MakeUseOf: 5 Effective Habit Tracker Apps and Tools to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions. “Some say a habit takes 21 days, others say it takes 66 days, and some studies even say it requires 36 weeks. The one thing everyone agrees upon is that consistency is key to building a new habit. Habit trackers have shown to be useful for that, especially when they show you the amount of effort you’ve put in so far, compelling you to put that effort again when you’re feeling demotivated.”
MakeUseOf: 5 Audio-Journaling Apps to Beat Anxiety. “Many people keep journals for their mental health benefits. Journaling about your feelings can reduce mental distress and is a highly encouraged practice for people dealing with anxiety. Audio-journaling, one of the recently introduced forms of journaling, has proven to be effective at this. Let’s take a look at the best audio-journaling apps.”
HuffPost: This Is Your Body On Pandemic ‘Whiplash’. “The relief that came with the rollout of vaccines was followed by news of a more transmissible variant — delta — gaining steam around the world. And just as the delta surge started to settle, scientists identified a new strain called omicron, raising anxiety again. All that back-and-forth has taken a toll on our physical and mental health. Some people have begun to feel numb to the highs and lows, while others have become hypervigilant to every new revelation. Here’s how this kind of whiplash affects our health, and how to cope with it.”
Mashable: Omicron messing with your mental health? Don’t let the anxiety get to you.. “You’ve been here before. The flurry of headlines declare a ‘variant of concern.’ The talking heads urge you not to panic as chyrons below them repeat the words mutation and breakthrough. And, no, you shouldn’t emotionally unravel because this isn’t a repeat of March 2020 when there were no effective vaccines and little understanding of how COVID-19 spread. The fear of the unknown, however, still has the power to knock you down.”
University of Washington: Serious mental illness? There’s an app for that. “People with a serious mental illness often have dysfunctional beliefs that spiral them downward. They feel stigmatized. They may believe people are out to get them. They might think they will never get better. Wanting to address these dysfunctional beliefs, researchers created a smartphone app with daily game-like exercises to help people with a serious mental illness reassess their beliefs. The app was tested among 315 people in 45 states recruited through online ads on Google and Facebook in 2020.”
BBC: New Zealand council’s Zoom talks go viral as pretend meeting . “A New Zealand council’s Zoom meeting has been viewed more than 290,000 times on YouTube as people use it to pretend to take part and avoid being disturbed. The meeting of the Waipa District Council’s finance and corporate committee was recorded during a Covid-19 lockdown period in April last year. Since then, users have been playing it at home and at their workplaces to create the impression they are busy.”
PsyPost: New study suggests people turned to music to cope with psychological and emotional challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic
PsyPost: New study suggests people turned to music to cope with psychological and emotional challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. “A study published in Psychology of Music suggests that people adjusted their music listening habits as a way of coping with the COVID-19 crisis. Israeli survey respondents reported that they increased their music listening during the initial lockdown and that they used music to help them cope with emotional challenges during the pandemic.” 90% of the music I’m listening to now is not the music I was listening to at the start of the pandemic or even music I had heard before.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: How To Navigate the Overwhelming Volume of Mental Health Apps. “Research and our initiatives at the Division of Digital Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School suggest that there are issues and limitations that app users need to be aware of. However, certain apps have the potential to be a successful supplement to mental health treatment if users find the right program to fit their individual needs.”
Lifehacker: Take This Free 10-Day Mental Health Course on Coping With the Pandemic. “Before we go any further, two things to note. First is that this or any online course is no substitute for working one-on-one with a mental health professional and should not be used in place of seeking help if you need it. Second is that therapy isn’t affordable and accessible for everyone, so tools like these are able to provide at least some form of information and guidance. This particular course was created by accredited, licensed clinicians, and includes daily lessons, guided experiences, and other tools to help people manage their feelings and prioritize their mental health.”
Teen Vogue: COVID Anniversary Anxiety Is Real — Here’s How to Cope. “New COVID-19 cases are a fraction of what they were at the January peak, and good news about vaccine efficacy (if not always its accessibility) continues to rise. We’re beginning to consider what stitched-back-together versions of our lives can look like by year’s end — a line of thinking that brings up plenty of anxieties in its own right, but also unmistakably carries with it the promise of relief. This collective hope, arguably our first meaningful dose of it since the pandemic started, is something many of us are, on a rational level, reveling in. And yet, underneath that optimism, unease festers. Why the uptick in anxiety now?”
CNET: COVID-19 depression and anxiety: How to take care of your mental health. “The coronavirus pandemic, high rates of unemployment, racial inequality and a divisive, at times hostile, political climate have driven stress way up among Americans. More than 40% of people reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety in January of 2021, compared to just 11% between January and June, 2019. It will take months, perhaps even years, to fully heal from the trauma of 2020, but in the meantime, there are things we can all do to cope.” Big roundup with tons of links.
CNN: You need to calm down. News publishers are here to help. “Service journalism — from self-help guides to product reviews — is not a new trend among media companies, and it has long provided reliable readership for them. But during a pandemic that has created restlessness, anxiety and insecurity, news outlets like the Post and Bloomberg have seized on this particular source of reader engagement and advertiser interest.”
WKAR: Michigan State Senior Finds Serenity During COVID-19 Uncertainty. “In the era of COVID-19 while the world was shutting down, others were rising up. Cierra Chapman, a Michigan State University senior, created a new opportunity to transform herself physically and mentally during the pandemic. It all began for Chapman, 21, in the first few weeks of the lockdown. Having no connection with the exterior world, classes being forced to a virtual setting and losing her job — she took the time alone as an opportunity to self-reflect about what was going on in the world and, more importantly, the turmoil within herself.”