8 of the best apps for coping with lockdown

20 Apr 2020

The Audit Lab

Megan Boyle

Megan Boyle

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What strange times we live in, eh? The current COVID-19 pandemic and the strict lockdown rules that have followed the outbreak are like nothing any of us has seen in our lifetime. In fact, probably the only “recent” comparison can be made to the Black Death plague in the 1300s. Yikes. 

I wonder how they got on in the plague days without technology? All I can say is, thank goodness we have it now! It may not solve the impending problems facing our society, but it can surely help the stress of lockdown weigh a little less on your shoulders. So to that end, TAL Agency team has come up with their top eight apps to help you cope with lockdown.

1. Headspace / Calm

Our mental health is so important, especially at a time like now. Meditation is hailed as one of the best ways to increase mindfulness and to help you stay present and grateful in the moment. Headspace and Calm are two of the best apps out there to help you get started. They have a whole range of guided meditations to help you accomplish a number of goals, whether that’s reducing your anxiety or getting a better night’s sleep. Rather than ‘teaching’ you how to meditate, these apps gently guide you along the way helping you hone skills that will already exist within you. Why not set yourself a challenge to meditate for a week and see if you can keep the good habit up?

2. Houseparty

Basically Houseparty is a video messaging app that allows you to throw virtual ‘parties’ with your friends and family where you all sit together in one big video conversation and can see one another. There are even games you can play – Quick Draw, Trivia and Heads Up – and can join other parties. Although you can ‘lock’ your room to stop other people joining in; something we’d recommend!

3. COVID symptom tracker

The more serious one on the list, the COVID symptom tracker comes from King’s College London, and is being used by scientists to help study symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads across the country. You can add your symptoms and take a look at the current situation in your area, all the while contributing to incredibly important scientific research. It may help ease some of the health anxiety you may be experiencing. But if you find your anxiety worsening, then delete the app and try a meditation. 

4. Yousician

How many times have you said you’d pick piano back up again? Or the guitar? Or maybe you just want to be able to say you’ve played more than the recorder in primary school. Yousician is an online remote learning site that allows you to master a musical instrument. They currently offer lessons in guitar, bass, piano, ukulele and singing. You can even search for your favourite songs. Now that sounds like a good use of lockdown time.

5. Gymondo

It’s not just our mental health that needs looking after. With the entire population of the UK now only allowed outside for one form of exercise per day, our physical health needs some serious focus, too. Gym-heads up and down the country are now faced with weeks without their personal trainers and free weights, so what can we do?

Gymondo is a health and fitness app that helps you ‘Get Fit & Happy at Home’. There’s yoga classes, Barre classes, HIIT workouts, Bootcamp, Pilates, fat burners… You name it. Whatever your fitness goal – whether it’s to burn calories, tone up or get limber, there’s something for everyone. And psst! There’s a one month free trial, too!

6. Words With Friends 2

Remember Scrabble? Well if you didn’t already know, Words With Friends (2) is an online version of the classic board game. You play virtually with friends – hence the name – and take it in turns to craft the longest and cleverest words you possibly can. It may not help you kill much lockdown time immediately, but for something competitive and on-going – especially with friends and family a long way away – it’s a decent little game.

7. QuizUp

Aah, who doesn’t miss a good Wednesday night / Thursday night / [insert-weekday of your choice here]-night pub quiz? We sure do. QuizUp is a mobile app that allows you to pick a quiz topic and answer trivia questions alongside other people in real time. All you have to do is create a profile and play against others in timed-multiple choice rounds.

8. Duolingo

How many of us wish we had the aptitude for languages? There are many benefits associated with learning a new language, so why not hop aboard the bandwagon? Duolingo is your one-stop shop for interactive, and most importantly, free remote language learning. Whether you want to brush up on your high school French or German, or learn something entirely new to you like Japanese or Russian, you’re sure to find something to get your brain cells buzzing.

There’s no denying that we live in strange times right now. The phrase ‘uncharted territory’ seems to fit perfectly. And it’s normal if you’re starting to feel down or out-of-sorts. We hope that these apps will help to break up your day and help you make the most of your lockdown time. 

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