There is an abundance of information, resources, and tools available in our society today. It can be overwhelming to search through them all and find the ones that speak to you! Here are some of the various books, apps, resources, and supports available I consider useful. Check back for periodic updates.
Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements
A simple read, it would be easy to go through this one ‘too quickly’ to grasp all its wisdom. The Agreements Ruiz poses are lessons frequently addressed in therapy using different words. The process of embracing the Agreements for yourself is a path to freedom from reacting and peace of authenticity. It’s a nice supplement to therapy and a reminder to review during the hard times. For a brief synopsis of the agreements, there’s a 4-page write-up you can download here.
Apps and Tools
What it is: A short series of prompts in mindfulness to help you slow your thoughts, based on a webpage so it can be saved to your home screen on your phone or used on any device. No downloads required.
Who it’s for: Anyone who sometimes gets overwhelmed or caught up in things and needs to take a break and regain perspective (Everyone!)
Why I created it: The concepts of mindfulness are simple, but in moments of stress, having some guidance to help regather ourselves is helpful. I had a client ask how to help ground himself when he wasn’t in the room with me to guide him, so this web script is the resultant offer. The prompts used are similar to DBT calming techniques.
What it is: A simple social (or private) app similar to the idea of Twitter, with the focus of all posts being of a happy or grateful nature. They now also offer courses such as daily meditations to increase mindfulness.
Who it’s for: Anyone and everyone! I’m told there is no Android version *yet* but they do have a web interface.
Why I like it: Positive psychology works! Attuning your focus to see the positive in life can lift your spirits. Studies show expressing gratitude increases happiness, and Happier works to that end while also connecting you the small things that make other people around the globe happy. Using the app regularly can help you in noticing things we frequently take for granted and therefore become more mindful in your life.
What it is: A simple reminder app to encourage you in areas of focus of your choosing. Select your intended actions, the desired frequency, and a quick log of completing is all it takes!
Who it’s for: Anyone with ambitions to start or foster new routines or habits, people who struggle with lack of motivation or procrastination. Appears to be for Apple products only.
Why I like it: Unlike project-oriented to-do apps with deadlines, “Balanced is a to-do list for your body and soul.” It is easy to ignore apps that ‘nag’ you and overwhelm you with details. Balanced maintains an organicity with a simple interface. It uses lots of words of encouragement and gentle reminders, and allows for the flexibility life can require without reprimand, all of which ease its use to help you accomplish the tasks you want in a positive, relaxed way. While items are fully customizable, the database of suggestions includes items of self-care like “Call an old friend” “Meditate” and “Exercise”. You can feel good about logging an activity without pressures of focusing on a particular project completion and enrich your life with the activities you choose.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
What it is: Software and app to help with daily budgeting. Many people struggle with their relationship to money. While the software is useful, the free webinars about changing your relationship to money are especially useful, even if you don’t buy the software.
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to change their relationship with money, struggles with the stress of financially planning ahead..pretty much anyone.
Cost: $50 per year. They offer a free 34 day trial, and the webinars are all free .
Why I like it: I have worked with many people who have struggled with their relationship to money, feeling stressed and try turning a blind eye to money because it’s too scary to look at. The YNAB approach works to start taking the fear out of looking at money, and can help you regain the sense of control in knowing what’s going on and how to plan ahead. While budgeting can be done for free in a spreadsheet, YNAB also offers monthly bill scheduling, allows you to reconcile account balances, so you can keep your check register and budget all in one place. Allows multiple separate budgets, especially helpful for business owners.
Links and Support Sites
Adult Children of Alcoholics
All Treatment – Resources for Alcohol and Drug Addictions
DomesticViolence.org – information on the cycle of violence and safety planning
Meetup.com – Wonderful resource for creating social connections and community, centered around your interests
Next Door: Solutions to Domestic Violence