Taking care of our well-being doesn’t have to include another person. Constant uncertainties make it hard to rely on others which is why we are trying to care for ourselves independently. When the world seems a bit scary, our need for control and self-reliance also increases. Therefore, people are taking the matter into their own hands to take care of their (emotional) well-being independently. They are recreating more independence and inner harmony by doing so.
To help ourselves, we use products and our surroundings. These tools allow us to self-regulate physically and emotionally to give us back some of the freedom we lost to create a more well-suited life for our current state. We are normalizing the need for well-being and how each of us deals with it differently. This results in becoming more aware of interpersonal differences and understanding the importance of taking care of ourselves.
Topographical Relaxation Smartphone Cases
Chloe Leigh-Smith designed this conceptual phone case called E.Cue. E.Cue is a health-focused smartphone case that helps manage life for people on the autism spectrum or people that deal with psychological or emotional issues. The case works by bringing a 3D pattern on the case into action when the person who uses it feels emotionally distressed. The user is asked to complete a self-evaluation to identify and manage their emotions. (E. Cue, n.d.)
The E.Cue case is a product that enables users to take care of their emotional well-being independently. It gives the person an opportunity to get in touch with their emotions where they can choose independently how to deal with their well-being. It builds the user's confidence they can take care of themselves without professional help, which is very important for their well-being.
OTO the hugging chair
OTO created a chair with inflatable sides, reducing stress in people (with sensory disorders). Because of this stress relief, they feel calmer and more available for learning and social interaction. OTO was codesigned with autistic people, but the chair can be useful for everyone (Stress-Reducing Hugging Chairs, 2021).
The chair enables you to sit back down and independently self-regulate. It is designed to stimulate mindfulness and reduce stress independently, without talking or relying on someone. It is also designed specifically for people who struggle with these problems, therefore being fully suitable for the target group.
Space for wellbeing
Design studio A+N created a researched-based space for well-being together with psychologist Renske Bongers and curator Justine Kontou. The creators believe our surroundings greatly impact our mood, so they use materials and installations that create a sensory experience. They aim to develop interior products that help improve people's health and happiness. The creators took inspiration from nature, wanting to stimulate the senses unconsciously to enhance a specific mood.
Knowing how much our environment influences us helps us understand how we can use it to benefit us sufficiently. The exterior of our lives helps our "interior", our inner well-being, thoughts and emotions. It allows us to choose a beneficial environment for our well-being where we can fully develop ourselves. Products such as this one normalize our common need for inner sanity.
ElliQ is the first proactive and voice-operated care robot designed to help people who spend most of their time at home be independent. ElliQ supports you in your social, physical, and mental well-being. It is designed to help you age independently. It has numerous features like daily check-ins, inspirational quotes, games, general health assessment, sleep, pain, anxiety, depression, digital greeting cards, and a search for local professionals.
Being overwhelmed with information and choice has put our basic needs in the background. This causes stress and unawareness of your emotions since you don’t have time to deal with them. Our products and services have good quality. However, there is an aspect missing. An aspect which addresses how the product influences the user’s emotional well-being creates greater value for the user. It doesn’t only serve a functional purpose but also creates a safe space for emotional well-being.
At the same time, everyone is trying to deal with their well-being differently, and we are starting to accept these different ways of self-regulating.