This post is a collaboration with O2, but all thoughts and experiences are my own.
We’re all aware of the importance and benefits of taking care of our physical and mental health. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, connecting with nature and a focus on managing stress are all well-documented ways to make sure we stay fit and healthy. However, we don’t necessarily look to our smartphones to help us, even though they’re on-hand pretty much all the time.
Wellness is often not seen as something that iPhones are particularly good at supporting. But the iPhone 12 actually gives us access to a whole host of features and apps that can help us take care of our mental and physical wellbeing – you just need to learn how to get the best out of it.
Here are some of the ways I’ve been using my iPhone to improve my wellness over the past year.
There are a huge amount of fitness apps available for iPhone, so whatever you’re into there’ll be something to complement your exercise regime. I’m a big fan of the free version of Strava and record all my runs on there; I find it an easy way to track my progress and stay motivated. I also like being able to share an activity with someone else, so when we go on a family walk or bike ride only one of us needs to record it.
The iPhone 12 also comes with the Health app, which gathers data from your iPhone, Apple Watch and other apps to create a personalised health profile. I must admit I completely ignored this app until a few months ago, but it’s a really easy (and free) way to monitor your wellness and see your progress, all in one place.
A healthy diet is a big part of wellbeing, and it hasn’t exactly been easy for most of us to get the balance right over the last couple of years. For me, combining eating well with regular exercise is the best way to feel good, and I also find that a balanced diet helps to keep my mood on a more even keel.
There are lots of iPhone apps that can help to support healthy eating. I like the Easy Meals app which is full of healthy meal ideas and allows you to search on a particular ingredient. I’ve also discovered the NHS Food Scanner app, which helps you make healthier choices when you’re doing the groceries shop. You simply scan the barcode on a product and it gives you nutrition information and suggests some healthier options. Imagine how much time and effort it would take to do this without an iPhone!
If you find it hard to switch off at the end of a busy day, or just need a gentle reminder to stop and pause every now and then, a relaxation app can come in very handy.
I use the Calm app most days, and it definitely helps me unwind. I love the fact that the mindfulness exercises are available in a range of lengths, so I can’t make the excuse that I don’t have enough time to prioritise my wellness. The soundscapes and sleep meditations are also great at bedtime; when I use them my quality of sleep is definitely better and I wake up feeling more refreshed the next day.
Spending time on a favourite hobby is a brilliant way to improve your mood and boost your wellbeing. Now you might not think that gardening and iPhones go particularly well together, but I use mine pretty much every time I garden.
For starters, a plant ID app is invaluable if like me you’re always spotting plants you like the look of when you’re out and about. These apps are getting more and more sophisticated, with the ability to identify most plants just by pointing your iPhone 12 at them.
Another really obvious feature of the iPhone that I find invaluable for gardening is the camera. I find it so useful to be able to take a quick picture of my garden borders each season, so I have a record of which plants worked well and which ones need some attention. And of course, being a garden blogger I take full advantage of the amazing camera to share lovely plants and flowers on my social media channels and in my blog posts. This last one is part of the day job, but I like to think that I’m helping everyone who gets a little dose of nature from my pictures to feel better 🙂
My iPhone has definitely played a significant role in my wellness journey over the last year. It’s now an integral part of self-care for me, and I know there’s still lots of potential to explore when it comes to helping me build on good habits and keep motivated.
If you use your phone to support your wellbeing I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments.