If you’re anything like anyone I know, whether you like to or not, you’re probably forced by work and society, to keep your mobile phone at hand, pretty much all hours of the day. And while this is great in that you are able to keep in contact with people who are far away, and never miss a new yoga article, or updated sports results, or latest science discovery, it also means that the temptation to distract yourself with games and social media has never been more… there.
I full well know the effects of endless scrolling and senseless games, especially when it comes to my mental health. While the mindlessness of it all can be a blessing for a while, over time, it can quickly become obsessive, and unsettling. With the relentless stream of hype coming in from the all corners of the world, it is no wonder that as nation we are experiencing an anxiety epidemic.
But wait, don’t throw your phone down the loo quite yet. Despite everything I’ve said above, (and trust me, I kind of wish my friends and job would let me ditch the phone) I truly believe that there is actually the potential for making your phone into your friend rather than your enemy here…
In this chaotic whirlwind life, I have a select few apps that I use daily that help me to feel more grounded and centred. I owe them a lot on my recovery journey from depression and anxiety. They’re enjoyable and forgiving, and the greatest thing is, being on my phone, I know they’re never far away! Win win 🏆
- SuperBetter By LLC
SuperBetter was developed by world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal to help herself when she was struggling with depression following an operation that left her bed bound. Super Better is an imaginative and colourful way of playing, where it’s what you do in the real world what counts- drink a glass of water? Power up! Managed to leave the house today? Bad guy beaten! Planned, shopped, prepped, and ate a wholesome dinner? Quest accomplished! Did nothing today?That’s ok too 🙂 By distancing you from your discomfort, Super Better allows you to take control of your life again, one step at a time, helping you on your road to recovery as you name and face your demons, developing strength, courage, and patience, all of which can hold you in good stead for life!
- HappyFit Optimism Work Out Free – By Russel Histon
Inspired by the TedTalk “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, HappyFit encourages you to do 6 exercises a day, for at least 21 days, that have been proven by studies to make you into a more optimistic person. Exercises include writing your daily graritudes, a highlight of the day, a ‘find the smile’ game, a 5 minute burst of physical activity, a 2 minute silent meditation, and a kindness act. Obviously, the phone doesn’t know if you don’t do burpees for the whole five minutes, but who are you trying to do this for?
- Three App By Rachel Thomas
A beautifully minimalist designed app where you simply write three things you are grateful for every day. By the end of the year, you will have over 1000 logs of things you are grateful for! You can even set a daily reminder so you don’t forget to do it.
- Calm: Meditation and simple Guided Mindfulness Exercises By Calm.com
Calm is my favourite app at the moment. Simple to use, with beautiful scenes and sounds from nature, the guided meditations are short and bright, making it easy to develop a daily meditation practise even if you hate the thought of sitting still. You can track your progress over time, take part in week-long or month-long programmes, and also do your own timed silent meditation. I find this is great to whip out at lunch time at work when I know I need to meditate but can’t get my head to switch off. I couldn’t recommend this app enough!
- Clue – Period Tracker By BioWinkGmbH
Now this one is, I suppose, more for the ladies, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be helpful for guys too!? Clue may predominately be a period tracker, but I use it mainly to track my mood over time, and see how my energy levels and positivity is developing, month by month. It can also be really useful for tracking exactly when it is in the month you are feeling most down, and recognise if there is a pattern. This might help you knowing it could be something to watch out for as if this is the case it’s likely that your mood is affected by hormones, and can work as a reference point for discussion with your doctor.
So there you go. Five free apps that I believe are worth carrying your phone around for. Comments and conversation welcome- let me know of any apps that you use and let’s keep journeying on together.
And yes, you may admire my carefully arranged-by-colour homescreen.
Stay breezy 😊