To keep functioning optimally, the trick is to find an appropriate way to deal with all that stress. To-do lists help me cope, but unfortunately they usually end up in the trash quite quickly. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise also helps. When I look at my colleagues everyone of them has his or her own way to stay in shape: Eric empties his head during a lesson in Capoeira, Emile regularly hits a golf course, Marieke runs half a marathon and I usually opt for a refreshing walk in the woods. But of course we can’t do all these things at our office.
Quick & dirty alternatives
Therefore, I started looking for an effective alternative that can be squeezed into our breaks, takes little time or money. And guess what? There is a range of mindfulness and meditation apps, which I absolutely knew nothing about. This sparked my interest and after a couple of sessions I’ve discovered that sitting quietly for a few minutes, earplugs in and app on can be very effective! After ten minutes I feel a lot fresher and more relaxed than before, like I’ve been given a chair massage from the masseuse who also works in our building. For this reason, I’ve come up with an anti-stress app top three for everyone who tends to run around the office like a – as we Dutch like to say – ‘headless chicken’.
Headspace – the absolute favourite: an app that allows you to do short no-nonsense mindfulness exercises. Simply, at work, at your desk. It’s totally not difficult, so you don’t have to be a meditation guru at all, which for me is an important requirement. After a ten day trial period, you can choose to become a member and get access to hundreds of mindfulness exercises.
Calm Meditation – this app helps beginners to meditate and stimulates relaxation. It is slightly less down-to-earth than Headspace, but does offer the option to choose how long you want to meditate for: 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes. You can also select the accompanying music, putting you – believe me – in relax mode straight away. Just check out the corresponding website, and you’ll know what I mean.
Omvana – app with a 21-day meditation challenge that challenges people to be good to themselves and take a proper break every day. It promises to make meditation easy, fun and effective. Sounds good, huh? The website is quite organized and offers a lot of choices. Good to know is that the app is only available for iOS users.
Now, do you feel the space and peace of mind coming yet?