These will help you cope with COVID-19 lockdown stress
The last 16 months have been anything, but easy. From financial duress and long WFH hours to being cooped at home with no social engagements—life as we knew it has been turned upside down, and all of us are still trying to adapt to this new normal. Not being able to step out and meet friends and sometimes, family to have those difficult conversations—has affected mental health and well-being causing a surge in the number of people dealing with anxiety and depression.
Today, there are hundreds of apps that are said to help tackle stress and anxiety. Some even make you sleep better. We’ve narrowed five apps that will help you deal with the pandemic-induced burnout and stress…
Headspace is a well-designed app, which is packed with features. The beauty of the app is that it has somehow managed to demystify and modernise the whole process of meditation. Co-founder Andy Puddicombe is a former monk, meditation expert and is usually the voice of all things Headspace. They believe that a few minutes to yourself daily can bring an unmatched calm and confidence. The meditations can be anything between 3 to 20 minutes. So, you can even practice them during short breaks at work if things start to become too much for you. There are also sections that talk about—Mindful Eating, Focus, Anger Management, Restlessness, Anxiety and much more. There’s also an ‘SOS’ section for courses and single-guided exercises and expert advice when you feel overwhelmed. Guided video sessions on simple workouts, mindful cardio and mental fitness are also on offer. Their animations make meditation easier to grasp. They even have Guides to Meditation/Sleep on Netflix.
Calm is yet another popular mindfulness app that focuses on sleep, meditation and relaxation. Sleep is important for managing stress, but it’s also one of the first things to become an issue when you’re feeling anxious. Their guided meditations are good for complete novices and seasoned practitioners alike. The app offers a mood check-in feature that tracks your mood throughout the day and puts together a personalised report. Calm also features nature sounds and sleep stories to help lull you into relaxed sleep, but a subscription is required to access these features.
The Mindhouse app was created by Zomato co-founder Pankaj Chaddha and ex-Zomato chief of staff Pooja Khanna. The app describes itself as a ‘gym’ for your mind. You can choose from 1000+ daily scheduled classes or access a library of on-demand sessions—which include WFH productivity tools, short guided meditations, yoga videos and calming music tracks. You can also set weekly targets and work towards achieving your wellness goals.
4. DARE: ANXIETY & PANIC RELIEF
The DARE app is an evidence-based training programme to help people overcome anxiety, panic attacks, worry, and insomnia. The app has been designed using the principles from the bestselling book DARE—which helps people overcome anxiety and panic attacks quickly. Almost every anxious situation is addressed including—flying, eating out, health anxiety, intrusive thoughts, public speaking, gym outings, going to doctor appointments and even travelling for holidays. All of these will come in handy in a post-pandemic world when we crawl back to normalcy! You can also track your progress daily with the mood journal.
5. OAK-MEDITATION AND BREATHING
Oak is an entirely free meditation and breathing app designed to slot into your day. The app can help you even if you’ve only a few seconds spare; there’s a chance it could at least calm you down or wake you up a bit. Oak has three sections: Meditate. Breathe, and Sleep. The first is split between Mindful (beginners), Loving Kindness for those who want to nurture compassion for themselves and others, and Unguided for pros or anyone who wants to venture out on their own. The sleep section offers two things: Relaxing Sounds of Nature or white noise for a set period with a few breathing exercises to help you drift off to sleep.
Apps CANNOT replace a real therapist. Duh. It could, however, work as a great tool to use in conjunction with other forms of therapy. Besides, we could all do with some extra help given the current circumstances. Most of these apps offer at least a seven-day free trial for both Android and iPhone users, so, you can try out and sign up for ones that work for you the best!
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