With the majority of us working from home and self-isolating as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) government measures, our smartphones and technology have become more important than ever.
Staying connected, active and making time for ourselves should be prioritised as we become isolated, and there are many smartphone apps out there that can help us to do this. In this list we’ve highlighted 5 apps we think can help to support sticking to healthy habits as we all support public services by staying at home.
- Sleep Cycle
It can be difficult – but creating a regular sleep routine is important in times like these. Sleep is something that our bodies need to stay healthy, and there are many apps out there that can help to promote healthy, regular sleeping patterns.
Sleep Cycle is a smartphone alarm app with a difference. The app is designed to track users’ sleeping patterns so it can wake them up during ‘light sleep’ stages – which is said to make waking up easier.
The app uses motion detection to analyse when we are in different stages of sleep. After analysing a user’s sleeping patterns, the app creates a 30-minute ‘wake-up’ phase which ends at a user’s desired alarm clock time. During this phase, Sleep Cycle monitors body signals so it can ‘wake you up softly’ when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage.
The stress and anxiety many of us are experiencing right now can make sleeping and waking up feeling well-rested difficult. Good sleep is not only important to our physical health but also our mental health. Waking up in this way can help us feel more rested, so we are better able to tackle the challenges of the day – whatever they may be.
Many of us are spending more time on our social media apps, than ever before. Although social media can be great for staying in touch with family and friends, it can also increase our anxiety – and can make it hard to switch off from what’s going on around the world.
Moment is a smartphone app designed to help users monitor their social media usage. Instead of just providing charts that measure the amount of time you spend on your phone or specific apps, Moment helps promote a healthy relationship with devices and social media.
Using ‘coaching’ the app aims to help us make changes to our phone use habits, so we can focus on other parts of our lives. Each day the app sets a ‘goal’ which users are asked to abide by, slowly helping to promote better habits. For example, one goal for the day may be to pick-up our phones 30 times less, than the day before. Moment is available via the Apple App Store and Google Play – and new users are currently being offered a free trial period.
- Deliciously Ella
As we spend more time at home, eating healthily can be difficult. At home, we can access those ‘treats’ whenever we want, and the government advice to avoid supermarkets unless really necessary means many of us need to ‘get creative’ when it comes to the recipes we follow.
If you want to use this ‘stay at home’ time to try going plant-based, try the Deliciously Ella app. The app features more than 400 plant-based recipes, instructional videos, meal planners and shopping lists which are designed to make cooking easier. The app also features an advanced search functionality that allows you to find recipes based on the ingredients you have.
As well as recipes, the app also features a ‘wellness’ section, which includes over 40 meditation and yoga videos. The classes range in difficulty and length, and most can be done at home without equipment. The app is easy to use and updated weekly with new recipes, videos, and other related content.
Deliciously Ella is available via the Apple App Store– and new users’ are offered a free trial period.
- 8 Fit
As well as eating well, staying active is also important to maintain physical and mental health Apps can help us to do this – and there are many options out there specifically designed to help us stay active at home, where we might have limited fitness equipment.
8Fit is one of these apps. Those subscribed to this app can access hundreds of videos with a touch of a button, and videos cover a wide range of training types – including yoga, Pilates, boxing, HIIT and resistant band workouts.
The videos are available on the app range in time length and difficulty, suitable for those just starting or more advanced ability. 8Fit also has other features designed to promote a healthy lifestyle – including a fitness progress tracker, step-by-step guidance, meal plans and a database of healthy recipes. 8Fit is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play – and new users’ can take advantage of a 14-day free trial.
- Lumosity: Daily Brain Games
If you are not working from home at the moment, it’s still important to keep your brains active while being inside closed doors. It’s easy for us to fall into routines of waking up late and spending the day watching TV – so apps such as Lumosity are great for improving thinking skills and keeping our minds occupied during stressful times.
Lumosity is a brain training app that allows you to improve concentration, memory and accuracy – by playing quick, fun games. The games rely on you paying attention to solve problems and puzzles, which are customised to suit the user. Once you have played some of the training games, the app builds stats that can tell you your average speed, cognitive LPI and problem-solving ability. You also have the option to improve your basic maths and English skills, amongst other cognitive improvement features.