Thank you, Spire for sponsoring this post. Discover calm and live a more mindful life by checking out the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker, available in Apple Retail stores nationwide and online here.
Over the past few months, I’ve shared my struggles in balancing life with you guys. I found myself getting caught in the whirlwind and swirl of leading a “busy” life and not making time for the things that mattered most. Last week, I wrote a raw, honest post sharing the steps I’ve taken to make space in my life so I can prioritize the things that matter.
What I didn’t share in that post is that there are other steps I’ve taken over the past few months to bring more calm into my daily life. During late July, I started to notice that my shoulders and body were more tense than normal, I was having a hard time going to sleep at night, not sleeping well, and experiencing anxiety. There were a number of external factors within my personal and professional life causing this stress, but what I also realized was that I wasn’t doing anything to help minimize it.
It’s amazing what one app or stone can do to help you focus on certain aspects of your life.
When the team at Spire sent me their new wearable device, Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker, I used this as a catalyst to begin focusing on improving my mindfulness and daily stress levels. Even before I started making changes to my calendar and schedule, I started looking at the areas that were a bit easier to control. Have you ever found yourself forgetting to breathe during a stressful meeting or clenching your jaw when you are stressed?
Being mindful isn’t always easy, especially when life gets busy but luckily it is something that we have full control over.
The small device, which is about the size of my thumb, tracks and creates patterns from your breath. Unlike other wearables, this can be worn on your bra or waist, making it invisible to others. When the Spire determines that you are stressed or tense, it reminds you to breathe with a simple vibration, signaling that you should take a minute to calm down through breathing exercises or a short meditation. The device will also vibrate if you have been sedentary for too long, reminding you that even a quick walk around the office can help relax you.
In addition to taking breathing and focus breaks, prompted by the Spire, here are three other things that I’ve incorporated into each of my days.
- Reading – While we love shows like “Night Of” just as much as the next person, Bo and I have both found that we sleep better and go to sleep more relaxed if we spend 30 minutes reading before bed. By 10pm each night we switch off our television, put our iPhones and iPads away, and spend 30 minutes reading. This new habit has helped me led to me finishing seven books during August and September, more than I read the previous six months.
- Meditation – The Spire app features more than 15 different boosts or short audio sessions which guide you through meditation or breathing exercises. Some are as short as 30 seconds while others are up to 60 minutes. I begin my day with the guided meditation boost, relax during the day with the 30 second calm boost and clear my mind around 3pm with the energize 3 minute boost. They include experts such as Dr. Deepak Chopra and meditation teacher Kim Nicol. These boosts have helped me realize that you don’t need much to bring space and calm into even the busiest of days.
- Yoga – I have recommitted to practicing yoga at least once per week in a formal class and at least once per week at home. The yoga I practice at home is often a shorter, more restorative class, complete with my favorite candle and some calming music. This time on the mat allows me to set aside the stress of the day and focus on how my muscles and body are feeling.
As you guys know, these reviews are always honest and my own opinion. Therefore, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the areas where I think Spire can improve.
- I wish it incorporated everything. In the future, I hope this wearable becomes one which tracks sleep, activity, breathing and more as I believe that combining all these items will truly help make this a best in class tracker. I know that they are working to make constant improvements and can only imagine what version 2.0 will be like!
- Their customer service has some opportunities. During the test we sent a few questions to their customer service after receiving the form email following set up. Two weeks later, we still haven’t received a response. I did however receive a quick response when I asked something on a social media channel so maybe it’s more about ensuring that they are in touch with their consumers across every touch point they provide.
- It is a little bulky. Both my husband and I felt that the wearable was a bit bulky. I found myself needing to remove it during yoga as it pressed into my chest bone during certain moves and we both found it uncomfortable to wear inside non-elastic pants, i.e suit pants vs workout shorts. Hopefully the next version is slimmer.
Regardless of these few flaws, I believe this is a great tool to use if you are finding yourself stressed and anxious and I look forward to continuing to use it, especially during the work day.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.