With less than three weeks to go before the big day, festivities are now in full swing as most people try to spread the Christmas cheer. But this time of year can also be one of the most stressful periods. It is important to try to look after your mental health and well-being during this time. We’ve put together some great apps and gadgets to help you overcome the Christmas blues.
Have you ever been curious about meditation but felt a bit dazed by the vast selection of methods out there? Headspace is a simple-to-use app with hundreds of guided meditations on everything from stress to sleep. With short one-minute meditations to longer 10-minute ones, it’s very useful to prepare you for the day ahead. Use it on the commute to work or take a little time out during lunch to keep your mind calm and carry on.
Sunlight is proven to raise the mood, which may be the reason why so many feel sad in the short winter days. The Bodyclock Spark 100 is an alarm clock with LED bulbs that mimic the light and colour of a real sunrise. Using it in the morning, you can open your eyes feeling more awake and refreshed in a bright, sunny room. Likewise, at night it fades for 30 minutes to help you drift off, helping to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. So, with a better night’s sleep cycle, you can help boost your mood, energy and productivity levels throughout the day.
Regular exercise can boost your mood through the winter, and you don’t even need to bare the chill outside to keep fit. Apps like Freeletics have hundreds of suggested workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is sign up, input your physical details and the app will build a routine for you based on your goals. “Any type of exercise is useful, as long as it suits you and you do enough of it,” says Dr. Alan Cohen, a GP with a special interest in mental health. So, make sure you do something you enjoy but keep in mind that there are loads of free exercise apps out there to help you.
If you thought that light only goes through the eyes, think again. The HumanCharger team says there are receptors throughout the brain that light can access through the ear canal too. So, the team has developed the LEDSet earbuds to beam light into these neural circuits. Using the earbuds for 12 minutes results in the user making more serotonin and increases mental awareness.
There’s loads of tech and apps out there to keep the blues away this winter, so do let us know if there are others you’d recommend!