However, it’s quite clear that “normal” is not going to be what it was before, the worlds of work and education will be permanently changed. With new challenges come new, helpful tools to support the changing needs of the working population.
Mental health has been brought into sharp focus during the pandemic, and more businesses than ever are looking into ways in which they can help their workforce (or their students and faculty in the case of educational settings).
Luckily there are apps such as Headspace, which aim to help calm anxious minds and help users to relax, sleep, focus, or even get active and work out.
In the second of our posts on Headspace, we’ll be looking at some of the content and features of the app itself.
Rather than being categorised by media type, Headspace categorises their items by goal. You choose what activity you want help with, and Headspace will offer you some choices of content that’s suitable for your specific goal. It’s an interesting approach, because by categorising things in this way, it offers certain types of content to people who may not have given it a second thought.
The first option in the app is meditation – which may be dismissed by many as “new-age” or “touchy-feely”. While meditation is an ancient art, Headspace is keen to assure its users that its methods have scientific backing and have a measurable positive effect on its users. These mindfulness apps, in essence, are seeking to retool and reapply the ancient methods used in meditation to suit modern society, personalities and goals – to help us overcome the stresses, anxieties and issues we face as 21st century citizens.
Whether you’ve experience in meditation or are a complete beginner, Headspace has content that’s suitable. It has courses that are broken down into small, easy-to-understand chunks; guided or unguided meditation sessions that you can set a timer for, making them suitable for (and perhaps even more useful for) even a very busy schedule – impressing on everyone the need to take a few minutes to yourself every now and then to relax and gather your thoughts.
Information on different goals and techniques can also be found here, as can support in helping you to get the most out of your meditation sessions.
Headspace also offers a group meditation – every 30 minutes (at :00 and :30) you can join a session with other people and meditate alongside likeminded people around the world. You can set reminders and be notified when a session is about to begin, and then share a meditation experience with other headspace users – it’s a feature that could help to maintain a feeling of being connected to others even while we are affected by social distancing and travel restrictions.
Next week, we’ll have a look at the Sleep features of Headspace!