Summer can mean many different things to different teachers. It can mean catching up on sleep, taking longer than twenty minutes to eat lunch or going to the bathroom when nature calls not just when a bell rings. Regardless of how you choose to spend your summer, one thing that is definitely unarguable is that summer vacation looks drastically different than the school year.
In the event you would like to try some new things this summer, create some new habits or take care of yourself a little more deliberately, I wanted to share some mindfulness app recommendations that you may want to try out. It’s obvious we may not have the luxury of trying new things during the school year, so why not spend some time this summer exploring new apps and creating new habits to care for yourself so that when the year inevitably starts again, you will be refreshed and those habits will already be part of your normal routine.
The following mindfulness apps have been recommended by teachers time and time again when asked what tools have helped them start a regular mindfulness practice. There are pros and cons to each of them and only through some exploring will you find the app that works best for you.
Calm is an app and website that seems most concerned with helping the user find health and wellbeing through meditating, breathing exercises and sleeping better. There is a free program and then subscribers can sign up for $4.99/month to access “hundreds of life-changing meditations and sleep programs.”
Stop, Breathe and Think works as an app and on your computer to provide you with a customized mindfulness experience. This app is a great one to try because you don’t even need to create an account and many of the features are free.
What makes this app different is that each time you use it, you begin with a little check in about how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. Based on your answers, you are given a selection of customized meditations tailored to your needs. After your meditation is finished, you then do another check in. If you have an account, it keeps track of all of your check ins and time spent practicing.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Insight Timer. This is the app I’ve been using to meditate since I got my first smart phone. Now, it’s possible that the other apps didn’t even exist at that point, but I’m a creature of habit and have never made the switch to another app because as my practice has grown deeper, this app has continued to get better and better.
Some things that make this app different from others is that it’s completely free. There are over 4,000 free meditations covering all kinds of styles and practices. The meditations are submitted by real teachers from all over the world, there are reviews submitted from participants, and groups that individuals can join for more specific support and playlists grouping mindfulness practices by subject, religion and interest.
For a more detailed review, check out this post!
Headspace is an app that continues to be a favorite recommendation! Headspace is focused on the science and real world applicability of mindfulness at both work and school. The user can choose a random practice, but the really unique feature of Headspace are the programs that have been curated for specific focus areas. Headspace is free for 10 days and then has a variety of paid services if you want to continue exploring hundreds of hours of content.
“Happify is the single destination for effective, evidence-based solutions for better emotional health and wellbeing in the 21st century.” In addition to mindfulness practices and tailored programs, Happify provides the user with a happiness score and helps the user create new habits (one of the main reasons people don’t keep a continued mindfulness practice) through a variety of programs, games and other features. There are plenty of free features but the premium option is around $6.95/month.
On a side note, I don’t often take time to read a lot of the email subscriptions, but Happify’s emails are an exception. They seem to always have great videos, new science stats and great infographics. If you are looking for a daily dose of happiness, Happify provides some great material!
The summer is short and often goes by too quickly, but consider trying out the free versions of these apps, and you may find ways to savor some of each day and truly slow down, creating great habits that may last into the next school year.
Please try these out and comment below on your experiences! It’s great to have real recommendations to help others figure out what is the right fit for their lives!