Do you ever feel like you never really stop working? While many of us are still in traditional 9-5 jobs, a growing number of people are working remotely, have jobs that involve social media or are self-employed – for these workers, the working day never actually ends.
While this can certainly be a good thing – we can set our own hours, and send emails in our PJs (a luxury you don’t truly appreciate until you experience it first-hand) – it can also take a toll on our mental health. We don’t get to put our tools down, or “log off” for the day. We have our breakfast with a side of emails, and tend to use social media more for work than we do for socialising.
We’ve written plenty of articles about taking time out from technology already – you can catch up here – but a three-day digital detox isn’t always possible. Instead, try incorporating these apps into your work routine.
This might seem like a case of “keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer,” but Instagram can really help you understand your social media habits and see where you could be taking a step back. For one thing, you can mute your Instagram push notifications (as you can with just about any app) so that when you’re not “on the clock”, you’re not constantly reminded about work. Whether it’s 15 minutes to 8 hours, you can choose how long you’d like to take a break from Instagram and your notifications will return to normal after the allocated time period. You can also use Instagram to manage how much time you spend on it. Strategising and engaging with other Instagram users can seriously chew away at your day, and it’s hard to stop doing this when you’re scrolling your feed after dinner or first thing in the morning. Using the Daily Reminder tool, you can choose how much time you want to spend on Instagram every day and then set a daily reminder to give yourself an alert when you’ve reached the set time.
There’s nothing better than being able to schedule all of your upcoming Instagram content while you’re in a work headspace, then forget about it until you need to schedule more. You can allocate a chunk of your day to pre-scheduling your Instagram content with Later, an Instagram scheduling app, rather than having to open the app every time you need to post a photo. If your work has you managing multiple Instagram accounts, this is a major game changer – simply plan it, and leave it. And, if you’re wondering which apps can help you do this with your Facebook posts, there’s no need! Facebook has a post scheduling mechanism built into its performance (we’re crossing our fingers that Instagram will follow suit soon enough) making it easy for you to plan posts in bulk, and then get on with your life.
Did you know that there’s an app that can stop you getting distracted? Knowing that social media, online shopping, videos and games are specifically-designed to get and keep your attention, Freedom puts the control back in your fingertips by blocking distracting websites and apps. Bye, bye procrastination, hello productivity!
You’ve almost definitely heard of Headspace, the award-winning and research-backed meditation app that’s changing lives left, right and centre – which sounds dramatic, but is actually pretty true. Headspace has hundreds of meditations, from five-minutes up, that focus on everything from stress to sleep to anxiety. Remember how we said that Headspace is “research-based”? It truly is – one work-based study found that 30 days of Headspace lowered stress by 32%, and just four sessions reduced burnout by 14%.
Physical and mental health is all about healthy habits, whether that means drinking more water, taking a break from your screen or getting outside into the sunshine. With the Fabulous app, you can begin to build these into your day through small, daily changes, while also learning some of the science around mental health.
When we over-work, we tend to over-stress, and it can be hard to unwind from a work day that never ends. Over time, this can – unsurprisingly – take a toll on our mental health, so having apps like What’s Up? to help you check in with yourself can be huge game changers. This free app uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you cope with depression, anxiety, stress, and more, helping you pinpoint what you’re feeling so that you can move on from it.
Block out external noise and find focus, while also boosting your productivity. Noisili lets you mix different sounds to create your perfect work environment, whether that’s background noises of a café or ocean waves crashing in a thunderstorm. This app is particularly useful if you’re focusing on a detailed project that might be overwhelming to get started on, as a good background noise soundtrack can make all the difference to relieving stress and keeping your attention focused on the task.
We’ve heard time and time again that getting your overwhelming thoughts down on paper can help but, sometimes, writing everything down can seem daunting – there’s just too much going on in your head. Jour eases you into the world of journaling with a step-by-step approach to specific areas for growth. Write and reflect whenever, wherever with this micro-journal that keeps track how you’re feeling each day – instead of being presented with an intimidating blank page, the bite-sized check-ins help encourage writing down your thoughts while reducing overwhelming feelings
We all spend a lot of time on our phones, but this is especially true for people who work online. Social media management, answering emails, editing photos and staying in touch with customers or clients means a lot of time spent looking at a screen and, often, a lot of time spent doing this outside of work hours. Reduce your screen time with Moment, which gives you short, daily exercises tailored to you to help you use your phone in a healthy way.
Self-Help for Anxiety Management
If you work in a high-stress job that you feel like you can’t escape from, chances are, it’s giving you some form of anxiety. Anxiety can manifest itself in mysterious ways, but there is a lot to be said for taking a few minutes out to regain some calm and focus when you feel like your mind is racing at a million miles an hour. This app, nicknamed SAM, has been developed by a team of psychologists, computer scientists and student users to offer established self-help methods like anxiety self-monitoring, practical guidance, relaxation, and a support network of fellow SAM users, combined with fun usability to keep you coming back for more.