As we mean to go on, the ‘Appy’ way
Congratulations! We’ve made it to the end of our first week back after the decadent ten days of food, booze and chocolate (Oh okay, just me then!) As I woke up to embrace business as usual on 2 January, resolving at the very least not to put 2017 at the end of dates, I noticed an overall optimistic vibe on my social media feeds. Lo and behold, instead of moaning about back to work blues, quite several people were talking about the beautiful bright morning and beautiful sunrise. Not even a tinge of sadness, we were ready to embrace 2018, it seems, glorious sunrises, warts and all. Could it be the heady sensation of starting afresh, or the heady remnants of the previous week’s festive intoxication?
The problem is, we often fail to go on as we’ve started. High spirits fall at the first hint of a storm – literally or metaphorically, and all the spirit of goodwill and grace goes out the window as we revert to factory settings of grumpiness. Just give it three weeks – on what is deemed to be the most day of the year, recently rebranded as ‘Blue Monday’, which falls on a Monday around three weeks mark into the new year, you will notice the joy has disappeared and elation long deflated.
Yet, this need not be so. Having done this new year spiel for at least around two decades plus now, most of us should be well armed to get on with the programme, stiff upper lip and all. However, I appreciate that occasionally even the most upbeat amongst us may need a little extra ammunition to carry on in the face of disappointments and drudgery we feel a new year will automatically free us from. Hence, still in the festive spirit of giving, why don’t I share with you some of the tools of the app kind in my arsenal to get me through the day, week or year in as much a positive mood as I have begun?
With Calm, you can choose from an assortment of guided meditation experiences. The selections range from three-minute to 25-minute sessions. Another option is Daily Calm, a 10-minute program you can practice right before your day begins or as it’s about to end. Other features include more than 20 sleep stories, breathing exercises, unguided meditations, and more than 25 soothing sounds to help you get to sleep. IOS | Android
If you decided to make 2018 the year of positive thinking, then Happify is the app for you. The app turns gratitude and positive thinking into a set of science-based activities and games for stress and anxiety relief. Scientifically proven or not, a few minutes of positivity games a day does distract you from any woes – unless of course you are of a competitive nature! IOS | Android
7 Minute Workout Challenge
For every marathon runner, there are a dozen of us quite content with just keeping fit. And for us, the 7 Minute Workout Challenge is the perfect app. Let’s face it: a half hour run in the pouring rain or under the blazing sun or seven minutes of high intensity training? 12 exercises performed for 30 seconds with 10-second rest intervals results in higher daily metabolism and is equivalent to working out for over an hour. Sign us up! IOS | Android
Focus Timer and Goal Tracker Based on the Pomodoro Technique, this app allows you to create tasks, set times to complete each task, configure breaks and track your progress. Ultimately when you are focused on any one task for a set period of time, you are more likely get through your set tasks without any distractions. IOS
We start each new year with a resolution to stay more organised, and somewhere along the line quietly fall off the wheel. Clear is a fun and colourful app to keep you on top of your tasks in a quirky way.You can easily create, tick off and rearrange tasks with simple gestures, and can also group your to do lists under work and personal categories so they are not all jumbled together. IOS | Android
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Make 2018 the year you don’t lose any sleep – literally. Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock that tracks your sleep and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase. With in-app purchases, you can also select sleep aids and Phillips HUE light bulb support to make falling asleep and waking up a breeze. IOS | Android
2018 could be your year to quit smoking. This must-have app provides data on not only the health benefits of your resolution but also the money you’re saving for each day you are smoke-free. Android
Fix up, think sharp this year with Lumosity – an app that combines 25+ cognitive games into a daily training programme to help you stay challenged and mentally alert. IOS | Android
1 Second Everyday
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could document our days so at the end of the year we have 365 memories to look back on? Well, with 1 Second Everyday you have the opportunity to document one second of every day. Not only will you have an erratic 365 seconds video at the end of the year to look back on your days but also, as a Techcrunch writer found out after a few of using the app, it may also make you a little bit more adventurous. And you might as well make 2018 the year of adventure. IOS | Android
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