Words like “self-care” and “wellness” are ablaze all over the internet. Every day, women are being pressured by the mainstream media to purchase the latest self-care craze that will cure their Sunday Scaries, or social media sites flood their feeds with inspirational quotes that are actually pretty hard to live up to, well-intentioned or not. However, when we actually sift through the clutter surrounding self-care standards and wellness expectations, we can see the trends’ benefits for what they are – helpful and pretty freaking fun to engage in.

Aside from restorative sleep methods, and as refreshing as Korean face mask sheets are, there are lesser-known means of self-care that promote wellness through the use of technology. That’s because technology helps us be more productive in all aspects of life and work, and productivity in itself walks hand-in-hand with self-care today. Developing a consistent and healthy routine, eliminating time-consuming, non-valuable stresses, and creative outlets are all key when it comes to quality time that prioritizes you, and tech can help! So, what are the best examples of how high-tech can deliver self-care?

Podcast perspectives and audio accessories

Self-care can be introspective, especially when combined with trendy podcast segments and channels. Most people who practice self-care routinely find themselves tuning into the latest episode of a podcast that speaks to them directly and evokes emotion. The chosen podcast can be something that hits close to home, like The Hilarious World of Depression or Summer Innanen’s body positive station, Fearless Rebelle Radio. Or, the podcast can appeal to certain interests; are you an aspiring wine connoisseur? Try Wine for Normal People.

Pairing this self-care routine with a set of Bose noise-canceling headphones will do the trick – blocking out the world and letting you focus on yourself and your needs for however long you might need. But, when we say noise-canceling headphones, we really do mean noise-cancelling. Compared to other traditional audio accessories, noise-canceling headphones are safer for the ears since they don’t emit radiation. In fact, they’re actually beneficial to your physical health, which just adds to the positive impact their use has on your mental state. They relieve you from loud, environmental noises that damage eardrums, allowing you to focus on your podcast, white noise, or soothing tunes and spend self-care in absolute solitude.

Culinary therapy and kitchen gadgets

Cooking is a great self-care activity that comes with added value; not only are you practicing a new skill while improving your level of patience, but you’re also feeding yourself something delicious in the process. Cooking as self-care can look like weekly meal prep, a pre-planned date night, a quiet family dinner, or it can be a challenge where you get to reap the fruits of your labor afterward. Cooking has also been cited as a treatment method for many mental health issues, as it can provide a person with a safe creative or expressive outlet.

Kitchen gadgets can be fun, and they can help a singular chef take on the job of many. Crock-pots, iron skillets, and rice cookers have made great strides in the culinary department, and have multiple functions that do way more than what we traditionally envision. Perhaps you want something a bit more techie? Try out a warming butter knife that heats up as it slices! Or maybe even a cheese-melting pan. The sky’s the limit these days! For anyone looking to keep up with culinary trends, join the cult of the Instant Pot, which became an internet phenomenon and inspired a legion of passionate foodies and home cooks. And, for meat-eaters out there, this smart thermometer takes the guesswork and worry out of cooking meat to perfection, so your next cooking session is truly therapeutic.  

Photography feelings and creative cameras

Social media has only heightened the photography craze, sending everyone into a picture-taking frenzy for “likes” and comments across all platforms. However, photography is 100% a skill that calls for a unique eye. As a self-care tactic, photography provides those who practice with a new perspective or outlook on life… literally. Photography also has the potential to inspire travel, whether it be a local or international destination. This sort of self-care activity is great for those who need a mix of activity, as it spans from getting out to going into  a darkroom or on a laptop, where the private time and focus really kicks in. The colors, the lighting, the editing, the re-imaging, you name it – photographers are creating masterpieces as if they’re solving puzzles, giving their brains a workout in the process. Self-care doesn’t always have to be about “turning off.”

While Go-Pros are a popular camera of choice these days, there are still other photography gadgets that can take your self-care to the next level. Handheld 360 models, 3D foldable camera sets, and mirrorless camera kits are making a name for themselves in the space, adding new dimensions to the shots taken. For old school photographers, the Polaroid is making a serious comeback. The 90’s style camera has reintroduced itself with quite a few new sleek models and feature upgrades suited to the new needs of the digital age.

Mindful meditation and monitoring devices

The words meditation and mindfulness may both fall under the “buzzword” category, but they became popular for valid reasons. In terms of self-care, mediation can make a huge impact through a series of small, timely increments. Meditating can increase self-awareness and boost self-love and overall confidence levels. Taking this time to think inwardly and connect with the physical parts of your body can help you appreciate the way it carries you through life on a daily basis, which is something we all often forget to do.

So, how do we infuse tech with something so holistic and natural? It couldn’t hurt to try out a stress management clip-on, which monitors your breathing patterns so you can gauge how much you need to slow down, and whether or not changing your thought process in a meditative state could help you relax better. Or, give a brain-sensing headband a go! A brain sensor headband monitors your neurons and wave activity, helping you refocus when your mind wanders off to an irrational or erratic place. For anyone who wants to keep their body free of any extra devices, I would also recommend Calm, an up and coming mobile app that aids stress reduction with meditation techniques.

While many people would argue that excessive screen time and an attachment to gadgets could hinder self-care, I tend to differ; especially when the intersection of self-care activities and cool gadgets is easy to locate. Integrating the use of technology into our self-care routines doesn’t have to equate to digital dependency. These gadgets, which only enhance our “me” time, serve us well for a variety of reasons. They positively impact our intellect and the ability to be educated or informed, they allow us to cultivate a skill set or express ourselves, and of course, they help us to get in touch with ourselves – our breathing, our brain waves, and our emotional state of well being.