Without a doubt, one of the top five most frustrating aspects of lupus is its near-sentient ability to creep up and pull out the rug from underneath you. Think you’ve found your triggers? Once the season changes, or your medication or stress level, you can be dealing with a new slew of triggers that were never a problem before. The same can go for your symptoms, reactions to medications, food – or tonight in my case, sleep patterns.
And frankly, there are just some stressors, like unpredictability, that no amount of positive thinking or deep breathing are going to help with at 3am. Sometimes, you need a little extra zen handed to you on a nice, digital silver platter. So, here are some fabulous websites wholly devoted to giving you a zen break – from any screen, at any time, day or night.
If you google “most relaxing websites”, Calm.com will be one of the first sites to jump out at you. I would say it’s high ranking is well-deserved; the website offers some beautifully relaxing visuals with slow instrumentals and customizable timers. The interface is intuitive; no added stress in browsing through the options to find an image you’ll enjoy. Even if you’re feeling pressed for time, with one click of your mouse, you can set a 2-minute voice-guided meditation rolling, or just enjoy the music. A free iOS app (with optional paid upgrades) is available for your iphone (sorry, no Android version yet).
Rainfor.me focuses on just the soothing sound of rain, played on your speakers or headphones with a crisp quality. The nice thing about background sounds like rain, is that you can easily blend the site with music from your own computer or another website to tailor it more to your liking.
RainyMood is another rain-focused, nature-sound site and app. Listen to the sound of rain alone while watching the full-screen storm animation, or click to hear a combo of rain plus the site’s song of the day. Available on both iOS and Android.
If you need to be shamed into stillness a bit, Do Nothing for 2 Minutes can actually make being still a game. When you open the website, you’re presented with a lovely still photo of waves, accompanying surf-and-turf sounds and the mission to – you guessed it – do absolutely nothing but listen for 2 minutes. Touch the mouse or keyboard and you get a little red “Fail” message and the clock resets.
If the above choices are a little too dull and passive, there are also some fun (yet still relaxing) sites that include more interactive ways to occupy the mind.
This site has a simple premise – open the url and use your mouse to play with a twinkling swirl of colored dots. The multicolored swarm dance around and follow your cursor around the screen. This site is strictly visual – you’ll have to supply your own sounds if you want them.
Do you remember that 3D Windows screensaver, the one with the moving pipes? Yep, somebody made that into an interactive website. The graphics moved a little too fast for me to feel very relaxed, but it’s a fun, engaging site nonetheless. Leave the mouse to its own devices and watch a 3d line plot a course into digital space. Moving the mouse, changes the trajectory of the line and even allows you the ability to backtrack and see your past course.
Beautiful, graceful and endlessly engrossing. This site is a little more complex then the above, but that’s only because the few options it offers can yield endless variations – and you’ll want to play with them all. The basic idea is simple; by whipping your cursor across the screen (or your finger if you’re using the iOS app) you create swirls and patterns of color while optional, soothing music plays in the background. Colors can be blended and options for mirroring points, spirals, etc, means you’ll never get bored. I think a great addition would be a “lazy” mode, where the program generates patterns for you.