Can Technology Be the Secret to Better Self-Care?
New technology and digital assistants that can help you get ahead of stress.
Stress: Good or bad, it’s part of life. And while it’s something that can’t be eliminated, there are ways to improve how it’s handled. It’s the primary goal behind self-care, the practice of improving wellbeing through stress management techniques.
But stress management can be an uphill battle if you’re not doing things to prevent stress. Staying ahead of the things that cause stress may be the most effective approach—and new technologies and digital assistants are rising to the occasion.
Get peace of mind with set-it-and-forget-it tech and tools to head off stress
When Ben Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he probably didn’t imagine those words applying to smartphones, data security, and artificial intelligence. But here we are—and fighting stress with technology is more popular than ever.
Removing small daily stressors goes a long way to helping maintain physical, emotional, and mental energy reserves. Whether it’s finding better ways to manage time, getting more value from your money, improving home security, or monitoring online identity theft around the clock, there are technologies to provide you with more peace of mind.
Make getting more value from your money easier
Even if you’re generally confident about your finances, unless you have time to review your statements line by line, things like suspicious charges, increases in recurring payments, or double swipes can zap your zen. This can make it difficult to rest assured you’re getting the most from your money.
Eno, Capital One’s assistant, helps keep an eye out for those “unpleasant surprises.” Eno can send automatic alerts and helpful reminders, and allows you to respond to fraud alerts right over text. Eno always has your back, with alerts that can:
- Notifies you of potential fraudulent charges with 24/7 alerts
- Helps you shop online with confidence using virtual card numbers. Virtual numbers are unique, merchant-specific numbers served up by Eno that allow you to shop online without giving your actual card number during checkout.
- Alerts you when a recurring monthly bill is higher than usual
- Checks in about generous tips or possible double swipes to help you catch potential mistakes
Stay safe online
With all we do online, it’s more important than ever to ensure your identity is safe and your accounts are locked down. While you can’t completely prevent a hack, you can deter it—or minimize its consequences. Many people rely on identity theft protection services like Identity Guard or LifeLock for 24/7 monitoring and restoration assistance.
There are other steps you can take to rest easy that your accounts are safe. Try enabling 2-factor authentication where you can, which only allows someone with access to your device to have a code required to log in.
Speaking of online activity, apps and software can help protect kids online by filtering content, monitoring activity, and creating per-user settings for multiple kids.
Keep an eye on home when you’re not there
There are plenty of options for home security cameras on the market today, and plenty of reasons to use them. For starters, the more we shop online, the more packages get sent to our homes—and thieves can snatch them within minutes of delivery.
Camera systems with integrated apps let you check on things when you’re away, answer the door remotely, set motion alert notifications, and program your thermostat, lights, and other devices.
Set yourself up for better sleep
Sleep is a no-brainer when it comes to self-care—even naps are getting respect as effective ways to help calm the mind, bust stress, and boost productivity. Aside from just putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode when it’s time to start winding down, you can pack it with pretty powerful tools to improve your sleep routine. Create alerts and routines when it’s time for bed—and time to wake up; use white noise apps for nights when you’re sleeping somewhere new or noisy; or, try meditation apps to smooth out the rough edges.
Stay two steps ahead of everyday inconveniences
What are some of your less consequential stress triggers, habits, or inconveniences you can head off with smart tech to reduce stress? There are apps and smart tech that help you out with little setbacks like:
- Losing your keys, phone, laptop, or other important items. Try a Bluetooth-enabled tracker like Tile to find commonly misplaced items.
- Getting stuck in traffic when there’s a better route. Waze collects data from other users to give you real-time reroute suggestions.
- Missing an appointment. Integrated calendar apps pull sync up your calendar, to-do lists, and email to organize your day.
- Picking out what to wear. Wardrobe apps can give you tailored suggestions based on what’s already in your own closet using local weather, the season, and the nature of the event.
- Going to the store and forgetting an important item. Shared list apps can save you trips back to the store. See commonly purchased items, integrate your favorite recipes, and sync with your voice-enabled smart device so you can easily add things as you think of them.
Engaging in a self-care strategy that promotes all-around better health and well-being should be a priority, not a luxury. By adopting a few of these technologies, you won’t have to change your whole routine to get a little better at self-care.