It has been a really trying period for many of us.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I fully appreciate the fact that we have the flexibility to work from home today.
And I am grateful that I can roll out of bed at a later timing, not have to think of what to wear, or squeeze with the morning crowd.
But the world has never been as uncertain before, and everything has been so overwhelming.
The resurgence of Covid-19 community cases.
India’s pandemic crisis.
Stock markets crashing.
I’m not sure about you, but with such negative news, drastic shifts in lifestyles, and pervasive burnout culture these days, everything has been taking a huge mental toll on me .
And boy, this mental fatigue is getting out of hand.
I’m usually not someone who thinks a lot about mental health , and I think my lack of understanding of it has led to me neglecting mine.
Exploring mindfulness apps: Tools to help me keep calm, relax and focus
I was first introduced to the idea of meditation last year when circuit breaker first started, and my feelings of distress peaked like the cryptocurrency market .
I quickly realised that I was not the only one feeling this way, especially when people started sharing an article on this new term – ‘languishing‘, which is defined as a sense of stagnation and emptiness.
Determined to deal with this foggy feeling, I decided to stop scrolling mindlessly through Tiktok videos and look into apps that could help me tackle these feelings instead.
With May being Mental Health Awareness month and how we are in semi-lockdown again, this feels like the perfect time to pen this article.
It is easy to feel alone when we feel overwhelmed and burned out, and it’s also easy to bury these feelings as we get on with our daily lives.
It’s okay to admit that we need a little bit more care on days we don’t feel our best, and it is only after we’ve taken good care of ourselves that we can perform our best at work and in life.
TL;DR: Feeling overwhelmed? Free apps to help you practise mindfulness, relieve stress and anxiety during this difficult period
We are always talking about managing our personal finances here at Seedly.
While we can’t put a price tag on it, taking care of our mental state is one of the biggest personal investments we can make for ourselves.
And how wonderful it is for us to now have apps to help us in that.
Apps that are easily accessible, and sometimes even free.
Here are some that you should check out!
|Balance||Meditation||Personalised guides that change according to preference and feedback|
|Headspace||Meditation||Amazing graphics and short videos|
|Wild Journey – Nature Sounds||Mindfulness with nature sounds||Different forests with different sounds of nature, motivational quotes|
|Plantie||Pomodoro Technique||Countdown timer which unlocks plants as more coins are earn when tasks are completed|
|Reflectly||Short journaling||Tracks moods and sends daily motivational quotes|
|Day One||Longer journaling||Upload photos and voice recordings in journal entries|
|Stoic||Ideas surrounding stoicism||Journaling, meditation and breathing exercises|
Note: These apps are free to download but they might come with paid subscriptions. Personally, I find their free versions good enough for use!
Balance was the first app I started using, and what can I say?
I absolutely love it .
I must admit that I used to think that meditation was just a buzzword… but now I’m completely convinced that it is something powerful and transformative.
There’s something about being present at the moment and quieting your thoughts and mind.
For anyone out there who is interested in starting with a meditation app, I strongly encourage trying this because Balance is giving out a yearly subscription (U.P. $103.98) FOR FREE till the end of 2021 .
The app’s interface is sleek and user-friendly, and this is one that I’ve been using when I get up in the morning.
It comes with personalised guides which would change according to your preferences and feedback, and it also sends occasional notifications to remind you to take a quick break.
Price: Free till end-2021, $19.48 (1 month), $103.98 (1 year)
If you’re a sucker for cute graphics, this is THE app for you.
Headspace does not come entirely free, but it has free modules that are beginner-friendly that are great as a start.
I first downloaded Headspace after coming across its ‘Guide to Meditation’ and ‘Guide to Sleep’ on Netflix .
The Basics to Meditation course comes free, which includes 10 sessions of basic guided meditation practices.
A number of courses can only be unlocked under its premium plan (Headspace Plus), so this app would serve as a good introductory course if you’re not looking to pay for it.
What keeps me coming back is honestly the graphics.
It puts you in such a good mood and it leaves you wanting to explore every nook and cranny of the app.
Price: US$138.98 (S$183.40) (Annual, first 14 days free), US$17.98 (Monthly, first 7 days free) for Headspace Plus
3) Wild Journey – Nature Sounds
Can’t head to MacRitchie or Bukit Timah for the time being?
Wild Journey – Nature Sounds is another beautiful app that provides sounds of nature, allowing us to immerse in an imaginary forest while laying comfortably on our beds.
This app aims for users to practise mindfulness while enjoying virtual nature.
It just amazes me how cool technology is today to create such experiences for us.
You can get to explore different forests, and different ones come with different sounds of nature, a motivational quote, and a countdown timer while you quieten your mind.
Most of its content is locked but personally, I find the free ones sufficient enough to wind down and relax with.
Price: $9.48 (Month), $64.98 (Annual)
My scope of work involves catching the latest news and hype, which sees me constantly being stuck to my social media devices.
This habit has inevitably seeped into my own personal life as well, as I find myself trying to keep up with social media all the time.
And guys, social media fatigue is real .
In order to combat this, I attempted to find the nicest-looking apps to make me stay away from my phone.
Plantie was one that I’ve found that is aesthetically pleasing and is absolutely free .
Just like other focus timer-isque apps, Plantie forces you to stay on its app by having a countdown timer that stops when I switch to other apps or press the home button.
Instead of offering paid premium plans, you can unlock more plants along the way when you earn more coins.
And you earn coins by completing more successful countdowns and growing those trees.
You can also view your stats and badges to see how much you’ve accomplished!
I used to blog every other day as a teenage girl, pouring my heart out on the Internet and treating it as a diary.
Journaling can be really cathartic and it helps with clearing my head as I pen down my emotions.
Reflectly is an app which is very easy to use and straight to the point.
Touted as the World’s First Intelligent Journal, this app is perfect for time-starved working adults who are still hoping to keep track of their mood and do some quick journaling.
You’ll be offered a motivational quote after your entry as well.
Reflecting on your daily thoughts and feelings can be rather troublesome at the beginning but trust me – it’s pretty therapeutic.
Price: 7-day free trial, US$489.98 (Annual)
6) Day One
For a more comprehensive journaling experience, I would recommend Day One.
This is basically a digital version of a physical diary you would keep, while being able to upload photos and voice recordings straight into your entries.
Mostly a smart version of your old-school diary.
The premium version comes with encrypted storage, being able to start multiple journals and having the ability to upload multiple videos and photos.
For me, just the free basic version works well enough.
Very fuss-free and simple interface.
Price: $47.98/year (Day One Premium)
The first line that was shown on this app already stole my heart.
“Stoic can help you live a happier and more tranquil life.”
Erm, yes please?
The philosophy of stoicism has always been something that fascinates me, and this idea is being distilled into this app.
For this app, you will get a personalised set of exercises that aim to:
1) Broaden your Perspectives (through philosophy and scientific research)
2) Gain Clarity of Mind (through guided journaling)
3) Build Mental Resilience (through mental exercises)
This is mainly done through journaling, meditation, and breathing exercises .
What I find attractive about this app is also how sleek it looks.
It is mostly monochromatic, with simple prompts that are straight to the point.
Stoic also has a paid version that allows you to unlock more features, but just like the other apps, the free version is a good start for me.
Price: US$55.98 (Annual), US$$138.98 (Lifetime)
Best apps to manage stress and relieve anxiety
Self-care and burnout are no longer just buzzwords.
Especially in a pandemic year where the lines between our professional lives and personal lives have blurred more than ever, it has become even more important to take care of ourselves.
Besides leveraging on free resources, it is perhaps time to start normalising conversations around mental health.
It is only then we can allow the people around us to know that they are not alone in this journey.
Please also do approach someone if you feel like you need it.
And if you need someone to talk to… the community is here for you too!
This article was first published in Seedly.