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COVID-19 Support: A guide to free wellbeing apps

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The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a considerable toll on the social care system, with many staff suffering from burnout and anxiety due to greater financial pressures and a soaring number of absences.

Care teams are being relied on to serve the most vulnerable in our communities, risking their own health and sacrificing their own wellbeing to keep people safe.

But it is important that care staff take the time to look after their own mental wellbeing during this difficult time, which is why home care software supplier CarePlanner has come up with a list of meditation apps to help them find inner peace.

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Below, account manager Lily Thomas has reviewed five popular apps.

CALM – 3/5 stars

The Calm app is something that I currently use every day as an effective tool to manage my mental health and anxiety. They have a great easy to use app and can be utilized for various needs. Whether it be sleep sounds for those who struggle to switch off at the end of the day, guided mediation or even a motivational piece. They also often have famous artists who will compose music or host a seminar. I think public figures acknowledging mental health issues is a vital step in breaking the stigma around them. For me I preferer to use this app because it is non-committal and simple, allowing you to jump back in when needed.

INSIGHT TIMER – 5/5 stars

This app feels darker and less ‘in your face’ than some of the other apps out there, which made me feel more calm and peaceful. There are some great options in this app – the first feature I liked is the ability to preset timers, as this was really helpful with keeping my meditation session on track. Insight Timer also has a section of courses that you can attend, ranging from seven to 31 days, covering topics like resentment and anxiety. This app has an introspective focus, which separates it from the others. I think this is a really positive starting line when working towards positive mental wellbeing. On the home screen there are indicators from all over the world, which represent other users. Kindred spirits maybe feeling as you do in that moment. This felt like much more than a meditation app – it felt like a community.

HAPPY NOT PERFECT – 5/5 stars

The title to this app gives it away, but it’s all about being happy, feeling less stressed and more balanced. The app has a modern and stylish touch and it’s definitely aimed at a younger audience. When starting you have an ‘internal check-in’. You can choose from an array of emotions all the way from ‘URGHHHH’ to overwhelmed. You’re then taken through steps to help you reflect on how you’re feeling – calming you by working through a maze with your finger, for example. It also asks what you’re grateful for and something small to try and achieve that day. I really enjoyed using this app because not only was it calming, but really thought provoking. Highly recommended!

ROOTD – 5/5 stars

This app is aimed at those who suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks. Although this app may not be beneficial for everyone, I am really impressed with the goal behind it. ROOTD helps you learn where anxiety comes from. It examines how our bodies and minds experience panic attacks and why they might be happening to you. It guides you to what changes you can make in the short term and long term, depending on your need. My favorite feature is the option to add a friend’s contact information. Someone who you can call when things get too much and you can’t manage alone. I am really impressed with the understanding behind this app. Plus, its soft playful design makes it easy to use in public!

HEAD SPACE – 3/5 stars

This app has a bright, positive style, which makes it feel playful and lighthearted. Its sections are broken down into meditation, sleep and move. This app is great for beginners and it feels the main focus is helping people to learn. It has an SOS section for the times where you really need to manage moments of anxiety or panic. I found this to be particularly relevant to my needs. There is also a section for community stories and an opportunity to share any that you may have. The only negatives I found when using Headspace were the pop-up messages that prompted you to set reminders, and the fact that you don’t have a lot of access on the free subscription.

Tags : appmental healthwellbeing
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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