It’s that time of year again… things are about to get crazy. The final few weeks of the year are always jam-packed with work parties, family gatherings and holiday planning – it can be a whirlwind of fun, but it can also be very overwhelming. For many people, the Christmas period is one of the most stressful times of the year. Family conflicts and strained relationships can be brought to the surface, while the added financial pressure and long to-do lists can frazzle even the most prepared person.
Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to help reduce your stress levels. Meditation and mindfulness have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, help you sleep better, and improve focus, creativity and relationships.
Taking even just 10mins for yourself to practice mindfulness will make a huge difference to your stress levels. To help you get through the silly season with the calm zen of a yogi (or at least, not losing all your hair!) we’ve put together our run-down of five great mindfulness apps.
Possibly the best advice we’ve ever heard. We love this app because it’s simple, fun and easy to use. It allows you to check-in with how you are feeling and thinking and offers guided meditations specifically tuned to where you’re at. It makes mindfulness fit in with your lifestyle, with each session tailored to your needs and your available time.
From the good folk at Smiling Mind – a non-profit organization determined to increase happiness and compassion in the world – this free app is perfect for the whole family. It makes meditation and mindfulness easy for all ages and experience levels, with simple user steps and programs that are designed by age groups.
The name says it all. This free app guides you through a simple seven-day mindfulness program, which is a great way for beginners to start practicing. You can choose the length of time, the types of sounds, as well as the nature imagery to visually focus on.
This beautifully designed app has been made specifically for busy urbanites. Tell Buddhify where you are (at the gym, commuting, or at home) and it will help you pick a style of mediation that’s perfect for you. You can choose between male and female voices, and there’s even a two-player mode so you can get mindful alongside your nearest and dearest.
Developed by a former Buddhist monk, Headspace was designed to make meditation more accessible. It’s also Emma Watson’s go-to mindfulness app, so you’re in good company! The app provides 10-minute sessions in a relaxed, relatable style and is ideal for beginners and experienced meditators alike.