Edtech Nerds Gift Guide: Mindfulness

Written by Destiny Wagner

December 6, 2023

Build Your Mindfulness

It’s the holiday season and the EdTech Nerds are in full cheer!

To kick off the season, being such a gadget Nerd, I’m putting together a series of gift guides focused on each of the EdTech Nerds Five Pillars: Creativity, Community, Mindfulness, Efficacy, and Efficiency. Each post contains some thoughtful ideas for fun and useful gifts you can give to your fellow educators (or yourself) to help bring a little more joy to all of your second semesters.

This series of posts are our top picks for each pillar. Click on the pillars below to take you to the other posts.  For our entire collection of recommended gadgets and gizmos, check out our Wakelet collection here.

These posts are not sponsored by any of the products listed. All Amazon links, however, are affiliate links.

Mindfulness

The Mindfulness Pillar is at the heart of EdTech Nerds. Every interaction with educators, every product we create, and every presentation or course we develop all stem from mindfulness practices that alleviate stress, abate the burnout, and keep us mentally and physically healthy. 

This section of the Gift Guide is purposeful with your time both in and out of the classroom. It’s not about the time we have but rather the time we make. Make a little time for you. Deliberately shed some stress, unload your worries, and bring yourself out of the struggles of the past or the uncertainty of the future and into the current moment so you can seize the opportunities at hand to enjoy what matters most to you. When you are at your best, it comes across to your students and encourages them to give their best too. 

WiThings Scale and BPM Connect

IMPORTANT: We at EdTech Nerds are not physicians or medically trained professionals. Please work with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. We also recommend that you take your blood pressure cuff with you to your doctor to learn how to use it correctly and consistently. There are several factors that can dramatically alter your blood pressure reading if you are not using the equipment properly. 

Staying healthy is critical, so having good tools to help monitor aspects of your health is important. I’m also not afraid to say that I’m getting older and the health concerns are starting to roll in.

To keep track of a few of these important measurements, I’ve been using the WiThings Scale and Blood Pressure cuff. Both are clinically certified and, in my experience, are pretty darned accurate. Both connect to an app on your phone that can also connect with Apple Health. The app can also generate reports to share with your healthcare provider, should you need to do so.

They’re very easy to use and the blood pressure cuff is rechargeable, portable, and comes with a durable carrying case.

The scale measures and tracks not only weight, but also BMI, bone mass, and water percentage. It can also give you a snapshot of your local weather. I know… why the weather, right? It’s actually pretty handy as you’re likely rather under dressed while checking your weight, so it helps you determine what to wear for the day. Maybe I can put this under the Efficiency Pillar, too?

All measurements for both the BP Cuff and the Scale are recorded in the app so you can track your progress over time, set goals, and get pertinent advice from experts.

The WiThings Body+ Bathroom Scale is available at Amazon for around $100. 

The WiThings BPM Connect is available at Amazon for around $120.

Yoga Tune Up ® Therapy Balls

I first learned of these when I took a Chair Yoga workshop offered by Yoga with Chrissy. The teacher, Chrissy Cortez-Mathis, took us through a series of exercises with the Yoga Tune Up ® therapy balls. After a few minutes of rolling the balls on my arms, pecs, and shoulder muscles, I was astounded at both the muscle relief and the gain in flexibility in such a short amount of time. (I secretly wondered if Chrissy had gone to Hogwarts and had special powers she wasn’t sharing). Alas, it was the wonder of the therapy balls. These 2 ½-inch diameter spheres of magic are your own personal massage pressure tools. 

Target your areas of stress by gripping and grabbing the skin while working the deep layers of muscle and fascia. Learn more about the exercises you can do at Tune Up Fitness or book a class or workshop with Chrissy for a personalized experience.

The Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls are available at Amazon four around $18.

Owala FreeSip Water Bottle

This is hands-down the best and last water bottle you will ever need to buy (well, except for the extras you’ll want to get as gifts for all your favorite people). It’s triple-insulated, meaning that cold water you put in stays cold even if you leave the bottle in your car all day in the Texas summer heat (ahem, personal experience). I also love the option to choose how you drink – sip from the built-in straw (my choice) or tip it up and swig from the open spout. Just push the button to flip open the lid. Did I mention that this water bottle is leak-proof?  This water bottle is one of those IYKYK secrets. Trust us and give it a try. 

They’ve also added a ton of colors and design options recently, so there’s definitely one for you. They also come multiple sizes ranging from 24 ounces up to 40.

The 24 oz. Owala FreeSip Water Bottle is available at Amazon for around $26.

Check out the Owala Amazon Store for more options.

Gel Eye Mask

If you simply aren’t getting enough hydration by using your Owala FreeSip water bottle, you may start to notice a decline in your energy and perhaps the dreaded headache. As someone prone to migraines, this gel eye mask is a life saver. I keep it in the fridge so it’s always on hand when I feel the tension starting to rise. There are other benefits as well – reduce eye puffiness, cool relief when the AC is broken, dark circles, eye fatigue, or simply being able to close your eyes for a few minutes of peace. 

I appreciate that this mask is double-sided, with medical grade plastic on one side and a soft plush fabric on the other. The soft plush side is nice when you may be sensitive to more direct cold or when you’re drowsy and might fall asleep wearing the mask. It also feels more indulgent, like you’re getting an at-home spa treatment. The stretchable strap is adjustable to fit most heads and stays securely fastened with velcro. 

Our favorite Gel Eye Mask is available at Amazon for around $8.

Balance App

My favorite app for mindfulness is by far the Balance App. With a plethora of meditation categories, you’ll learn skills such as breathing techniques, body scans, relaxation, finding focus, and better sleep. The more you practice, the better the app gets because it customizes the meditations based on your feedback. I haven’t found a more personalized experience in any other app. There’s a reason this app is the winner of Google’s “Best App of the Year” award. 

Wanna know the best news?  All new users get an entire year of premium content for free. After that, it’s $11.99/month or $69.99/year. Also keep an eye out for special flash sales such as a deeply discounted lifetime subscription. 

The Balance app is available in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store or via their website

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