Pacifica: An App to Help with Anxiety and Stress

Pacifica: An App to Help with Anxiety and Stress

A great app I recently found
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One of the first tasks I was given as an intern at Catholic Charities was to research and find some phone apps that would help with anxiety, depression, weight management and med management for our clients. Knowing that I suffer from pretty bad anxiety at times I decided that would be the first one I would tackle. The first app that I stumbled across was Pacifica. Pacifica is an app you can download on IOS or Android. It has a few different ways to help you monitor your anxiety and your moods as well as suggesting things you can do to help your mood.

When you first open Pacifica you will be asked to sign up. You can connect with your Google account, your facebook account or your Apple ID. You will be asked to set an overall goal that you want to work towards while using Pacifica.

There is a lot you can do on Pacifica without having to pay for a membership. Anything you see with a lock on it, means you have to be a member to use that feature. However, I have found that I have a lot I can do without being a member.

PLEASE NOTE: All photos are screenshots of my personal account. I am not affiliated with Pacifica in any way other than through my personal use.

1. The Daily Tracking Screen

The first screen you come across in Pacifica is your daily tracking screen. This allows you to pick where you want to go first. I usually start by choosing my mood.

2. The Mood Screens

First, you click on the mood button at the center of your home screen. This allows you to scale your mood from Great to Awful. You can also address and add any feelings that may be causing your mood to be the way it is.


After you hit done, you are brought back to your daily tracking screen which will now display your mood at the bottom and ask if you'd like to take action to combat your mood.

When you click on take action you are brought to screen that suggests activities you can do in the app to help improve your mood. You are also given the ability to pick your energy level which will change the suggested activities.

2. The Hope Board

On your hope board, you can add pictures, quotes, anything really that makes you hopeful. You can look at your board when you are having a bad day to see the things that make you hope for a better day. Currently, I have pictures of me and my fiance and of my cats!

3. The Health Tab

This tab is pretty cool. It helps you monitor daily habits that can improve or deteriorate your health. It helps your track things such as your eating, your water intake, your exercise, if you've had any caffeine, how much time you've spent with pets, friends, family or your partner and a wide variety of other things. You can pick and choose which ones you want by scrolling to the bottom of the health screen and hitting the 'add a daily habit' button.

4. Thoughts

This is one section I haven't played around with much yet, but it seems like it could be incredibly useful in the near future. This allows you to track your thoughts and how you got to them. It allows you to record your thoughts, record any traps that bring you to those thoughts and helps you reframe your thoughts into a more positive light.

5. The Goals Screen

Here you can set yourself goals you want to accomplish in the next few days or in that day itself. By clicking on the green plus sign you can find one of the goals that Pacifica already has in their system or you can make your own. I try to choose several goals to accomplish over the day.

6. The Meditations

This is the icon that looks like the top of a lit match on the bottom of your daily tracking screen. Here you can choose from a few different meditations to help you calm down, relax, be mindful or deal with a stressful situation. Each day Pacifica allows you to try one of the premium meditations for free! I use the deep breathing meditation each day when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep.

7. The Guided Paths

This is the circle with an arrow icon on the bottom of your daily tracking screen. These are audio lessons that have been recorded by a psychiatrist to help you manage your stress and anxiety. I haven't gotten very far with these yet, but hope to explore them more soon.

8. The Community Boards

This is the text bubble icon on the bottom of your daily tracking screen. Here you can make a username and speak in various community boards about what issues are current in your life or you can suggest ways to help other people with their issues. I'm currently only a member of one board for overthinking because that is one of my biggest faults when it comes to my anxiety.


Why Am I Using Pacifica?

Overall, Pacifica has helped me a lot. I set goals every morning and I complete four or five daily. It helps me work through bad thoughts and stressful situations.

Cover Image Credit: Belle Papillon

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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

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Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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