Whether you need a mental refresher, want to improve your focus or lower your stress levels, a strategic dose of workday screen time can do you good.
Whether you need a mental refresher, want to improve your focus or lower your stress levels, a strategic dose of workday screen time can do you good.

Easy five-minute ‘circuit breaker’ you need at work

Picking up your phone in the middle of a work day may not normally be conducive to productivity, but the case can definitely be made for a quick 10-minute guided meditation.

In the past few years, mindfulness and meditation have proven much more than a trend thanks to their ability to reduce stress or anxiety, help promote sleep and even boost focus.

SEEK's resident psychologist Sabina Read is a big fan too.

"I think it's an oversight if we think we can't use technology to support our wellbeing and why not use technology that makes these skills accessible, particularly in the workplace," she tells news.com.au.

"A lot of them are free but most have minimal costs and they're really clear and easy to follow."

It’s screentime you absolutely don’t have to feel guilty about. Picture: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto.
It’s screentime you absolutely don’t have to feel guilty about. Picture: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto.

Although she believes there may be a few misconceptions and unrealistic expectations that need busting around these practices, Ms Read says they act as a great "circuit breaker" during the work day.

"Some people may feel more agitated, angry or tired along the process and they may find that their mind wanders and it's difficult, challenging and sometimes uncomfortable," she says.

"It doesn't mean you're not doing it right, it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it, it just means we're human and perhaps it's a greater invitation for us to use them as a respite in our hurried day-to-day life."

With so many options on the market, Ms Read shares the top four tried and tested apps she regularly recommends to her clients.

SABINA'S GO-TO MEDITATION APPS

1. Headspace

Founded by a former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe and advertising executive Richard Pierson, the mission behind Headspace was to demystify meditation and make it accessible.

It's something they've definitely succeeded at and it's now one of the most well-known mindfulness apps on the market. Complete newbies can start with a free 10-day guided meditation course, while subscribers have access to specialised tracks for things like focused attention, creativity, reflection and more advanced meditation guides.

Memberships are $19.99 monthly or $91.99 annually.

Find out more here

Picture: iStock.
Picture: iStock.

2. Calm

For an all inclusive app that boasts meditation tracks and masterclasses, music, stretching sessions, sleep aids and even nature scenes, Calm ticks all the boxes. There's a category to help you get through whatever challenges you're facing, so you can feel a little more prepared and composed to face your day. Their offering also includes curated playlists and sleep stories from A-list celebs (think: Harry Styles, Bindi Irwin and Kate Winslet).

Subscriptions are based on a monthly cost of $23.49, $91.99 annually or you can get a lifetime membership for $599.99.

Find out more here

3. Insight Timer

Despite being completely free, Insight Timer gives you access to over 80,000 free soundscapes, yoga videos and guided meditations. There's also a special section for parents filled with meditations, bedtime stories and mindfulness courses created for all ages, from babies to teens.

If you want access to an additional 700 courses, including new weekly content, they offer a Member Plus feature for $88.99 a year.

Find out more here

4. Smiling Mind

Developed by psychologists and educators, Aussie not-for-profit Smiling Mind claims that 10 minutes every day is all you need to get the benefits of mindfulness. They have specialised programs for families, classrooms, workplaces and youths, plus sessions developed in Indigenous Kriol, Ngaanyatjarra, and Pitjantjara languages.

Even better, the app is completely free to use, however you can make a donation to help Smiling Mind continue the work they do with schools and community organisations.

Find out more here

 

This article was created in partnership with SEEK

Originally published as Easy 5 min 'circuit breaker' you need at work


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