tried and tested: the best wellbeing apps

One of the purest learnings I’ve taken from Lockdown 4.0 is that we are all human. And by being human we crave those interpersonal connections and sense of community. Making it only natural for our wellbeing to nose-dive during periods of forced isolation. Our conscious minds understand the task at hand, and are willing to compromise for the safety of our iwi. However, our subconscious minds are silently acting-out over the loss of our freedom, social interactions and variability we took for granted over a month ago now.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like my subconscious has taken the wheel this lockdown. Any reasonable and rational thinking has straight up *left the building* and I’ve been stuck in a child-like state wanting ice cream for every meal and binge-watching any movie that has received upwards of a 50% review on Rotten Tomatoes.

Like dealing with a child, I’ve had to set firm boundaries for my infantile subconscious around prioritising my wellbeing, in particular taha tinana and taha hinengaro.

With that, I’ve spent hours in the App Store searching for tools I could use to act as my motivation to move my body, exercise my mind, and re-connect with my hauora after a brief sabbatical... amidst the cookies and 17 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.

So here it is, my complete list of recommended apps that I find myself indebted to:

1) Fitness (Apple Watch)

Mainly because it thinks I’m working out, when I’m just walking up a hill which is #humbling. If you own any kind of Activity Tracker, you know how useful these can be for holding you accountable, reminding you to move, and keeping a physical record of all your trainings.

2) Balance (Meditation App)

1-year unlimited access for free? Count me in! This app holds every kind of guided audio you may need, based on how you’re feeling, your energy levels, what time of the day it is and how to improve your sleep hygiene.

3) NTC (Nike Training Club)

A complete compilation of pre-recorded workouts for every age, ability, mood and modality. You can’t help but appreciate the crisp video tutorials, workout diversity and accessibility of this universal app.

4) StripeClock / Trifecta (Timer Apps)

As trivial as it may be, we all need a good timer-based app on our phones for those impromptu workouts or Pomodoro-style stints of productivity. Switch from a stop-watch, to a countdown, interval or tabata-based timer.

5) Cronometer / MyFitnessPal (Food Log Apps)

With a background in counting calories and ‘IIFYM’, I rarely use food trackers due to this superhuman skill I’ve acquired to eyeball meals and guesstimate the caloric content and macro split (come at me Batman). Nevertheless, when I feel anxious I tend to avoid meals and chronically snack… so I use this tool to give myself tangible nutrition-based targets for my anxiety to meet.

6) Yoga: Mind & Body

Similar to the NTC app, Yoga: Mind & Body is a database of animated yoga-based regimes for workouts, stretching, breath-work and relaxation. If you’ve always wanted to get into yoga, give this app a go for some beginner-to-advanced routines.

These are but a snapshot of what has worked for me, but I hope it inspires you to explore the resources available to you. All of these apps are FREE, some offer in-app purchases, but they all function on the premise that you do not need money to implement healthier habits.

If you’re feeling lost and in need of accountability, we are running FREE community classes for all with the aim of keeping our iwi active during the pandemic (Click on the COVID-19 tab on our Website to join). Thank you for reading, and please continue to share the resources you have found useful during this time!

Kia kaha Tāmaki Makaurau.