Over the last year (and then some), our lives have been turned on their heads due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our once ‘normal’ lives have turned into something else altogether, and the roadmap to the ‘new normal’ has been laid out in front of us. Now, while some may be giddy with excitement over the thought of restrictions being completely lifted, it’s also absolutely fine if the thought is weighing heavy on your mind.
Even positive change, such as being able to hug friends and family, eat dinner inside, or catch a film at the flicks, can lead to feelings of anxiety. After all, it takes time to readjust.
During this time, it’s really important you take care of your mental health, and of course, there are plenty of apps to help you manage your feelings and mood in our day and age. So, if you’re looking for a bit of support, available in the palm of your hand when you need it, check out these five apps (all available in the Apple Store and Google Play) that could help when lockdown is lifted.
Great for: a more holistic approach to managing your mental health
When restrictions are lifted, it may be tempting to say ‘yes’ to every social occasion, even if you don’t really feel ready to get out and about yet. However, it’s super important to pace yourself and make time for you during this transition period. An app such as ‘My Possible Self’ can help guide you through these kinds of challenges while giving you the best tools to make sense of overwhelming situations and reframe negative thoughts. Created with Priory Healthcare, world leaders in mental health, you’re in good hands here if you want to explore the world of virtual mental health care, such as CBT (cognitive brain therapy). And, it’s NHS approved too!
Great for: meditation – in every shape and form!
It’s not unusual when you’re feeling anxious or worried to have trouble sleeping, concentrating, or finding motivation. But with an app like Calm (voted the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation, and Relaxation), you can learn new ways to cope or manage your emotions. Best known for their extensive library of meditation practises, you can learn new skills to navigate whatever life throws at you! As well as meditations to follow, you’ll also find soothing bedtime stories to help you drift off, curated soundtracks to put your mind at ease, and access to mindfulness masterclasses. Trust us - there’s a reason this app has been downloaded over 100 million times!
3. Sleep Cycle
Great for: learning what factors influence your sleep and getting into a good sleeping routine.
We don’t know about you, but it can completely throw us off the next day when we don’t get a good night’s sleep! So if you’re losing precious hours of shut-eye at night due to worrying about what the future may hold, then why not get into bed (so to speak) with an app like Sleep Cycle? The intuitive app tracks how you sleep through sleep cycles and then uses all the data it gathers, along with other external factors and your daily habits, to give you an idea of how you can get a better night sleep. There’s a lot to be said for feeling well-rested and how it influences your day, so why not see if understanding your slumber habits can help ease your mind?
4. Day One
Great for: Jotting down your thoughts, identifying habits, and keeping track of how you feel.
When thoughts are whizzing around your head at 100 miles an hour, it can be hard to make sense of them, right? So how about writing them down? Journaling is a brilliant tool for managing thoughts, feelings and emotions, and a great way to express yourself! Using a journaling app such as Day One can help you prioritise your ideas, identify sneaky unhealthy patterns, clear your head and lead to a more positive quality of life! Journaling is a private, safe space that’s all for you, and as we approach the potential end of lockdown, it’s a brilliant activity to try your hand at.
5. What’s Up?
Great for: Mental health information, daily affirmations, and a safe space to talk.
On occasions, breathing techniques or meditation just don’t cut it; you need something else to bring you back down to earth. This is where the app What’s Up? is perfect! (Not to be confused with that ever so popular messaging app!) What’s Up? is designed to help you in an instant with a series of tools to keep you grounded, such as daily affirmations, lots of helpful resources, and concentration methods and thoughtful games. As well as these handy features, it also offers forums - a safe space where you can talk to like-minded people who may be struggling or having a bad day. We all know that talking to someone can help put things into perspective, and with What’s Up? you never have to feel like you’re on your own.
Final thoughts… while mental health apps can offer support to you throughout difficult times and provide helpful information at the touch of a button if you are having a tough time, we always recommend you reach out to your GP or a supporting charity for further help.