The Two Best Apps to Overcome Your Global Pandemic and Zoom University Anxiety

It's hard enough to get a therapy appointment for a reasonable amount of money when life goes as expected. So, what in the world are we supposed to do when a global pandemic occurs and we find ourselves quarantined for a month or more, with our anxiety spiking?

If you can't (or don't want to) get a virtual therapy appointment, you shouldn't just disregard self-care and convince yourself that the only way you can relax is by taking yet another social media "break."

In a global pandemic, opening Twitter might be even more dangerous than going outside, because you'll just overwhelm yourself with more negative news. (This is not in no way an incentive to go outside, please, for the love of God, stay home and help everyone fight the virus.)

But if you don't want to let go of your little machine just yet, it turns out when we find the right apps, our little machines can actually benefit our mental health. Here are two apps you should try ASAP to deal with all the craziness of an online semester at home and a massive, for lack of a better word, sh*tshow.

  1. 1. Stop, breathe, and think

    When you open Breathe, you are prompted to start a check-in moment to pick the best mindfulness session that’ll be most appropriate to your needs. I love this part of the app because this first step is what makes the whole meditation process that follows so personalized and tailored to what you want. 

    The app will give you 10 seconds to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about how your mind and body feel. Say today I’m physically “meh,” mentally “poor,” and emotionally “restless,” “mixed up,” “apprehensive,” and “guarded.” Well, doesn't that sound like our mood every time someone says the word "Covid-19"?!

    These are the four meditation sessions recommended based on what I entered before. Breathe recommends: “Relax, Ground and Clear” to feel peace and calm; “Falling Asleep” to … well, fall asleep; “Joy” to celebrate the positive; and “Engaging Your Senses” to ground me in the present. I know you’re thinking, “Who has time for this?” YOU do! Each of these four meditation sessions is under 10 minutes. 

    Another thing I really enjoy about the app is the possibility to choose whether or not you want to hear the voice of a man or a woman. I think it’s one of the smartest, most thoughtful options out there because some of us may have suffered abuse in the past and cannot rest profoundly and fully if we are listening to a man’s voice, for example. We may feel more comfortable listening to a woman, or vice-versa. 

    Aside from these personalized sessions, you also have access to so many categories of meditation sessions like college, teacher favs” (for our school education majors), “body positive” (for our students in E.D. recovery because yes, it’s more common than you think), “athletic prep” (for our soccer stars), “traveler’s toolkit” (for our best friends coming back from abroad sooner than they planned to), etc.

    Find out more and download the app here.

  2. 2. Mindshift

    Mindshift provides two things to help you manage your anxiety: information and tools. 

    The better you get at recognizing general worry and stress, the better you get at addressing it before it turns into significant anxiety and even panic attacks. Mindshift will show you categories of worry and examples of what it may look like in your day-to-day life so that you understand your fears a little better. 

    If you already know what you’re struggling with and are ready to find healthy ways to cope, Mindshift offers three major tools called “Healthy Thinking,” “Chill Zone,” and “Taking Action.” Find out more about the app and download it here.

Take a minute to download these two free apps on your phone now and your future self will thank you for putting mental health above everything else. Remember, all bad moments come to an end, eventually. And if you're worried about your grades, know that it is more than okay to struggle with school right now. Besides, grades do not define your worth. The kindness and beauty of your heart do. Stay home, stay safe! HCXO.

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