Stephanie Joseph, MA
Frank Farley, PhD
Temple University, Philadelphia
We are in a crisis! During these times, it is difficult to find our footing. We are struggling to be productive, to be present. Normally, during crises, we come together with our loved ones to push through the difficult times. However, with this pandemic, things are very different.
To curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, experts continue to recommend social distancing protocols, and governments are extending their wide-ranging shelter-in-place orders to protect society as a whole. As a direct consequence, what was once normal, is now a foreign concept. The past few months have challenged us in ways we could not predict. From transitioning to exclusively distance learning in schooling to fostering connections with others solely through screens, all against the backdrop of this historic pandemic.
It is for many unnerving, anxiety-provoking, and overwhelming. We can start to identify resources that can help us manage that stress and anxiety. This is where technology comes to the rescue. Dozens of meditation apps are available that promise to help with stress and anxiety management. These apps also promise to improve productivity levels and/or sleeping habits. It is tedious to navigate through the countless meditation apps available. We offer some direction in this brief report.
Often, when looking for a good self-care resource, it is beneficial to think about what is it you need? What is it you are looking for? Are you looking for an app to help reduce and/or manage your anxiety? Or, are you looking for an app to help you better cope with living specifically through this pandemic? Are you looking for an app to help your productivity?
If you plan to use mindful meditation as a tool to help better cope and manage during the pandemic, then such mindful meditation apps as Insight Timer, Headspace, Smiling Mind, and Calm can provide guided and unguided meditations to help cope with anxiety, sleep, stress, and everyday functioning.
If you need an app to improve your productivity or help you better manage your time, productivity apps like Trello, Microsoft To Do, and Taskade may be helpful to get organized, and improve focus and work habits. These apps encourage you to simplify and focus your calendar to allow for a more targeted and balanced approach to getting work done.
You might consider reading recent research on the effectiveness of two popular mindful meditation apps by Flett et al. (2019). As we navigate through these difficult times, it is important to do the search and select an app, among the many available, that best fits your needs.
Flett, J. A., Hayne, H., Riordan, B. C., Thompson, L. M., & Conner, T. S. (2019). Mobile mindfulness meditation: A randomized controlled trial of the effect of two popular apps on mental health. Mindfulness, 10(5), 863-876.