It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Neighborhoods are beautifully lit, holiday parties are in full swing, the malls are packed with shoppers looking to take advantage of the latest sales, and every single flight to anywhere is fully booked. While the excitement is always fun, it can also get pretty stressful. For me, the biggest challenge has been finding activities to help me decompress and remain mindful. I’m a big fan of yoga, but with a busy schedule, it’s hard to find the time to go to a studio. Instead, I’ve found a few apps that have been a great supplement.
Check out my recommendations on the best apps to help you clear your head and avoid burning out this holiday season.
Headspace (iOS and Android): Headspace is the perfect solution for busy people looking to clear their head. Simply create an account, choose a subscription, and gain instant access to a wide selection of mindfulness techniques, ranging from breathing exercises to guided meditation. With Headspace, you can even customize your session based on time limit, mood and lifestyle. Sign up for free, and get access to 10 ten-minute guided exercises to help calm the mind, or choose a subscription that unlocks hundreds of mindfulness techniques to choose from. The best part? You can access Headspace from anywhere: smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Yoga Studio (iOS): Yoga Studio is my favorite app to practice Yoga while traveling or when I don’t have time to go to the studio after work. For $3.99, Yoga Studio offers 65 different classes that vary in level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), duration (15, 20, 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination), so you can easily find one that fits your needs. If you prefer a more customized approach to yoga, you can also create your own class by simply choosing the poses you would like to practice, and Yoga Studio will link them together to create a custom yoga flow and stitch together video clips of the poses (performed by qualified instructors) to create a full, flowing HD video tailored to you. Plus, if you’re in an area with limited internet connectivity, you can download the videos to your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV for quick reference.
SleepCycle (iOS): While yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are key factors in helping to increase mindfulness, perhaps one of the most important factors is sleep. SleepCycle tracks your sleeping habits over time, and uses sleep cycle theory to wake you up at the right time for optimal rest. Just set a window of time for when you’d like to be woken up (rather than an exact time) and the app will wake you up during your lightest sleep phase. It costs $.99, and it’s the only alarm clock I use to wake up in the mornings.
What’s keeping your head clear during the holidays? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear!