- It's important to look after your mental health in stressful times
- While professional help is recommended, there are useful apps to help you better understand your mind
- From sleeplessness to anxiety to depression, here are our top picks
Humanity's foray into the new decade has been... stressful, to say the least.
And coping in an era in which isolation is the new normal, it might be harder to lean on support networks when your mental health takes a dip.
While it's imperative to seek professional help for any mental health issue, there are mental health apps you can use to help you monitor yourself, teach you to be calm, and offer exercises to make it a little easier to get through the day.
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For anxiety and stress
Sanvello is a popular app that helps you track your mood by asking you how you're feeling every day, identifying patterns, and providing "guided journeys" that can help you reach specific goals, such as building confidence, and coping tools for stressful situations. There are also communities you can join if you feel like communicating with people who have similar struggles.
SuperBetter is designed by a game developer and it turns improving yourself into a game. You can complete quests, such as catching up with an old friend or grabbing a booster with a jog, and even fighting "bad feelings" as monsters. This is useful if you're goal-orientated. It may help you improve connections while in isolation.
Similarly, Happify focuses on helping you break bad habits, lets you track your emotions and can easily be used whenever you need it. Its methods are based on positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
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For better sleep
Sleepio was designed by Oxford professors and helps you identify lifestyle choices that might be hampering your sleep. It helps you build a sleep schedule that works for your body.
If you prefer something auditory, Relax Melodies offers a combination of soothing sounds that can help lull you into dreamland. You can even mix and match your own melodies.
Calm is another popular app used for meditation as well as sleep. While offering music and soothing sounds to help you sleep, they also have bedtime stories read by lulling voices to help calm the mind.
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The app Remente offers tools to help you find balance in your life if you feel like you're slipping, and it offers useful monitoring that you can relay to your therapist. It also helps you assess what kind of activities or focuses make you happier.
Moodpath is a similar mood tracking app, but it can help provide assessments on whether you should seek professional help for depressive or anxious episodes. The app also checks in on you three times a day with questions that it eventually "learns" to ask, based on your app activity.
If you're feeling lonely in isolation and looking for conversation apps to talk about what you're going through, try TalkLife. It's a type of social media platform geared towards talking about mental health issues in a safe space.
You can also fight the loneliness and unpleasant episodes with Youper – an AI chatbot programmed as a therapist to help with quick conversations to help you assess your emotional state from an objective perspective.
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For more local resources for mental health, check out the website of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.
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