What did we all do before smart phones, eh? Mine has barely left my side since lockdown began – my battery has been running out twice as fast as usual. However, as much as I love social media, I was getting a bit sick of the mindless scrolling so I wanted to devote my time to something a little more productive. Today I thought I’d write about the apps that have been getting me through these bizarre times (that don’t leave me feeling as if I’m procrastinating!)
I’ve been a big fan of Audible for a few years now. I wasn’t too sure about it at first as I’d always favoured a physical book over anything else, but now it’s one of the most used apps on my phone. I mentioned the other day that I’ve been re-listening to the Harry Potter books whilst I walk the dog – Stephen Fry narrates the whole series and he tells the story with such flair and creativity. I’ve had it on constantly for the past few weeks and I’ve found it so therapeutic.
I first visited and fell in love with Paris way back in 2013. Ever since then I’ve been promising myself that I’ll learn French someday (at least to a conversational level). Well, it’s only taken me seven years and a pandemic to get around to it! A few months back I downloaded Duolingo and I’ve spent around 10-30 minutes a day learning French. I can’t say I’m any good (I’m a slow learner and languages was never my strong point at school) but I’ve been enjoying it nonetheless. It also feels good knowing I’m self-educating and teaching myself something new.
I first downloaded Calm around 6 months ago and it quickly became part of my daily routine. A relaxation app, it provides sleep aid in the form of soothing music/bedtime stories as well as guided meditations. When you first sign up, you’re given the option to select your goals (for example: improve focus, reduce anxiety, develop gratitude etc). As much as I enjoy the meditation series, my favourite aspect of the app is the sleep stories. I don’t suffer from insomnia of any sort – in fact my sleeping habits are the healthiest they’ve ever been – but there’s something so comforting and nostalgic about listening to a story before bed. I always look forward to my half hour with Calm before I settle down for the night – it really helps me unwind.
I’ve been jogging on and off for years and since being in lock down I’ve been trying to take it more seriously. It’s been a wonderful way to enjoy the gorgeous weather we’ve been having and it feels so good knowing I’m exercising regularly again. I’ve been using the Nike Run app to track my workouts – it records your time, average pace, calories and elevation gain. It’s been a great motivator being able to see my progress and I’ve managed to ease back into a routine.
Not strictly an app I’ve been using on my phone (nor the most productive), but I had to include Disney Plus on the list as I’ve been binge-watching it non stop through lockdown! After all, we all need some entertainment, don’t we? I’ve exhausted all the classics (Beauty and the Beast is my favourite) and am now watching The Imagineering Story; a documentary focusing on the history and construction of Disney Land. Really interesting if you’re a fan of the parks.
What are some of your favourite apps? x