De-stressing With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’ve been de-stressing with the  Thrive : Feel Stress Free  app over the last fortnight. I introduced Thrive here, a fantastic app created for mental health conditions and designed to gradually build resilience to and manage stress, anxiety and mild depression. Using clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT over a few weeks can have huge benefits.

De-stressing with Thrive: feel stress free

De-stressing with Thrive

Me being me I haven’t managed to religiously use the app. I had hoped to use it much more. The Zen garden and Zen challenge does keep drawing me back in however and I feel it’s been beneficial for me. Most evenings I will sit and design a Zen garden or try one of the challenges. I can feel the stress disappearing as I rake and arrange my pretty little gardens. The challenges are simple, a little bit of thinking involved but it’s very enjoyable. With a star rating you can go back and try to think of better ways to solve the challenges too. It really does help me de-stress.

Zen Garden

Managing Better

Anyone who has seen my tweets this week will no doubt know we have had a stressful month which seems to be continuing. Normally these stresses would have me in tears, feeling helpless and useless.We had our washing machine breakdown the first week back at school. Although we managed to borrow money to replace it only for it 2 breakdown less than 2 weeks later.. with school uniform in.. AGAIN! Using the Zen garden each night seems to be helping me stay calmer. Whilst I am annoyed and frustrated I am managing to keep a hold on my temper and emotions much better. I’m not instantly reacting and being much more mindful.

Using Thrive

As mentioned in my previous post there are subscription costs for thrive, having used the app I feel they are actually very reasonable prices.

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

For my readers however I have a special code to use through October so you can try out Thrive: Feel stress free for yourself and hopefully start de-stressing like I have! Use code FSFOCT300917.

 

 

 

Tackling My Mental Health With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’m tackling my mental health with Thrive: Feel Stress Free, an app created to help gradually build resilience to and manage stress. Something I am struggling with immensely lately. Thrive is also designed to help with anxiety and mild depression which I also struggle with.Thrive

 

I recently had a medication review which didn’t go too well. I saw Dr who clearly didn’t read my notes and his comments left me feeling rubbish. Because of this my mental health has spiralled out of control and I’ve struggled to cope lately. A Dr trying to change my medication without reading my notes ( I figured this as he asked as I was leaving if I’ve been to the pain clinic yet instead of ‘just taking medication’!) has left me feeling even more messed up than before! I avoided medication for a good 5 years when I obviously needed it, I’ve tried everything I can & given in and accepted medication just to get that kind of reaction. That’s probably a whole other post though!

I have decided I will try my best to take my mental health into my own hands and hopefully Thrive can help with that. I will be trying out the app and sharing how I get on with it in a few weeks time.

What Is Thrive?

Thrive teaches clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT. I will be trying the app out over the next month to try and manage my stress and anxiety as I am really struggling again lately. A confidential wellbeing app, Thrive helps build resilience, prevent and manage stress, anxiety and other common mental health conditions. Thrive is designed to help de-stress I just 5 minutes. I hope this is the case for me!

Subscription Costs

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

How Does It Work?

There are several parts to the Thrive app. Each section focuses on one area but the app considers all area’s when processing results & giving advice. Thrive learns more about you as you use it which allows the app to give better suited advice.

Mood

Mood Meter

The Thrive app begins by asking questions and tracking them on the Mood Meter. Every day you answer the questions which allows the app to assess your current issues. With this information the app can provide useful results to help you work on those issues. Over time the app learns more about you allowing it to advise you better each time.

Thrive- Words of encouragement

Thought Trainer

The CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) based thought trainers is designed to help re-frame negative thoughts. This is something I really need to work on myself and I’m keen to see if I can see the positives in the negatives. The mood meter tracks everything and stores it in the Progress section of the app. The thought trainer slowly personalises itself to your

self suggestion

Relaxation Techniques

 Thrive uses four relaxation techniques – calm breathing, meditation, deep muscle relaxation and progressive relaxation. You may find certain techniques may work better for you than others. Try them all to see which works best for you. There’s a range of sessions varying in duration & situation. You can select what works best for you.

Wellbeing Guides

There’s a selection of wellbeing guides available on Thrive. The guides help understand and support you through situations like trouble sleeping, money worries, loss of a loved one, weight worries and more.

Zen Garden

This is my favourite part of the app already. The Zen garden allows you to get creative and design your own peaceful garden.  Creating a peaceful Zen garden helps keep your mind off stress. I’ve already found raking and making patterns quite peaceful.

Zen Garden

Message in a Bottle

Message in a bottle lets you share a completely confidential and anonymous message in a bottle with words of encouragement. Everyone needs a few words of encouragement at times!

Across all of these different area’s the app learns about you and can tell you where you need help. As you can see below my anxiety is the main issue which I’m hoping Thrive can help me with. Don’t forget to check back in a week or 2 to see how I get on!

Results

Have you used Thrive? Did you find it useful? Do you think it may be useful if you haven’t tried Thrive?

Our Favourite Audiobooks This Week – With BookBeat

Our favourite audiobooks this week.. That’s right! We are mixing up our favourite books post this week thanks to trying out audio books using BookBeat. A day later than normal as it’s half term. BookBeat is a digital streaming service that allows you to listen to audiobooks on your mobile. There are thousands of audiobooks on BookBeat and for £14.90 per month which you can cancel at any time it’s well worth the cost!

audiobooks - BookBeat

Eva especially was rather impressed with BookBeat, and stealing my phone to listen to them. The menu’s are easy to navigate and it took her no time at all to find her way around the Children’s section. She even worked out how to find audiobooks suited to her age group and added books to ‘My Books’ so she could find them again later. The app is so well laid out and I love that you can click info on a book to find out more about it too.

 

Eva’s favourite Audiobook this week

Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur and the girl next door is Eva’s favourite audiobook this week! She loved that she could listen to the story. Eva got distracted at the library but we had planned to pick up a book she wanted to listen to so we can help improve her confidence reading out lout. By enhancing her knowledge of punctuation and how it is implemented in a sentence/paragraph by following the words in a book as well as listening to the audiobook. She sometimes rushes her reading and forgets to use punctuation and I think by doing this it can really benefit her. There are a long list of books saved for her to listen to, I’m sure it won’t be long until she shares another.

Izzy’s Favourite Audiobook this week

With Eva having found the option to search audiobooks by age range we were able to find some nice short audiobooks for Izzy to listen to. She absolutely loved The Tiger who came to tea by Judith Kerr. I was surprised to see Izzy pay attention and listen to the words. Although she didn’t have too much to say about the audiobook she did say she liked the Tiger, haha! I’ll be adding more book suited to her age range & see what she thinks of them.

My Favourite Audiobook this week

Oh yes, we really are mixing things up, Even I’ve joined in & picked my favourite audiobook this week! I don’t really get the time to read more than a blog post here or there these days so it’s been quite nice to be able to download an audiobook to listen to on the bus or whilst out shopping alone. I haven’t had much time to listen so I haven’t finished an audiobook yet myself but I have started listening to Patricia Cornwell’s Depraved heart. I have read most of the Kay Scarpetta series and really enjoyed them so it’s been quite nice getting a chance to hear a new one! I’ve only read up to the Book of the dead before & having got back into the storylines with this audiobook I’ll definitely be catching up on the others too!

 

What have you been reading or listening to this week? What do you think of audiobooks? Are you a fan or do you prefer to flick through pages? Have you heard of BookBeat before?

Fancy a month’s free trial? http://www.bookbeat.com/uk/blogteam

BookBeat.co.uk

 

 

 

Mobicip Safeguarding Children Online

Mobicip is an amazing way of safeguarding children on-line and filtering the content they see with parental controls for Phones, Tablets & Computers. Let’s face it most kid’s these days either have access to a Computer/Laptop/Tablet or Smart phone and my girls are no different.

I was offered a chance to try Mobicip premium for a year in exchange for an honest review and so far I absolutely love it! Premium protects 5 devices and so far I’ve used it on two. Eva has had a tablet since she was 3 as a Christmas present and she still has the same one 3 year’s later which Izzy also uses. They fight occasionally so Izzy has asked Santa to bring her a Tablet this year (a white one with a red book (case) if you were wondering!).

Trying it out..

I signed up and downloaded the Mobicip Monitoring App for parents. Then I downloaded the Mobicip Safety Browser on to the girls tablets. The Monitoring app allows you to view the devices and name them to make it easier to see which device is which. Filters can be set as Mature, Moderate, Strict or Monitor. You can monitor which apps are downloaded and the prices & ratings of each app. Without touching the devices you can view the browsing history too. Kids can also request to view certain sites too which you can accept or not.

With both of them having separate tablets it would be difficult to constantly keep an eye on what they are doing. Knowing how safe and age appropriate the content they are accessing is extremely important to me and many other parents. You can’t watch them constantly so Mobicip helps filter what they access. You can edit filters to block specific content too.

Another feature I really quite like is being able to block internet access at certain times. Say Eva is supposed to be getting dressed but tries sneakily watching a youtube video first, I can make sure she can’t! There is the option to white list and blacklist specific sites, block IP addresses and more!

 

You can download Mobicip on:

The App Store

Google Play Store

Chrome Web Store

Microsoft Windows

There’s a basic plan or you can upgrade to premium. You can also change your plan at any time!

Mobicip Is great for families, businesses and schools too. The Enterprise package protects over 20 devices depending on the need!

What do you think? Would you use an app like this to help monitor your children internet access?

10 reasons I missed my LGG4

I’m sure most of you have heard me moaning like a little girl about the death of my LGG4 followed by the long wait for it to be repaired & returned and some of you may possibly wondering why I keep banging on about the phone. Well yes partly I am a bit of a phone obsessed geek but the phone itself is genuinely the best phone I’ve had the pleasure of owning so far! So much so I decided to share with you 10 reasons I love it so much!

 

  1. Screen size – The LGG4 has a 5.5 inch Quantum 2K IPS (2560 × 1440 resolution 534 PPI) display. Something I never thought would bother me was screen size (considering I once had the Virgin Lobster 485 teeny tiny phone) but after using the G4 for 8 months then reverting back to smaller screen size for a month I seriously appreciate having a larger screen again. The images are so crisp and clear on the G4 anything smaller just doesn’t compare!
  2.  Memory – In this day and age with so many apps and games you need a decent amount of memory on most phones and 2GB really didn’t cut it. I could just about download facebook, twitter, instagram & wordpress but then couldn’t receive emails unless i deleted them constantly at least on the G4 with 32GB I never run out of memory & if I did there is a Micro SD slot to expand the memory further.
  3. Camera quality! – OK I may not be great at taking photo’s but I honestly love taking them and having them to look back on especially with the girls constantly growing and learning. Whilst I’m still learning my way around camera’s it really is noticeable how amazing the G4 camera is all round! Izzy was as pleased as me as she absolutely loves the front camera to take a good selfie!LGG4
  4. Signal quality – The LGG4 picks up my wifi 11 floors down and a good few yards away in the college opposite us yet my old HTC One X and even the Samsung Galaxy Young I have used over the last month I can barely get a wifi signal in my own kitchen! As for calls and texts my signal rarely fails on the G4 which eases a lot of my anxieties whereas the galaxy young rarely had signal.
  5. Phoning the fish! – I turned off my Smart Hub whilst I was without the G4 as I just didn’t have the memory to install it on the galaxy young and since the Mr’s phone is dying a slow death it literally takes hours to download anything even using wifi (his signal is pants!) I genuinely couldn’t be bothered to set it up on his phone. Now the G4 is back I plugged it all back in so we could continue phoning the fish. With the added Power Outlet I won the fish tank light and pump are now both using a power outlet and I even got round to installing the app on the Mr’s phone too.
  6. Google apps – Although the galaxy young also had Google apps and the capability to sync ONE Google account and the lack of memory meant it didn’t sync regularly or receive notifications properly. I have 3 Gmail accounts I like to keep on top of so only being able to sync one account was hell especially as I wasn’t able to sync my blogging Gmail account meaning I was late replying to a few emails! Now I have all my accounts synced up and get notifications again I can keep on top of it all much better. I can also use the calendar again which is extremely important for me to have since I forget EVERYTHING!
  7. Blogging tools – With the G4 I have the space to keep a range of apps including WordPress and Quick memo+ meaning I can write out posts as they come to me and save them to go back and edit them later. I can check all my social accounts regularly and chat to other bloggers again although admittedly I’ve done very little of this so far as I’ve been busy filling the phone up with apps and syncing my accounts when I’m not busy with life.
  8. Gaming – Oh how I missed playing games in moments of boredom! With lack of space, a tiny screen and awful signal I couldn’t play a single game. The graphics are amazing on the G4 and I am loving playing games such as reckless racing 3, crack attack and word dash again!
  9. Music – The G4 sound quality is great and I love listening to music when I’m on public transport or walking somewhere alone and I couldn’t wait to download all my favourite songs again ready for a moment of freedom 😉 haha!
  10. Youtube – I never realised just how much I relied on youtube until it was unusable on the galaxy young. Eva asks a ton of questions and some times the easiest way to explain things to her is by showing her educational videos and I missed being able to quickly show her a video. My crochet has been neglected slightly too as I was using my phone to watch tutorials.

So there are ten reasons why I missed my LGG4 (and hated the Samsung Galaxy Young). If your phone was damaged what would you miss most?

CatchMyPain

I came across this amazing app called CatchMyPain thanks to a member from a facebook group I am on. It is available on both the Google Play Store and the Itunes store by searching ‘CatchMyPain’.The app allows anyone with Chronic pain to track and log your pain and even lets you send it via email making it really easy to share with Dr’s etc!

Screenshot of CatchMyPain App Homepage

When you use create a pain entry there are 7 pages to complete. On the first page you are presented with a picture of the body and 5 colours to use. Mild pain – Yellow going all the way up to Dark red – Unbearable.

Using these colours you can colour in the area’s which are painful and how intense the pain is in that specific area. I love this as I find it hard to explain why I am in so much pain and this way I can show people where and how much it hurts so they can get a better idea.

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Pain Intensity options

The body rotates allowing you to colour wherever on the body you need to and theres an eraser if you want to start again.

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On the following page are you are given the option to edit the time frame of your entry so you can log exactly when the pain started and for how long it lasted.

I find this handy if you have a particularly bad day and dont feel up to making an entry until you are feeling better but still want to track your pain accurately as you can enter earlier dates and times too!

Next up is the overall ‘Pain Intensity’ which you are given a slider to move from No pain up to Worst pain imaginable.

On the fourth screen you are given a list of ‘Descriptions’ you can select that describe the types of pain and you can even add your own if you cant find the right description in the list. You can add as many as you like.

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‘Condition’ is the 5th screen where you are asked how you felt during the time frame selected on the second screen by choosing a face to represent ‘Happiness’, from a crying sad face to a smiley face.

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As I have found this app so useful I chose to add on the Stress and Fatigue sliders too for only £0.65!

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The sixth page is the weather here you can adjust time or date and sync it with your location or enter it manually and it will log the temperature which you can adjust if needed.

As you can see on the sixth page there is also the option to buy the full weather feature for £1.96 which I am still earning Google Play Store credit using the Google Opinion Rewards app! (Thank me later 😉 haha!)

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On the final screen you have the options to add in any comments you wish.

Having filled out several Pain entries I visited the Pain Chart to see what it showed. I was impressed that it had literally logged everything including the percentage of the body affected by pain!

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I like how it shows Happiness, Stress and Fatigue on here as it also gives people an idea of how the pain affects me. Using this chart I can also work out what actually helps me calm down and relax too, blogging and Knitting are definately helping me this week!

Another part of this app is ‘My Meds’ where it enables you to add any medications you take and you can edit the details of the drug as seen below and you can set the frequency rhey are taken too.

Again I decided to pay £1.14 so I could add on the Drug intake reminder as I am absolutely awful with remembering to take my tablets at the right time!

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There is also a built in community so you can chat with others, when you do this you are asked to set up a username and your display picture becomes the body from your last pain entry showing where and how intense the pain was/is.

Having had a look around the Google Play Store for a similar app several times before I was really happy and impressed when I tried this one out.

What more could you want? It helps you track everything, its an easier way to show friends, family and Dr’s if like me you are very forgetful and forget how to ‘word’ at times and all the data can be saved and emailed to anyone you want! This is a great app for a lot of #spoonies and I just had to share for those that hadn’t come across something like this before.

 

*This post is in no way affiliated with, sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies mentioned in this post.