Doomsday prep edition
Quarantine Diaries: Can You 'Plan' for a Pandemic?
One WFH parent’s journey amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This first installment is all about getting ready to hunker down until things get back to normal.
We explore our seven favorite apps for reducing anxiety and improving mental health
We already rely on our phones for scheduling, connecting, organizing, so why not also employ them as a tool for reducing anxiety?
As we’re swerving from traditional nine-to-five structures and opting for more remote and self-directed workflows, our professional lives are becoming more autonomous than ever. Still, “grind” mentality is pervasive and the stress of striving to maintain mental health can be taxing. Because our phones are rarely farther than a reach away, it can be hard to establish boundaries from our work lives. Though there are apps that can help, for many of us, all it takes is an email or a LinkedIn notification and we’re sucked back into the vortex. *Cue anxiety.*
Whether you’re struggling with chronic anxiety or low-grade stress, tons of new resources are popping up to help manage these feelings, and the promise of wellness is buzzing as we enter a new year. Something about this new decade has got us seriously determined to develop better mental health. The perfect balance of “2020” feels like a predictive emblem for other perfect balances in our lives. But how to achieve this balance? Well, luckily, the tech world has our back―and we’re excited about it.
With an abundance of innovative apps designed specifically to help users curb their anxiety, self-care is becoming accessible in ways we’ve only imagined. We already rely on our phones for scheduling, connecting, organizing and, if we’re being honest, endless scrolling, so why not also employ them as a tool for reducing anxiety? Follow us as we take you through our seven favorite apps for reducing anxiety and improving mental health.
We love this app, and users do, too. It’s free, effective, and boasts a 4.8 star rating. Sanvello teaches users to manage their stress with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques. Best of all, these techniques are designed to be immersive and engaging. Packed into this app are tons of modalities to improve your mental wellness, including audio exercises, mood and health habit tracking, videos and more. It’s a great, accessible alternative to therapy. Users also get access to community resources where they can swap stories and offer support. App upgrades are available, but you can start with the free version. Free is good.
Worry Watch takes a unique spin on mental health check-ins. The app lets users document and track their specific worries, then revisit them later to record, reflect, and reason through what’s on our mind. Worry Watch offers statistics and detailed charts to help you identify and heal negative thinking patterns and unfounded anxieties. By evaluating how specific events in your life have actually transpired, you may find yourself feeling relieved to recognize that some of your worries may just be mental chatter. Try it out.
We love this app because of its specificity. Mindshift customizes its guidance to help reduce anxiety around the exact topics needed. Whether you’re looking to manage panic, heal a phobia, minimize perfectionistic tendencies, or something else, Mindshift has coping cards that offer tips and mantra-like statements that users can use to shift their mood. It’s not always possible to get emotional support at work or throughout your busy day, but this app can help soothe stress by offering direct support and wisdom to help process whatever it is you’re feeling and thinking when you need it.
TalkLife is a no-judgment chat room that lets you connect with people all over the world who can empathize with your experience, help support you, and vice versa. Community support is vital when tackling mental health issues, and TalkLife calls itself “your place to talk to people who get you.” The stigma around mental health and inaccessibility to therapy can make it tough to feel seen and heard. Through TalkLife, you can discuss life’s ups and downs at any time―day or night. Topics range from eating disorders, suicidality, depression, and self-harm. Chats are diligently monitored to help keep users safe and cared for.
Headspace is a tried-and-true mental wellness app. The app offers super simple, but potent support for concerns as far reaching as sleep trouble, work anxiety (hello, Sunday scaries!), learning compassion, cooking, mindfulness, and more, all led by a former monk. You’ve probably witnessed someone clicking into one of their many bite-sized meditations during a morning commute. If you’ve considered getting into meditation or have tried it but dropped it, Headspace may be for you. It’ll help sharpen your focus, soothe anxiety, and develop mindful awareness. A 4.9 star rating from over half a million users? We absolutely love to see it.
There’s no reason why improving your mental health can’t also be really fun. Superbetter helps users build resilience and gain the ability to—in the app’s words—“stay strong, motivated and optimistic, even in the face of change and difficult challenges.” We’re here for it! Superbetter was developed by a game designer, so it feels just like play. Through the apps quests and challenges, you may notice yourself feeling more resilient and prepared to overcome life’s challenges with ease. Cultivating emotional resilience in 2020? Check.