Caregiver stress can cause anxiety or overwhelm
When you’re caring for an older adult, you may feel overwhelmed by anxiety, worry, fear, or anger.
Sometimes it can be difficult to interrupt the negative cycle and shake yourself free of those feelings.
We’ve rounded up 5 wonderful (and free!) mobile apps that instantly lower your blood pressure, help you focus on positive or neutral thoughts, and bring you back to a calm state.
That will allow you to relax enough to take a break, make decisions with a clear head, or continue to be patient with your older adult despite a frustrating situation.
5 free mobile apps that relieve caregiver anxiety
1. Essence – Breathing Relaxation
Focused breathing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to reduce anxiety and stress.
Essence is a simple and effective app that guides you through the 4-7-8 breathing method. That’s where you inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8.
Don’t worry if you can’t follow it exactly, all that matters is that you’re breathing deeply and roughly following along.
To start the breathing exercise, press the green button. The blue circle expands and contracts as a visual cue and the gentle chime sounds as an audio cue.
When you’re feeling calm, press the red button to stop. (Free; Get app for iPhone)
2. What’s Up?
This is a great all-around app with a wealth of helpful anxiety and stress management tools that are perfect for caregivers.
3. MindShift CBT
When you need fast anxiety relief, MindShift helps you take a breath, shift your thinking, and take steps to cope.
The app contains nearly a dozen tools for reducing anxiety. It’s based on scientifically proven strategies that help you learn to relax and develop more effective ways of thinking.
Tools include: guided meditations to help you relax, coping cards that quickly ease anxiety with helpful coping statements, and a thought journal to help challenge thoughts that keep you stuck in anxiety. (Free; Get app for iPhone or Android)
The 3 audio tracks cover panic assistance, emotional training, and relaxation. Panic assistance coaches you through a panic attack, emotional training trains you to access a calm state, and relaxation helps you reduce stress and relax your body.
You can also keep a journal to track how you’re feeling. (Free; Get app for Android)
5. Personal Zen
The Personal Zen app is a fun game that reduces caregiver anxiety and stress. It gives you something to focus on to take your mind off the stressful situation. The game is simple, plays soothing sounds, and is set against calm backgrounds.
Pro tip: Don’t feel rushed to trace the positive sprite’s path, you can relax and take all the time you need. The game will wait as long as you need.
The game was built by a team of leading neuroscientists and mobile developers to retrain your brain to lower stress and anxiety. (Free; Get app for iPhone)