The whole world seems to be on lockdown at the moment due to Covid-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. People are home all day who are not accustomed to being home. This can make it really difficult on your mental health if it’s something you aren’t used to. During this transition, you can rest assured there are apps to help maintain your mental health and also apps to entertain.
Most of you know about apps such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, and WebEx that can keep you connected with your team but today let’s talk about the personal side instead of the work side. If you’re not ok, the work side isn’t going to be ok either. Let’s focus on what can keep you healthy and in the right frame of mind on your personal side.
On a side note, don’t neglect your personal connections during this time. Whether it’s family or friends, talk to these people. It doesn’t have to be a phone call. It can be Facetime or texting. Stay connected. It can make a huge difference in your morale.
The Calm app is about $13 per month and it’s a mental health app that can help you relax, meditate, and fall asleep easier. Why is this important? This situation is causing anxiety for a lot of people. Many that don’t normally experience anxiety are now and those who do are seeing their anxiety ramped up. If you are having difficulty sleeping or keeping calm, this app would be great for you.
Moodpath is a free mental health app that you can customize to help you manage your anxiety, depression, or stress. This app helps you get on the right path to feeling better.
Talkspace and Betterhelp are online therapy companies. These are very similar apps that are actually competitors, so you can check them both out and see which one is best for you. There is a cost associated with each but that cost depends on what your needs are. They’ll do an assessment to help you decide what would be best for you. Then you will be connected with an actual licensed therapist. These are medical professionals that can help you online. You don’t have to leave your home to get therapy. You can get it right from where you are. Right now with everything being restricted, this is a great way to go. Because these are therapists, again, there is a cost associated with these services.
The Crisis Text Line is exactly what it says it is. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you just don’t know what to do, you can text and someone will immediately, 24/7, respond to you and help put you on the right track. Now it is manned by volunteers but they are trained to deal with a crisis, similar to a crisis hotline. They are not licensed therapists or doctors, but they are happy to help you when you need assistance right away. Not all therapists are available at 2 in the morning, so this is a great way to get the help you need when you need it. Also, if part of your anxiety is talking to strangers then texting will be perfect for you.
Now let’s talk about a few of the educational opportunities available to you during this time.
I think people actually forget about iTunes U. It’s available on your phone, laptop, iPad, and anywhere you can download iTunes related apps. It’s a collection of free education content from public courses from leading schools and universities, museums, and cultural institutions. Seriously, you can take some amazing museum tours on iTunes U. It’s a really cool collection.
Kahn Academy has thousands of free lectures and practices on everything from grammar to science. If you want to educated and learn something new, you can find out about atoms or electricity or whatever it is you’re interested in. Want to know more about Columbus? It’s there among the thousands of educational lectures available on this website.
Udemy is a little different. It’s tens of thousands of video lectures and while they are educational, they are also entertaining. There’s everything from singing courses to event planning. Their event planning course may not make you rival an actual professional event planner who is certified, but if it’s something you are interested in that you’d like to learn more about, then go for it and check out their content. Udemy is the fun side of learning. Pottery? Painting? You are going to find those on Udemy.
You may not know this but TED Talks are available on YouTube. There are hundreds of these talks available for you to watch at your convenience. Some of them are hilarious. Some are emotional and engaging. You can find so many professional speakers and presentations on YouTube. YouTube is very organic so once you start watching these videos it’s going to start suggesting you things that it thinks you will like.
Podcasts are a great free resource for entertainment. If you aren’t listening to podcasts, you are totally missing the boat. There are so many amazing podcasts. If you like sports they have a ton of great sports podcasts. If you want to listen to political stuff (I can’t imagine that would reduce your stress) there are plenty of political podcasts. For entertainment value, one of the absolute best is the Popcast. Basically, it’s a show to entertain but not educate on cultural pursuits. It’s completely hilarious. You will constantly laugh out loud when listening to this show. They review books, movies, tv shows, and music. And again, all podcasts are free, so what a great way to be entertained.
I’ll probably get some pushback on this one but TikTok is one of the most entertaining apps on the planet. This platform is very tuned in to your personal likes. It’s one of the easiest to customize platforms. It’s way more intuitive than Instagram and the like. Once you go through and watch a few videos and click on what you like, it starts feeding you more of that. If you like cat videos it will show you that. If you love professional dancers, it will show you that. Whatever you’re interested in, it’s going to start showing you that specific type of video. The videos are quick so it’s hard to get bored. They’re 15 seconds to a minute and then you’re done. Just like any other platform, there’s junk on there but there’s a lot of funny stuff on there too. There are even doctors on there right now who are educating their audience in a brilliant, entertaining way. It just depends on what you want to see.
You know about Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu but have you heard of Yidio? Yidio tells you where to find the movies and shows you’re looking for. If you want to watch Star Wars and you have no idea where to find it, you can go type it into Yidio and it tells you which platform it’s available on. If it’s free, it will tell you that first. If it’s on a paid site, it will tell you where and how much it is. It’s super cool. Don’t make the mistake of renting or buying something when it’s free. You don’t actually watch it on Yidio but it will tell you where you can watch it.
This is a crazy time to be alive but you can rest assured that this time of social distancing won’t last forever. While it is going on I hope you can use these suggestions to stay mentally healthy and even have a bit of fun.