If You Have Trouble Making Time for Yourself, the Free #SelfCare App Is a MUST

The busier life gets, the harder it can be to make time for yourself.

I often find myself turning to my phone when I get a moment to breathe, only to find myself with even less mental energy at the end of it. Whether I'm on social media or engaging with my latest mobile game addiction, it can feel like work.

That's why I was so curious when I heard about the #SelfCare app. Developed by TRU LUV, it's all about making time to connect with yourself through positivity and mindfulness. The app is free, so I downloaded it to see if it would be right for me.

The app opens with serene music, reminiscent of what you might hear behind a guided meditation video. There's a woman snuggled beneath the covers in a big comfy bed, and she's representative of you, the user. She's planning on spending her entire day in bed surrounded by her favorite things. By vicariously living through her, you can briefly simulate your own break from a hectic life.

#SelfCare measures something it calls your "lifeforce," and it's symbolized by a sun. When your lifeforce is exhausted, the sun is invisible beyond the horizon line, but it slowly rises as it's replenished until a radiant sun shines high in the sky. This occurs as you take care of yourself in the app.

The first function introduced in the game is a breathing exercise. By tapping a flower near the bed, you access a pulsing flower that guides your breathing, expanding as you breathe in and contracting as you breathe out.

#SelfCare: Breathing in and out with a flower

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

With pastel colors and peaceful music, this is actually my favorite feature of #SelfCare. With just a few breaths, I find myself relaxed and in a totally different headspace. The speed is set to help the user focus, but it can be adjusted for relaxation or to wind down when you're going to bed. There are also options to change the breathing visualizer to a growing mountain, a melting cube or a morphing geometric shape, but I like the organic flower best.

Customization is big in #SelfCare. Nearly every exercise can be adjusted in some way, as can some of the visuals in your bedroom, truly allowing it to become your own personal sanctuary. In addition to adjusting the skin tone of the woman under the covers to look more like you, you can change the color and patterns of your sheets and the rug at the foot of your bed to make it a room you'd actually spend time within. There are also some customization options that cost real money for those who really want to make the game feel like home.

#SelfCare: Bed

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

Once you've finished your breathing, you're free to explore other methods to help you get focused and practice mindfulness. Sometimes when you return to the game, you'll find that new exercises have been added, giving you even more paths to refilling your lifeforce.

It typically takes about five minutes of activities for the lifeforce sun to rise fully in the sky, which is a good minimum amount of time to spend in the app before getting back to your day. When this happens, you're rewarded with a small symbolic object—though I'll get to those later. Still, I tend to stick with it even after my lifeforce is full because I want to.

#SelfCare: Finding agate

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

I think most people will gravitate toward the black cat that rests at the foot of the bed. It likes to have its cheeks and forehead scratched, and as you share affection with the cat, you get a little of it back in return. Its eye color can also be adjusted to give you your ideal feline companion.

But that's only the beginning of what you can do. There's an exercise that allows you to finish powerful words using Scrabble-like tiles. The default tiles spell out self-care words like "passion," "connection" and "growth," though I prefer the affirmations set. Writing these phrases always put me in a positive mindset and made me acknowledge when I was being a bit of a downer or not putting myself first.

#SelfCare: Affirmation word game

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

Oddly enough, another of my favorites is about picking up laundry. In the app, I find the process extremely cathartic—even when my own laundry is sitting in a dirty heap on a chair. One practice has you clearing your mind for a full minute while you stare at a candle's flame, while another has you breathe while you watch bubbles expand and contract, and yet another asks you to play a low-pressure matching game involving a crystal grid.

#SelfCare: Candle light

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

I always like to fill the last bits of my lifeforce meter with the massage exercise. It's meant to simulate receiving a massage and involves rubbing a circle on the screen until it full changes into a different color. In its later stages both the circle and the area that changes color are much bigger, and accompanied with as ASMR-like sound, I find it weirdly satisfying.

#SelfCare: Massage

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

I especially appreciate that it also incorporates a bit of astrology and divination. You can clear clouds away from the moon to reveal its phase and discover what kind of energy that brings to the table, as well as pull a daily tarot card for a bit of psychic guidance. They don't take long, but they give you the time to focus on yourself and think about what they might mean for you.

#SelfCare: The Fool Inverted

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

Earlier I mentioned small objects you can find when your lifeforce meter gets full. These objects can be pulled together and added to an altar that sits at the head of your bed. You're free to use as many or as few of these objects in your altar at a time—though I like to have a mix of everything on display at all times.

#SelfCare: Altar with objects

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

But the most interesting thing about the altar is that these objects are meaningful, and you may want to curate your selection based on what you need in this moment. Maybe you desire strength, so you put cedar and vanilla, as well as stability-promoting agate in your altar. While each one is assigned a significance, you can also write in your own notes about what it means to you, and when you won't be needing it anymore.

#SelfCare: Altar objects This Means Something

(#SelfCare via TRU LUV)

Overall, I think #SelfCare has been great for me. It doesn't feel like it taps into the same parts of my brain that drive me to log into my other apps again and again. Instead, I return to it because it actually makes me feel better. While it's hard to know if it's truly helping my mental state, I do appreciate the breaks, and find that the breathing exercises can be pretty powerful in changing the way I think.

I've been using the app for a couple of weeks, and I feel that there's still more for me to discover within it. It never rushes me or makes me feel like I need to keep playing it to reach some goal. It doesn't bug me with ads or beg me to open it up with notifications. Instead, I play when I want to reclaim my focus and get in touch with myself. It uses meditation methods more efficiently than my actual meditation apps to help me change the way I think. Best of all, it's free, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it out yourself.

 

If you're curious about #SelfCare but would also love to add some meditation methods to your arsenal, click HERE for some useful tips for meditation newbies.