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Mind Over Matter: Top Apps to Help You Find Your Calm - Competition

  • 22 February 2021
  • 32 replies
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Mind Over Matter: Top Apps to Help You Find Your Calm - Competition
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Mind Over Matter: Top Apps to Help You Find Your Calm

It’s been nearly a year since the first national lockdown was imposed and since then, none of us have been strangers to staying at home, away from our peers and in our own company. While some relish the chance to spend quality time developing skills, honing creativity, or simply basking in the relative peace and quiet, for others it’s not so easy.

Of course, in the times we’re all currently going through, it’s only natural to occasionally feel overwhelmed, miss our friends and family, and struggle to complete tasks as efficiently as we might. The trick is to take a step back and work on our mental health, not to fully eliminate challenging emotions, but to effectively work past them when they do pop up.

Just as you might exercise three times a week to get in better shape physically, practising mindfulness and meditation are great for building mental strength and resilience.

 

Here are our favourite apps to help you achieve peace of mind:

 

Headspace - iOS/Android

In 2020, Headspace grew to 2 million paid subscribers, and it’s easy to see why. It’s designed to give you the tools handle thoughts and emotions constructively, whenever they come around. The app likens these moments to passing cars on a busy road. You simply have to let them go by without getting too focused on a single car.

Headspace eases you into the basics of meditation with a free 10-minute basic course. Every session is either three, five or 10 minutes long, so you can pick one that fits perfectly into your day. They’re all easy to follow, and the app even offers meditation for kids, with themes including sleep, focus and kindness.

Once you’ve completed the free trial you’ll need to pay for more sessions if you want to continue, but at £9.99, we think it’s worth every penny.

 

Calm - iOS/Android

 

 

Calm is another brilliant meditation app.  When you open it you’re met with the relaxing sound of chirping crickets or a crackling fireplace  Once you’re in,  take a minute to tell the app how you’re feeling, and you’ll see a personalised choice of guided meditations, sleep stories, calming music and loads more – the choice is huge.

We love the ambient music mixes by Sam Smith, Diplo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, as they’re perfect for drifting into restful sleep. But there loads more big names and guest features available, from Sleep Stories told by Idris Elba to motivational meditations delivered by NBA legend LeBron James.

Calm also offers a free trial, after which a subscription costs only £28.99 for the year – that’s less than £2.50 a month! Give it a go.

 

Shine - iOS/Android

If you’re new to mindfulness and don’t like the idea of starting at the deep end, you’ll love Shine. This app encourages you to take time out of each day to learn one new self-care strategy each day. Build a new daily ritual with quick meditations that are relevant to you and the world around you. You can also connect with other Shine users, strike up a conversation and get support from a really great community.

There are two premium options here. You can go for a rolling monthly option for £14.49, or pay for the year at a discounted price of £52.99 (just over £1 a week). Once you go premium, you can explore the full audio library of meditations and find the right one for the right moment, whenever you need calmness, clarity and motivation.

 

Breethe - iOS/Android

 

Combat stress, anxiety and sleepless nights with a single handy app. Breethe offers masterclasses on meditation, mindfulness and much more.

You’ll find relaxation music and sleep sounds to help you drift into sleep peacefully, bedtime stories and visualisations to keep you feeling positive at the end of a long day, breathing exercises and inspirational talks. This app has the lot. Whatever you’re looking to get out of meditation, Breethe has plenty to offer.

The app has quite a few free meditations to help you get started. And if you’re really getting into it, you can go premium for £12.99 a month. It’s available on your phone, tablet and laptop, so your progress is synced across all your devices. Relax, unwind and develop the mental tools you need to take on each day.

 

The iD team have put together some responses as to what they have done or used to help them during tough times. Find out below:

 

Sophia – Digital Product Manager

I used the ‘Balance’ app which has really helped me learn how to meditate and sleep better.  It’s encouraged me to take a little time out to clear my head and understand what I need to do, for me, each day.

Kieran - Senior Digital and Customer Experience Manager

 I’ve been using the Calm app for the past few months and it’s been fantastic. I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot and taking 10 minutes out of your day to relax.

These are just a few of our favourite lifestyle apps on the Google Play Store and App Store right now.

Competition Time!

Competition closes 10th March 2021. Click the link for March’s T&Cs for this competition. 

The lockdown has impacted all of us in different ways.

For a chance to win a £50 Google Play Store or App Store voucher, tell us how you’ve worked on and tried to improve your mental wellbeing during lockdown. Did you use any apps? What techniques did you use that you can share with us and the Community?

Let us know in the comments below.

 

There were some really good responses on this topic and some great ways of keeping your mind healthy during the lockdown. So, thank you all for entering and sharing your tips and thoughts on this. 

The winner for this competition is@Nigelwarnes - Congratulations, we have sent you a private message :)

Again, thank you all for sharing!


32 replies

I used to meditate and do yoga. I’ve started meditating again and find it helps with feeling calmer,. I’m also going for my daily walks, switching off the TV unless there’s something I want to watch and I’m going to start yoga again :)

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@itsali Hey there! this sounds great, definitely try to get back into it. I agree with you in regards to walking, I have been working from home for over a year now and my physical activity has greatly declined, I went on a long walk the other day and it felt so good, my knees ached a little the next day and that was enough of a kick up the bum to tell me I should be walking more regularly, also really helps to clear the mind. 

HI I've always found it really difficult to switch off and meditate although I have had many many attempts at this I think my biggest problem is patience and perseverance​​​​

I think with the kids being off school I’ve had a lack of routine and felt tired a lot, I’ve now started self love, rest and spring cleaning to make me feel more positive 

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I’ve been using Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation app since last April. Great way to learn mindfulness, which really helps during times of stress!

Got two young boys at home so there home schooling has kept me mentally fresh and at it at all times.

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Walking and cycling around trees is my own way of meditation. I prefer the visual context to help with relaxation. 

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Walking and cycling around trees is my own way of meditation. I prefer the visual context to help with relaxation. 

Bimey you must be dizzy 😵😂

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I used to meditate and do yoga. I’ve started meditating again and find it helps with feeling calmer,. I’m also going for my daily walks, switching off the TV unless there’s something I want to watch and I’m going to start yoga again :)

I prefer eating yogurts 👍

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Exploring the countryside on my doorstep, which I had often overlooked prior to lockdown. As well as homeschooling my grandchildren and that was more of a challenge than I expected. Also, I reignited my passion for photography, which is something that I will continue when lockdown has ceased.

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I actually find the thought of using mobile Apps to help me relax or "better myself" a bit counter intuitive. I appreciate they might work for some people but we're all different. Immersing myself in a mobile App is distracting me from doing the things I need to do or will benefit most from doing. Keeping productive, getting those niggly jobs done and doing things that provide satisfactionon completion are all good. Basically doing things instead of thinking about doing things and gaining  from the satisfaction on completion.

 

I feel shut off enough and miss seeing those people that are special to me so losing myself inside a mobile App feels like locking myself away even more.  I prefer to get out amongst nature every day for my thinking time. Fresh air, daylight, exercise and hopefully sunshine all bring simple pleasures. 

 

Sorry to go against the tide as these Apps are clearly popular but we probably spend too much time on these small screens as it is.

 

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Exploring the countryside on my doorstep, which I had often overlooked prior to lockdown. As well as homeschooling my grandchildren and that was more of a challenge than I expected. Also, I reignited my passion for photography, which is something that I will continue when lockdown has ceased.

Does you're doorstep have mold on it? 😂, always good to get out of the house! 

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Hi, during these troubled times, being retired I have been able to improve my art skills. Sketching, using inks and water colours. Going for a walk, I’m so lucky living on the coast it means I have different views to appreciate. Sea, sand coastal dunes, always changing with the weather. Also trying to play the ukulele! A work in progress.

All in all, along with millions of people I will be glad to see Normality return.

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Although I’ve not used apps to help me, I’ve tried to go for regular walks, take daily exercise and keep in touch with friends. Oh, and eating cake!

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I downloaded an app for home training, such as yoga and pilates which relax my body and gives me peaceful mind.

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I have started guided yoga and meditation started feeding my body properly and taking care of my body has really helped to take care of my mind as well

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Getting out once a day for a walk or exercise.

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Having worked through the pandemic in the food supply chain all I was doing was working and sleeping which got to me a bit I decided to go for walks and just breathe fresh air I did unfortunately catch the virus which was pretty bad but I am OK I now plan short jogging route every day

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I have tried meditation apps very briefly in the past. I don't feel it's worth the monthly subscription as there are guides on YouTube, books you can buy on the subject and it is something you can work out for yourself. If you need to feel like you're steadily progressing your mediation skills then maybe these apps are for you. I'm probably exactly the sort of person that should regularly mediate, however, so maybe I should eat my words.

With lockdown it seems that youtube has been my thing to keep me going. Other than workouts and basketball, youtube has been a great way for me to laugh and take my mind of whats happening.l, especially the sidmen!

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Keeping occupied is my way to positive mental health. I have re decorated two rooms, upcycled some furniture. A tidy house leads to a tidy mind and the devil makes work for idle hands. Keep me busy or medicate me!

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I haven’t done anything, I’ve loved time at home over the last year, I’ve never been happier.

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I have kept to a routine, still got up early and exercised. 

Cross-trainer in conservatory, home schooling done as quickly as possible in kitchen then off to the front room to do some work.  Finally off to bed upstairs. Variety is the spice of life, lol.

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I love the Calm app - the daily calm is 10 minutes of perfectly balanced relaxation!

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Because I have COPD and Asthma I have been self  shielding, and so I decided that I needed to do something artistic, but because I can’t draw well, I decided to start learning to make silver jewellery as a way of staying sane during the lockdown. I have done this by getting tutorials on YouTube, and from any other source that I could find(such as from the bullion and tools suppliers Cooksongold, and Kernowcraft) including some books that I have invested in. I have done this because as a disabled person, I was isolated before the lockdown, but it’s far worse now, and this extra isolation, has made me decide that I need to learn a new skill, and possibly even try to set up in business when the lockdown finishes, if I can get the courses set up with the DWP that would make this possible.

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