It's been a rough year to say the least...and many of us are feeling more anxious, more stressed out, and more burnt out than ever before.
If you're like me, the pandemic took a toll on your mental health, your drive, and even your passion. I've been stuck in a rut over and over again these past few months. Still, I've done some digging online for ways to help me feel centered again that don't cost a lot of money. During my pandemic journey, I've found several sites and apps that are not only free or cheap to use, but really help me stay centered, find my joy again, and start working towards my future goals.
Here are the five sites and apps I highly recommend if you're struggling with stress. Together, these five will help you feel more centered and grow both in mind, body, and spirit.
1. An app for the body: Fit-On
I struggle with fitness in a normal year--but the pandemic has really taken the motivation out of me. Still, as I strive to get back on track with all things in my life, I know that moving my body not only has health benefits but also has stress-relieving benefits as well.
Fit-On is an app that has really changed my motivation. I love that there are hundreds of FREE exercise routines to do by dozens of instructors (including celebrities). You can choose to search by the impact level, time, intensity, instructor, and type. They have everything from easy stretching to yoga to weight lifting. I love that the app keeps track of it all for me, too. It's so motivating to set goals and then to see your progress as you complete classes. It's great for taking your exercise regiment on the go, too.
Even with gyms closed, you can stay on track, try something new, and get rid of some of your stress.
2. An app for the mind: Calm
I'm an anxious person to begin with, but the uncertainty of the past year has really taken a toll on my ability to stay Calm. That's why I love the Calm app. It's a way to automate your relaxation and meditation practice. If you are just starting out with a meditation practice, Calm takes the uncertainty out of it by gradually leading you through more intricate practices. I love that you can pick different goals and time ranges. There are also sleep stories that can help you drift off if anxiety is keeping you up.
Calm does have a fee associated with it, but you can try it for free for a limited time.
3. A site to bring you joy: Plays.org
One of the other ways I have learned to de-stress during the pandemic is to bring more joy and fun into my life. Before the pandemic hit, I was definitely a workaholic. I was going a million miles a minute, never slowing down or thinking about my mental health. With the forced slow down that the pandemic brought on, I realized very quickly that working all of the time leads to toxic levels of stress--sometimes you have to step back and rediscover joy, fun, and your childlike sense of wonder.
I've recently discovered a fun, free gaming site that has tons of options. The games are super addicting and a nice way to just escape from all of my worries. One of my favorites to play is Frogtastic because it's so easy to play but so easy to get hooked. I always make sure now to schedule some downtime to play just to help clear my mind and make sure I'm working fun into my routine.
4. A site for your spirit: Artist's Palette Durham Region
Another part of de-stressing is making sure your spirit and your passion is in sync. For me, this Youtube channel has been a life savior during the pandemic. I've always had a passion for painting and creativity. This channel offers FREE tutorials on painting for every level. It's been amazing to escape from the craziness of the world for a couple hours at a time and create something I'm proud of. When I'm painting, I'm not worrying about everything on my to-do list or the craziness of the world--I'm just sitting with myself and letting my thoughts come out through the brush.
I highly recommend reconnecting with your passion if you're struggling with stress right now. If it isn't painting, find something else that makes you feel centered and joyful.
What are your best tips for de-stressing? What apps and sites are you visiting to help yourself feel more joyful and centered? Let me know below.
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