There’s never enough time in a day—no one knows this better than entrepreneurs. You have a lot on your plate, and we get that. It’s difficult to find time to slow down and relax, but it’s important to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced lifestyle. We know how much time you’ve dedicated to your business, but we think it might be time to dedicate some of it to yourself.
Research shows that stress levels amongst entrepreneurs have doubled since 2009 with 72% of entrepreneurs experiencing mental health concerns. Entrepreneurs are more likely to neglect their health, have poor nutrition habits, lack sleep and not get enough physical exercise, and Fortune Magazine found that 30% of startups fail due to the owners’ emotional state. In honour of Mental Health Week, we’ve found 5 great apps that can help make living a healthier, more balanced lifestyle a little easier for the busy Canadian entrepreneur.
5 apps to help you live a more balanced lifestyle
Sleep Cycle—an app as cool as the other side of the pillow!
On average, Canadian adults get 6.9 hours of sleep at night, and 60% of them feel tired most of the day. Some Canadians will go days without resting, which can be detrimental both professionally and outside of the workplace. An individual who’s gone more than 20 hours without sleep has the same level of impairment as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. If you’re amongst the members of the Canadian population not getting enough rest, don’t worry because there’s a nap for that.
Never wake up on the wrong side of the bed again! Sleep cycle is currently rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Apple’s App Store. It’s designed to help users better understand their sleep patterns so they can improve their quality of sleep. If you wake up every morning wanting to throw your alarm clock out the window—you may find this app useful. Using the accelerometer inside your phone, Sleep Cycle analyses your sleep patterns to determine when you’re sleeping lightest, within a half-hour window. This half-hour window is actually the best time for your alarm to go off and wake you up. For example, if you need to be up before 7 a.m., and Sleep Cycle experiences strong movement around 6:55 a.m., your alarm will go off at 6:55 instead of 7 a.m. This should result in a much more pleasant morning experience than a traditional alarm clock can provide.
[Pull quote option: “The result is so gentle and lovely it feels like being woken up by a mermaid stroking your hair or a unicorn nuzzling your toes.” – The Guardian.]
Pepperplate—the best thing to happen to cooking since sliced bread!
So many priorities, so little time! We know you’re busy, but you can’t neglect your health and well-being to make time for your business. Statistics Canada found that half of Canadian adults are not eating enough fruits and vegetables a day, 25% of adult males are above the recommended fat intake for the day, and 21% of adult females have carbohydrate intakes below the acceptable range. Another scary fact? Most Canadians don’t even understand food nutrition labels.
Pepperplate is the answer to your healthy cooking dreams. It combines your recipe storing, grocery shopping and meal planning needs into one easy-to-use platform. The days of searching through your recipe cards for the right dish are over—now all your recipes will be stored and searchable within the app. You can even upload photos of what the dishes look like for reference. If you’ve found recipes online that you want to save, simply connect to Pepperplate’s web app to import them into your library. If you’re heading to the grocery store, select the dishes you plan on making and Pepperplate will build you a shopping list to save you time. The app even sorts ingredients into categories to make your trip more efficient, and the handy calendar feature lets you build weekly meal plans to take the guess work out of dinner.
Acupressure: Heal Yourself—acupuncture for the faint of heart.
Statistics Canada found that 23% of Canadians aged 15 years or older described most of their days as “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful, with daily stress limits being highest for those aged 35-54. 60% of Canadians reported work as their main source of stress. Stress is becoming a nationwide issue that needs to be taken seriously. One way to combat this growing issue is through relaxation techniques such as acupuncture.
If you’re scared of needles, Acupressure: Heal Yourself is a good alternative for this relaxation therapy. The app is designed to help you target specific pressure points on your body to help relieve both physical and mental symptoms of stress. The app uses illustrations to show users where they should concentrate their self-massage pressure and is supposed to help with pain, addiction and stress.
Way of Life—breaking habits like breadsticks.
Do you have a habit you want to break? How about a New Year’s resolution you’d like to keep? Breaking away from a habit or trying to build up a new one can be a difficult task. Did you know that only 15% of Canadians meet the minimum recommended standard of exercise each week? Or that 13% of the population aged 15 years or older are current cigarette smokers? If you’re looking for ways to exercise more, improve your eating habits, get more sleep or break a bad habit like smoking, Way of Life might be exactly what you need.
Way of Life is like your own personal motivator. The app helps keep users on track to meeting their goals by allowing you to create a personal “journal” that tracks your progress and sends you helpful reminders for weekdays, weekends or specific days of the week. You can add a custom message and an alarm if you want. The trend tab uses charts, graphs and other visual tools to help demonstrate your progress. There’s even an interactive guide to help you get started. Other features include:
- Archived completed goals
- Scoreboard with instant feedback
- Note-taking capability
- Backup/restore option
- Ability to export data to Dropbox, email or as a CSV file
Headspace—clearing out the clutter!
People have been meditating for thousands of years all over the world. This practice is proven to have a variety of positive effects on your physical and mental health, including:
- Increased immune ability
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased aches and pains
- Decreased stress
- Increased productivity
One study found that meditation could decrease your chance of disease by 50%, while another found that 69% of those who meditate experience less anxiety and 65% reported a strong sense of well-being. Is there anything meditation can’t do?
While the benefits sound great, meditation is not easy. It can be tough to clear out all the thoughts in your head and just relax, which is why Headspace is such a handy tool. It refers to itself as “your gym membership for the mind.” It teaches users meditation and mindfulness techniques. You begin by selecting a category. The options include depression, self-esteem, stress, anxiety and sleep. Then you choose how long you’d like your session to be: 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Each selection has a different meditation exercise for you to do to help you relax and clear your mind. Headspace has received rave reviews from the New York Times, the Huffington Post and Business Insider.
Canadian small business owners are often starved for time, juggling multiple responsibilities and not treating their bodies as well as they should. Your mental and physical health are just as important to your business’ success as your hard work. Make sure you’re taking the proper steps to ensure a healthy, well-balance lifestyle!
This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.