If ever there was a time we needed meditation, it must surely be now. With so much uncertainty and worry about the current pandemic, we all need a way to quieten the mental chatter, and a few minutes of meditation can make a real difference to your day. Its many benefits include reduced stress levels, more focus and better sleep. It
can also help with mood, anxiety, and concentration – and, here’s the clincher, it can even boost your immune system. Headspace offers a free basic pack plus a beginner’s course to guide you through the essentials of meditation and mindfulness.
Breathe2relax is a fantastic tool for reducing stress, which works by tracking your breathing. Not only does it address your body’s fight or flight response to stress, it also helps you to focus and manage your stress and anxiety. Spending just a few minutes consciously breathing sends signals of balance to your brain, telling you that you are ok, and brings you out from the part of your brain that makes you feel overwhelmed, into a state of calm. The app also presents daily wellness tips that cover a broad range of topics related to health and well-being.
You are probably well acquainted with this US-based remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat and mobile collaboration. Over the last few weeks, Zoom has become an extremely popular video-communications app for users to stay connected at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has people avoiding each other and governments have ordered some businesses to close. An absolute must for anyone working in a team who needs that daily 10-minute team check-in to start their working day feeling connected. Zoom is very easy to use and it fits a variety of collaboration platforms. The app allows participants to mute themselves or turn off their cameras during a conference call, and the presenter has the ability to show slides and share them with others. The bottom line is the whole world overnight had to figure how to get things done remotely, and Zoom has enabled this to happen.
Need an App to stop the endless distractions from WhatsApp group chats, memes from your friends and news bulletins? The Freedom app promises to reclaim focus and productivity by blocking distracting websites, popups and notifications – ideal when WFH. Studies show that every time you check email, a social feed, or respond to a notification, your mind requires 23 minutes of re-focus time to get back on task. Being able to work distraction-free helps break the habit of checking whatever digital source is beckoning, enabling you to gain balance in your relationship with technology, and focus on what matters most to you.
Toggl is a wonderfully simple time tracker that helps you monitor your hours, and manage your workload. Toggl allows you to easily filter your time tracking data, compare project progress to estimated time on the project dashboard (great for PR professionals), and to assign billable rates to your tasks.
And two of our favourite Instagram accounts…
Dublin-based psychotherapist, Sarah Crosby, posts colourful ‘mental note’ reminders, which encompass mindfulness tips, questions to encourage self-reflection, and wellbeing advice for those tricky mental health days. The aim of her content is to make mental health information accessible and interesting, while occasionally delivering hard truths in soft colours. Mental health and wellbeing has never been more important, so she is worth a follow.
Personal trainer, fitness and lifestyle coach, and mental health warrior Kaitlin posts daily workouts on her hugely popular Instagram account. Her positive energy and creative HIIT sessions are a great way to start the day!
Wishing you all the best with staying healthy and motivated in this incredible time. Just remember, this time will pass.