If the stress from the ongoing pandemic ever gets too much to bear, know that help is always available—from teletherapy to grounding apps that help you cope with symptoms of anxiety and depression. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS
More than a year has elapsed since COVID-19 took the world by storm, and we’ve more or less gotten used to the new normal of mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, and social distancing. But for most of us, a heightened sense of worry and helplessness remains, no thanks to the stress of coping with an ongoing pandemic.
Those with an existing history of anxiety or depression may find it even more challenging to cope with their conditions than ever. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, some may find it easier to turn to teletherapy, which offers access to helpful online guides and remote video calls with therapists to keep their mental health in check. Alternatively, meditation and mindfulness apps can help reduce anxiety daily.
Whether you’re hoping to speak with a trained therapist or simply want to lighten the mood when you’re feeling blue, here are some helpful apps designed to soothe your mind.
Need a quick boost of happiness? This app offers a healthy distraction from negative thoughts and stress by helping you see the positive side of life. Featuring techniques developed by scientists and experts in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapy, the app offers bite-sized quizzes, engaging games, and gratitude prompts. While the free app is packed with features, its paid version comes with more in-depth content, such as a 20-page character strength report, along with unlimited access to meditations and games.
Download it here.
If loneliness is hard to bear during these isolating times, consider HearMe, a free platform that connects you with professional emotional support across the world. Think of it as a safe space where users can enjoy confidential and anonymous text conversations with one of the app’s trained listeners. The listeners comprise volunteers who have gone through a training course that’s designed by a practical instructor and a professional communication coach so that they’re able to help people to open up, build self-esteem, and even resolve conflict. Users can pick from topics including “Work & Productivity”, “LGVTQ+ & Identity”, and “I Just Want to Talk”, along with the preferred age group of their listener.
Download it here.
The free app offers both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy methods to help users cope with depression, anxiety, anger, and stress. Designed with a simple and minimalist interface, the app offers features like a thought diary–including the ability to rate feelings, a positive and negative habit tracker, as well as grounding games to help stay present when stress takes over. Users can also understand themselves better via a guide on 12 common negative thinking patterns, along with simple means to overcome them. For a quick dose of calm, the app’s three simple breathing techniques will keep you relaxed.
Download it here.
It might take an average of 66 days for a new habit to become automatic, but with this app, you’ll be eliminating your bad habits faster than you can say “Quit that!” If you’re hoping to quit your vices, whether it’s alcohol, smoking, or OCD rituals, this app offers a helpful interface to help you stay accountable for your actions. Free of ads, the app comes with a live counter that shows your progress, see how far you’ve come since you quit, calculate how much money you’ve saved since, and even keep notes.
More information here.