From Simone Biles at the Olympics to Prince Harry and his documentaries, the spotlight on mental health is shining brighter than ever.
During these important conversations, I believe the unique role technology is playing should not be overlooked. It allowed us to deal with the sudden impact of the pandemic – working in tandem with the nation’s spirit of camaraderie – and is helping us to absorb the shockwaves.
So as a digitally minded PR and marketing agency, we have compiled a handy list of five ways you can genuinely use technology right now to improve your mental wellbeing and prepare for the return of normality.
1. Be Appy
“Oh, there’s an app for that!” we joke with friends and family. But in truth, there probably is. App stores are overflowing with excellent tools to help you tackle everyday life. Here are some of my favourites:
- Calm for its sleep assistance features. You’re not you when you’re tired. Prepare for tomorrow’s big meeting by getting enough sleep tonight.
- Simple Habit for its on-the-go meditation feature where you can choose how much time you have and your situation. The perfect way to self-care during breaks.
- Forest is a productivity app and a personal favourite for use at work. It’s often unavoidable that we have personal phones on our desks, especially while working from home. This app allows you to set aside a chunk of time to focus on a specific task, and if you leave the app, the little tree you’ve been growing will wither!
- Headspace is perhaps the most well-known on this list but boasts an excellent topical section called Weathering the Storm. It offers support related to Covid anxiety and following a busy day, you can switch off your mind with mindfulness meditation that helps put your worries to rest.
2. We’re in this together
Finding likeminded influencers and online communities can be one of the best ways to turn your devices into a hub of positivity. If you’re prone to a peaceful scroll through Instagram during your break, how about decluttering the accounts you follow?
Any account creating unnecessary comparisons in your brain might need to be pruned from the list, while following a few creative hashtags or lively and welcoming communities who share your interests can totally transform your time online.
3. Daily check-ins
You wouldn’t miss daily check-in calls with your team, so it’s time to schedule a daily check-in with YOU. If you’re using the Office / Teams package, don’t unsubscribe from the automated Cortana emails.
As well as sending you a summary of actions from your inbox that week, the Briefing emails remind you to take breaks from your screen and suggests to block time for Focusing. This silences notifications for uninterrupted focused work and sets your status to ‘Focusing’. Allow yourself to be unavailable for an hour and see what you can achieve.
4. Absence makes the mind grow stronger
Did you know you can exclude certain words and phrases on social media? It can make it a much better place. From muting certain hashtags that you’d rather not follow, to muting words relating to topics you find sensitive, a clean timeline makes for a clean mind.
Think of it in the same mindset as finally binning all of last week’s crumpled post-its and washing up the three coffee mugs on your desk. If you’re going into an online space during the day, make sure it’s an environment you want to be in.
5. Positive partnerships
Positivity in online circles can be hard to find. At Genesis, we’re doing our best to change that from the inside. As part of our pro-bono partnership with mental health charity Suffolk Mind, we’re encouraged to participate in their online Workplace Wellbeing course.
Supporting a charity as a team can positively impact all parties. So why not suggest that your workplace signs up to a webinar or course focusing on mental health, happiness or mindfulness? Chat about the content over a coffee and spark conversations with people you might not have seen (physically) in months.
Positivity in tech is just a click or tap away.