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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An Open Letter From The Plus-Size Girl

It's OK not to be perfect. Life is more fun that way.

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To whoever is reading this,

My entire life has been a juggling match between my weight and the world. Since I was a young girl every single doctor my family took me to, told me I needed to lose weight. The searing pain of those words still stabs me in the side to this day. I have walked past stores like Hollister and American Eagle since I was 13.

Being plus-size means watching girls the same age as you or older walk into a store that sells the cutest, in style clothing and you having to walk into a store that sells clothes that are very out of style for a young girl. Being plus-size means being picked last in gym class, even if you love sports.

Being plus-size means feeling like you have to suck it in in pictures so you don't look as big next to your friends. Being plus-size means constantly thinking people are staring at you, even if they aren't.

The number on the scale haunts me. Every single time I think about the number I cringe.

Can I just say how going shopping is an absolute nightmare? If you haven't noticed, in almost every store (that even has plus sizes to begin with) plus-size clothing is closed off and secluded from the rest of the store. For example, Forever 21, There are walls around every side of the plus "department."

Macy's plus department is in the basement, all the way in the back corner. We get it that we are not what society wants us to look like but throwing us in a corner isn't going to change the statistics in America today. That being that 67% of American women are plus-size.

My life is a double-digit number being carved into my jiggly arms and thunder thighs. It is me constantly wanting to dress cute but turning to running shorts and a gigantic sweatshirt instead so that people don't judge me on my size.

It is time that the American society stops making plus size look like a curse. It will never be a curse. If every person was the same size, what would be the point of uniqueness? I will never despise who I am because while I was growing up multiple people told me that I needed to be a size 6 in order for a guy to fall in love with me. I will never hate myself for getting dressed up and being confident.

To all the girls reading this who may be plus-size,

It's OK! You're beautiful and lovable. If you want to buy that crop top, buy it. Life is too short to hide behind a baggy T-shirt. We are just as gorgeous as the girls that we envy. Be the one to change the opinion of the world. Fat rolls don't need to be embarrassing. Your stretch marks are beautiful. Don't ever let the world tell you not to eat that cheeseburger either.

In the end, this earthly life is temporary. We are on this earth for a blink of an eye. Don't let anything stand in your way. Wear the bikini, the crop top, and the short shorts. Post the sassy selfie you've had on your phone for 6 months and you won't post because you have a double chin or your head looks "too big." Who cares. BE YOU and love yourself while you're at it.

I'll start.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Hockmeyer

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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