The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

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Huddle Redefines The Importance Of Social Support: App Review

This writer was not compensated for reviewing this product and her opinions are her own.

When in-person support groups weren’t meeting the mark for one of the founders of the app, Huddle, he developed a solution. How about an app that provides community support through video?

I recently chatted with Tyler, one of the founders of Huddle, and he described how the app was developed to support addicts in recovery. They have since expanded this app to provide group chats for people with anxiety, self-image issues, eating disorders and physical disabilities, to name a few. Huddle is also proud to support undocumented individuals who need support. They have an “Immigrant” support group where people can discuss their anxieties, stories and hopes for the future.

support

 

Their groups include:

  • Depression
  • Self-Image
  • Addiction
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Relationships
  • High School Problems
  • College Stress
  • Military girlfriends/wives
  • People of Color
  • Abuse Recovery
  • Healthy Lifestyle Support
  • Bipolar
  • Borderline Personality Disorder/EUPD
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Semicolon Group
  • Side Effects
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief and Loss
  • LGBTQ + Community
  • Women’s Experiences
  • Support For The Betrayer
  • Body Positivity
  • PTSD + CPTSD
  • Quitting Tobacco
  • Parenting
  • Self-Love
  • Social Anxiety
  • Trichotillomania
  • Spectrum
  • Family Problems
  • Poz (HIV + status)
  • Caregivers
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Physical Disability
  • Immigrant’s Experience
  • Spina Bifida

Huddle believes that video provides a better conversation than text. When people are reaching out for help a text mesage can only go so far. Delayed responses in texts can be harmful to someone in need.

I have tested out Huddle’s app and one of the pieces I like is that you can choose to have your picture pixelated. Tyler mentioned that they notice people begin un-pixelating their pictures after they get comfortable in a group. I have facilitated group therapy sessions before and I have seen similar comfort levels change after people begin to feel less judgment and more open to share.

This app is easy to navigate and I love how it provides a synopsis of what to expect within each group. Plus, they provide hotline numbers for anyone in crisis. The app has a no-bullying policy as well.

As I spoke to Tyler about my work in outpatient settings he said that they hoped Huddle could be used as aftercare for someone exiting inpatient or outpatient treatment. When someone leaves addiction or mental health treatment, they are reminded a million times to “go to meetings” and “call your support network” but I always wonder if they stick to those promises. This app could be another resource for people who don’t have the time or financial means to attend meetings or support groups.

Peer networks and social supports are crucial in an age of isolation and tech addiction. The premise behind this app is client centered, sensitive to people’s mental health needs and appears to lessen the barriers people face when seeking support outside of their inner circle.

This app is now available on iTunes and you can join the waiting list for Android here!

 

2017 Needs New Coping Skills

2017 has really screwed with my ____________ (Fill in the blank).

Personally, this year has been hell on my productivity. For many of my friends there have been family struggles, health setbacks, career changes, you name it. I can absolutely attribute my troubles to the political climate.

As an empath, social media lurker and blogger, it’s impossible to stay away from the news. Sharing my content and connecting with my networks requires a heavy social media presence. Unfortunately, the consistent barrage of bad news is wreaking hell on my soul.

I honestly feel useless and unsure of how to help. I share information about food drives, donation efforts and whatever information is helpful and not “gossip.”

If you’re feeling exhausted like me this year, let’s create a new stack of coping skills.

Here is what I’ll be doing to cope in the next few months:

Preparation: For many people, being prepared can give you a sense of control. Prepared doesn’t always mean being organized and I am a classic example of this. My husband can vouch for this! Regaining a small sense of control in our lives is important when things are feeling out of control. Click To Tweet I have felt this lately, especially because of my earthquake trauma. When I feel edgy or unsettled, cleaning or organizing important papers helps me channel my energy effectively. Although there are many events in our lives we can’t prepare for, it can’t hurt us to have family emergency plans or first aid kits in the car. Our household has been clearing out clutter and donating them to hurricane efforts as well as stocking up on canned goods. Preparation and donating to others can increase your sense of purpose and eliminate clutter.

Movement: I have found it easier to unplug from negativity and bad news if I am outdoors or just moving. Sitting and binging on Netflix makes it too easy to pick up my phone, which goes against self-care and healthy coping. I am committing to more dog walks, bike rides after dinner, gym classes and weekend outdoor activities. The change of season is a perfect time to get fresh air, increase circulation to my organs and release funky energy that is undigested in my system. I recently watched a webinar that discussed the concept of “emotional digestion.” When our emotions get stuck or clogged, they become toxic in our system. It’s similar to food digestion. If we never expel what we consume, it stagnates and toxifies our system.

Challenge: How can you expel toxic emotions that haven’t been digested? How could movement help?

Asking For Help: We don’t have to suffer alone. Regardless of what we’re struggling with, how can we reach out safely to others? If all of our problems could be solved by asking friends and family, there would be no need for therapists. Think about it……Sometimes we have to share our frustrations or thoughts outside of our circles. If you’re having employment difficulties, wouldn’t you want to chat with someone who understands what you’re going through? Wouldn’t you lean towards articles or groups focused on this? I’ll be getting creative with my own battle plan and reaching out to my networks for clarity. I’m also venturing out with another therapy internship so I’ve been looking outside of my comfort zone for assistance. I recommend Facebook groups, local support groups and spiritual groups to be an added link of support. There are numerous Facebook groups for the recently divorced, infertility, career, health-related issues, grief, etc.

Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed!

Most importantly, we have to remind ourselves that no matter what is hurting our soul, we matter. We matter to someone. We have a purpose and our purpose doesn't change based on a bad season of our life. Click To Tweet Our ancestors have struggled with 10 times more than us, yet they made it through with less resources. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to cope. We’re all learning as we go!!

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