Has there ever been a time of greater uncertainty? I think not.
With so much still out of our control, so much of what was sure and safe now seeming otherwise, many children and adults will be experiencing uncomfortable levels of anxiety.
Here’s my pick of the best free apps to help you manage that anxiety.
1. Smiling Mind
This app has so many options and layers that I find myself amazed every time I use it.
Whether your intention is to sleep better, build better relationships or just feel better in general, there’s something for everyone, including your students.
As if that wasn’t enough, the "Thrive Inside" series offers specific practices aimed at supporting you throughout the weirdness that is 2020.
There’s even a "Mindfully Back to School" series aimed at parents, students and teachers.
The meditations are short, straightforward and soothing, allowing you to put aside your chronic busyness/cynicism/unwillingness, at least for a few minutes.
2. Insight Timer
Once you’re past the initial screen offering free trials to a paid subscription service, you’ll see that Insight Timer has a vast library of free meditation practices, based on every topic you could imagine.
Whether you’re looking for talks or podcasts, ambient sounds, piano music for sleep or intermittent bells, Insight Timer has it all. The app also enables you to search based on topic or teacher and to follow teachers that you like, allowing for free experimentation until you find what works for you.
3. Clear Fear
Developed by Dr Nihara Krause, a consultant clinical psychologist, this app offers a great mix of mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy strategies, aimed at supporting the mental health of teenagers and young adults.
For those managing high levels of anxiety, it offers a range of guidance and techniques, empowering you to face your fears in an informed, effective way.
4. Neo: Travel Your Mind
I only discovered this app a few months ago and, though there are in-app purchases to bypass, what’s there for free is worth trying. Plus, it's so beautiful, it’s worth seeing.
This is a uniquely designed app in which you "travel" to guided meditations (named "journeys") via different maps. One minute you’re in your living room, the next you’re paddling in the Amazon, learning the basics of meditation. Or in the Sahara, working on resilience.
Maybe it’s just the lockdown talking, but this doesn’t seem like a terrible way of compensating for the black void of actual travel options and holidays we’re facing.