If you’ve read any of my articles on my other blog over at Medium, you’ve probably noted I suffer from anxiety disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s been rough to live with, especially after only being diagnosed with this back in 2013.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d check the Google Play Store to see what apps may be available that could help with emotion tracking and other self-help content related to my issues.
I found a few, but Pacifica stood out from the rest.
Pacifica is an app for stress, anxiety, and worry based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation, and wellness. Comprised of five core activities, Pacifica is designed as a daily tool to help people address stress and anxiety at a gradual pace. – About page
I am on my second week now, and I have found this app to be very useful, and even comforting. There are a lot of features locked away from me under a paywall, but, what is available is more than enough for my needs.
The app is separated among five categories. Today, Health, Progress, Groups, and Community.
The “Today” tab is your homepage, and asks how you’re feeling. Using a graphical UI, you select between Great, Very Good, Good, Okay, Not Good, Bad, Awful. Each one has 5-6 sub feelings that change according to your overall choice.
“Great” has sub options like Relaxed, Loved, and Happy. While “Awful” has Panicked, Anxious, Angry, and Stressed. You also have the option to add another word per main feeling.
Underneath all that, you have a text field to add your own comment. You can treat this as notes or even a small journal/diary entry. Personally, this has been used as notes since I already use Journey as my daily journal.
Within the “Health” tab, you can keep track of your day with ease. At the top is a giant heart graphic, and as you complete your own goals, the heart will fill. It gives you a great visual to look back on and see how you well or poorly you did.
The goals within are premade, but you can add/remove them to set the tab to apply to you and your lifestyle.
Goals include sleep time, caffeine consumption, time spent on hobbies, family time, etc. Some have amounts within a graphic wheel, while others may just be a yes/no response.
You have the ability to check back on prior days, either for reference, or to fill in something you may have missed before.
Progress, well, shows your progress! You have a really easy chart that shows your mood history. All the dots in the image above shows how this person’s mood went up and down not only throughout the week, but throughout each day too.
I mean, let’s face it. Our mood can go up and down like a yo-yo within an hour, let alone a whole day or week. Pacifica let’s you enter your mood as often as you’d like.
Pacifica has a tab named Groups, and this acts as a small messaging app within the larger app.
You can either create a group, enter a group code, or search an existing group.
As you can see above (this screen cap is my own) I’ve searched for “IBS” and was lucky enough to find a group with a few other people, all anonymous, who also have IBS. It’s been helpful speaking to each other about our common issue.
Oh, that is worth mentioning – you only have to enter in a nickname. You don’t have to treat this like Facebook and use all of your real info.
This section, I personally haven’t found to be as useful yet. This area is like a forum within the app. You drop in a section, leave a post, and come back to it later. It’s more of a one-off thing.
Me? I’d stick with the groups for more interaction and help.