Even for the bravest among us, the world feels pretty scary at the moment. There are so many things we have no control over, and for an anxious person it’s something I’m finding very hard to deal with right now. I know I’m not alone; even friends who haven’t previously struggled with anxiety have commented on how difficult they are finding these uncertain times.

When intrusive thoughts become too much, I rely on meditation and the act of mindfulness, which I mostly access through a couple of really good apps. Calm and Headspace, two well-known meditation and mindfulness apps usually charge for some of their services, but have decided to offer free sessions to help anyone struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Headspace

Headspace are currently offering three free meditation sessions:

Relieving Stress

Panicking

Walking at home

The relieving stress and panicking sessions follow a traditional meditation format and are designed to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Walking at home is a little different – it’s a 10 minute mediation that encourages you to get active by completing a walking meditation inside your home. I found this session perfect when I started to feel too cooped-up in the house.

To try out any of the meditations visit: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19.

Calm

Calm has something for everyone. If you’re having trouble sleeping, or getting back to sleep you could try a sleep story or a guided meditation to help you drift off. Maybe you’re struggling to focus while working from home. Calm has a range of relaxing soundscapes available for free and also includes a link to their YouTube channel if you want to listen to longer soundscapes.

If you’ve got children who are feeling worried or anxious at the moment, Calm also provides meditations and sleep stories to help children whatever their age:

Age 3-4: Blowing candles

Age 7-10: Meditation for falling asleep

Age 7-13: That safe happy place

Age 11-17: Falling asleep meditation

To see the full range of resources available visit: https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath.

Every Mind Matters

Every Mind Matters was launched by Public Health England in conjunction with the NHS and the charity Heads Up in light of the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact on people’s mental health. It’s a website designed to give you the tools you need to deal with stress, anxiety and keeping physically as well as mentally healthy in this challenging time.

You start your journey by answering five simple questions about how you’re currently feeling. This generates your own personal mind plan which includes five steps to help with your wellbeing.

If you’re struggling with lack of sleep, anxiety, low mood or stress the Every Mind Matters website has dedicated sections offering different resources to help manage how you’re feeling. 

Exercise the mind

During these unprecedented times, keeping a healthy mind is more important than ever before. Calm, Headspace and Every Mind Matters are paving the way to reach everyone who needs support with their mental health.

If you need urgent support, Samaritans can support you 24/7. Get in touch with them on 116 123 or visit their website.