Since the pandemic, a lot of us have been experiencing more stress than usual with a need to find ways to care for our overall mental wellbeing.
In conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021, Apple aims to help us easily access care for our mental health through the use of technology, with their curation of mental health care apps — of the selections, three of these happen to be Singapore-made apps as well.
Here’s a look at the mental health care apps that are free to download on the Apple App Store.
APPS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL WELLNESS
We all know that mental health care is important but sometimes, the lack of tangible steps can make it difficult for us to work on. The locally-made app, Intellect, aims to give you an accessible and easy way to begin your personal mental wellness journey with a simple approach that encourages you to make small behavioural changes in order to manage your emotions better.
The app is based on cognitive behavioural therapy and has 4 to 6-week programmes that simulate how you would work with a therapist, breaking down common issues around procrastination, decision-making, and other topics to help you understand yourself better and make changes to the way you think using easy exercises.
Journey is another Singapore-made app that allows you to step back from your surroundings and highlight your experiences and their impact on you. The app features blank canvases for you to reflect on as well as a Journal coach, various photography challenges, inspirational quotes, and a ‘Hello, Blank Page’ daily prompt to help you get started with your new journalling habit.
Journey also allows you to check your old posts chronologically like a blog, in a calendar view or even on a map, with a handy function to tag your entries with location data. You can add a photo or voice recording too, for some extra insights into that day for your future self.
Find a comfortable seat, relax and take a moment as you let the locally-made MindFi app help you to build sustainable habits while improving and monitoring your wellbeing anytime, anywhere. With hundreds of meditations available, MindFi aims to bring a bit of calm and wellness into your everyday.
The app also features animated breathing exercises, guided meditations, and even curated videos by coaches and experts who share their best tips and tricks that help to improve your mental focus.
Breathe In: Meditation & Sleep
When things become hectic, your breath quickens and you begin to feel overwhelmed. While we cannot control the events that are happening, we can still stay in control through the way we handle our breathing.
Breathe In helps us to do that with various breathing exercises, such as the 4-6 sequence, which helps to slow down your heart rate and relieve tension from your body by zooming in on inhales of four seconds and longer exhales of six seconds. It also helps to stimulate your vagus nerve, diminishing the fight or flight response and lowering adrenaline.
Wakeout! — Move and Smile
Studies have shown that any physical activity (even the smallest ones) releases endorphins in your body, triggering a positive feeling in the body. Tapping on this belief, Wakeout features lots of amusing, easy-to-follow physical activities which gets your body moving throughout the day.
For example, in the ‘Coffee Inhales’ exercise — where all you need to do is grab a cup of coffee, bring it to your nose, and inhale the aroma.
WATCHOS 8: MINDFULNESS APP
For those with an Apple Watch, the upgrade to WatchOS 8 will bring you the newly revamped Breathe App — the Mindfulness App. The app features an enhanced Breathe experience including a new session type called Reflect.
Reflect offers a unique, thoughtful notion that you can focus on for a minute or more anytime, anywhere. Some of these notions include “Recall a time recently when you felt a sense of calm. Bring that feeling into this moment.”, and “Reflect on one thing you’re grateful for and think about why you appreciate it so much.”.
Both experiences also offer tips to help you get more from each session alongside new animations that easily allows you to unwind just by using the small device on your wrist.
APPLE MUSIC PLAYLISTS
Besides the use of apps, music has proven to be an effective tool in helping to cope with stress and anxiety. In commemoration of World Mental Health Day, Apple Music will be presenting a series of wellness playlists that will not only help you to relax your mind but also guide you to meditate and reflect.
The world is already a loud and busy place so why not listen to something that might offer a bit of relief from the hectic life? Pure Calm mixes the mellower side of jazz, contemporary classical and instrumental music to provide you with a place of calm in the cluttered landscape of modern life.
Healthy Mind: Relax Your Mind
Curated by Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, the Relax Your Mind playlist features a collection of songs designed to help you find a sense of peace. From Radiohead to Moses Sumner to James Blake to SZA, these tracks were selected by Zane because of the similarity in the message that aims to search for some calm while trying to take a proactive step towards creating some balance in your life.
Sometimes you just need music that lies lightly in the background without calling attention to itself. Pure Meditation features a regularly updated mix of gentle ambient music, acoustic new age, Tibetan prayer bowls, and the occasional sounds of ocean waves and rainfall, into a calming playlist specifically designed to help you clear your mind.
Header image courtesy of Intellect, Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends, and Wakeout.