnia, poor quality sleep, and irregular evening schedules will benefit from this section of the app.
- Mindfulness – In addition to formal meditations, Headspace also offers users daily mindfulness training. These resources include gratefulness, focus, and awareness practices.1
Users can choose between a free version of the Headspace app (with limited meditations) or a paid version that unlocks the entire library.
Why Nurses Love This App – Headspace is a one-stop-shop for all your mental health needs. This app makes it easy for busy nurses to fit self-care into their schedules. Whether you’re struggling with sleep, stress, or anxiety, Headspace has a little something for everyone.
After a long day at work, sometimes you just need to write it out. Unpacking a stressful day can help put things into perspective and prevent you from bottling up emotions (which sometimes become uncorked involuntarily at a less than ideal time).
For nurses struggling with difficult patients, frustrating coworkers, or just the stress that comes with saving lives, Reflectly is here to help. The Reflectly app guides users through the process of daily journaling, starting with the simple question: How was your day today? From there, users can write daily journal entries, choose their most prominent mood, and simply reflect on the events of the day (they don’t call it Reflectly for nothing!).2
According to psychological studies, journaling has been shown to reduce stress, improve memory, and boost emotion regulation.3 If you’re struggling with daily stress, journaling with Reflectly can help you gain a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings.
Why Nurses Love This App – Reflectly is a journaling app that allows nurses to unpack their difficult days or a stressful situation. Even a short entry can help ease nurse stress and take a weight off your chest—which will allow for a fresh start each day. Reflectly has a user-friendly interface that makes routine journaling in daily life feel more like fun (and less like work).
Healthy habits are great, but what about nurses who need professional help? Say hello to TalkSpace!
Mental health struggles are perfectly normal, even for nurses. When you’re working in the healthcare field, it can be difficult to admit when you need some medical help—but professionals in this challenging field sometimes need a little assistance.
While therapy is an excellent resource, not everyone can afford the time or money traditional counseling requires. That’s where TalkSpace comes in: an app specifically made for virtual therapy. Here’s how it works:
- Step #1 – Take a brief mental health assessment on the app.
- Step #2 – TalkSpace will craft you a list of recommended professionals.
- Step #3 – Choose a therapist that fits your needs.
- Step #4 – Begin your therapy sessions via messaging, phone call, or video chat.4
The best part about TalkSpace? Anyone can use it! This app offers four therapy categories users can choose from:
- Traditional therapy
- Psychiatry (with the ability to prescribe medication)
- Couples therapy
- Teen therapy
Why Nurses Love This App – TalkSpace makes quality therapy accessible, even for those who travel on a regular basis. Virtual therapy is easy, affordable, and COVID-19-friendly (which any healthcare worker can appreciate). Traveling professionals can also qualify for free TalkSpace therapy sessions through the Host Healthcare COVID-19 resource center.5
Catching some quality Zs can be difficult for nurses. The combination of long shifts and irregular hours creates the perfect recipe for insomnia—and the last thing nurses want is grogginess at work. Fortunately, your phone isn’t just for staying up and watching viral videos—the Pzizz app can actually help you fall asleep.
Through a variety of different features, Pzizz is designed to fight insomnia, encourage power naps, and give users a more restful night’s sleep. Here are just a few of the ways you can use this app
- Music system – Pzizz’s unique music system combines gentle tones, white noise, and binaural beats for a customized auditory sleep aid. Each time you use it, Pzizz will choose from over 100 billion sequences to create a new soundtrack for your night’s sleep.
- Voiceover – In addition to music, Pzizz also offers a calming voiceover setting. These recordings are based on clinical sleep interventions, and adjustments can be made to the volume and tone of the voice.
- Timer – Whether you’re settling down for the night or trying to fit in a quick nap between shifts, Pzizz has a timer setting to help you get the perfect amount of shut-eye.
- Sleep tracking – If you’re looking to improve your sleeping habits, Pzizz also offers a sleep tracking app. Keeping a sleep log can help nurses adjust to their new routines and find sleep techniques that work for them.6
Pzizz is a bit pricier than other sleep apps, with a monthly cost of $9.99. The good news is that users can test out the app with a free trial before making a commitment.7 If insomnia is affecting your mental health, the benefits may outweigh the cost.
Why Nurses Love This App – Travel nursing is no 9-to-5 job. In order to stay fresh, alert, and professional, it’s important to get proper sleep each night (or day, depending on your shift). Pzizz offers personalized features and auditory aids to help nurses get deeper, more restful sleep.
Mental health and physical health are two sides of the same coin. The physical labor that nursing requires can often lead to pain and discomfort—in addition to the psychosomatic symptoms of work-related stress. Stiff neck, sore feet, and tired legs are just a few of the problems many nurses are familiar with, particularly those who travel for a living.
For a relaxing exercise that benefits the body and mind, try the Gaia yoga app! The Gaia app gives users access to a vast library of virtual yoga classes. Whether you’re new to the practice or know your way around a yoga mat, Gaia has a selection of videos to meet your skill level.
Yoga for nurses provides plenty of mental and physical health benefits, including:
- Stress relief – Due to a focus on steady, deep breathing, yoga can help calm the central nervous system and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.8
- Self-love – Unlike other exercise routines that involve pushing your physical limits, yoga is all about moving in a way that feels good. The loving elements of yoga are ideal for those struggling with confidence and self image, or physical pain and injury.
- Pain relief – Studies show that chronic pain is linked to depression, anxiety, and addiction.9 Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can help manage chronic pain, relieve tension, and improve mobility, thus decreasing the chances of mental health problems related to physical ailments.
Why Nurses Love This App – Nurses dealing with pain, discomfort, and daily stress can get fast relief through Gaia’s virtual yoga classes. Users can workout with Gaia according to their schedule, making it ideal for busy nurses who don’t have time for in-person yoga classes. The Gaia app also includes healthy recipe videos and other nutritional resources.
Which Mental Health App Should I Get?
When it comes to mobile apps, the options are seemingly endless. While these are just a few of the top-rated services, finding the right mental health app is a uniquely personal journey.
The most important thing to remember is that any self-care is good self-care. Whether you’re interested in journaling, restful sleep, or mindfulness exercises, downloading an app can be the first step to a healthier well-being.
Host Healthcare: Helping You Ditch the Travel Apps
If you’re looking to bolster your mental health as a travel nurse, stress management apps may be the answer. While there’s plenty of mental health apps to choose from, healthcare workers only need one website for their traveling needs: Host Healthcare. Host Healthcare, one of the top rated travel healthcare companies, can help you see the world while receiving a steady paycheck.
The way it works is simple: apply to be a traveling nurse or therapist with Host Healthcare, get paired with a recruiter, and wait for your first assignment. From there, you can just leave the rest to us and prepare for adventure!
- Headspace. Headspace. https://www.headspace.com/
- Forbes. Reflectly Wants To Be An Adidas Of The Mind. https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherfarmbrough/2018/05/01/reflectly-wants-to-be-an-adidas-of-the-mind/?sh=7391f5e44204
- Intermountain Healthcare. 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2018/07/5-powerful-health-benefits-of-journaling/
- TalkSpace. TalkSpace. https://www.talkspace.com
- Host Healthcare. COVID-19 Resource Center. https://www.hosthealthcare.com/covid-19-resources/
- Pzizz. Pzizz. https://pzizz.com
- Sleep association. 7 Best Sleep Apps for iPhone and Android. https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep-treatments/sleep-apps/