This post is in collaboration with Bellabeat.
Back in August I shared that I’d experienced a mental health crisis. It was my first crisis in a long while, and the way I handled it was a real testament to how far I’ve come. I recognised that I wasn’t functioning well in the world, a few years ago that would never have happened. I was able to do what I needed to do in the circumstances. I did right by myself and my health. I slowed down, I sought support, I managed my condition in the right way for me and curtailed a crisis that could’ve escalated into something much worse. In a way I came out of this crisis feeling even stronger about my mental health, knowing that I could handle things.
During the short time I had off work to deal with things I received a package from the team at Bellabeat. This package contained a Leaf, wellness tech designed to guide you towards being the best version of yourself. It sounds unutterably cheesy, but it really works. My Leaf became a really useful tool when I was struggling. You see, when I’m in crisis I forget the things that help me. Things like drinking enough water, moving, meditating, sleeping. The Leaf helps track these elements. During those recovery days it was a really helpful reminder to look after the basics, and today it’s a great way to make sure I continue to look after myself and live my best life.
The Leaf stands out for me because it’s so different to any other ‘wellness’ tech out there at the moment. Firstly there’s how it looks. It doesn’t look like tech. So many trackers are, frankly, pretty ugly. The Leaf isn’t. It could pass as jewellery. It’s also versatile, you can wear it on your wrist, as a necklace, clipped to your clothing or attached to one of Bellabeat’s beautiful mala beads. Beyond it’s looks, the Leaf is different because it’s not just focused on how many steps you’ve taken, or calories you’ve burned. Yes, you can look these metrics up on Bellabeat’s app, but the Leaf aims to be more holistic. It looks at the big picture from how much and how well you’ve slept, to whether you’re hydrated and what stage in your cycle you’re at. I’m a huge fan of looking at wellbeing in the round, especially when you’re managing mental health conditions, and for me the Leaf has all the right prompts to encourage me to take responsibility for my self.
Alongside the Leaf, Bellabeat also sent headphones and mala beads to help me experience 3D meditation. 3D meditation is all about immersing yourself in the moment through guided meditations that include binaural sounds to stimulate brain functions, breathing exercises to calm the mind (you know I love a breathing excercise!) and using mala beads to count your mantras - something I found particularly soothing when battling with some of the more unhelpful comments about my mental health. Meditation is something I know helps me, but I am terrible at practicing it. I know it’s a habit, and I know how habits form, but for some reason this is one I’ve never quite been able to master. Having short guided meditations at my finger tips has really helped me to cultivate the habit, and it’s reassuring to know they’re right there when I need them.
The Leaf genuinely helps me stay on top of the things I need to take responsibility for to stay well. It’s not a cure by any stretch, but when life is crazy and there’s a million things to think about having a tool that helps me focus on looking after myself in holistic way is really helpful. It keeps me on track.
How do you keep yourself on track when it comes to the basics?
*images: Alex Dixon Photography
** this post was created in collaboration with Bellabeat, but all opinions are my own.