TAKE A BREATH - GET SOME MIDLIFE ZEN
Over the last 5 years, mindfulness has become main stream and big business. It's thought of less as a past time only reserved for the shaven headed monks of Tibet and just as likely to be a keen past time for the paid up members of cappuccino classes.
In several new studies, mindfulness is thought to be able to help with some of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Mindfullness has shown to help with symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks and stress plus, apparently, can be beneficial for calming down during a hot flush.
Teaching yourself is pretty difficult, if like me, you’ve an addled brain and you can’t sit still, but a phone app is definitely the way forward. Just find a quiet spot, get comfortable and plug yourself in.
Here are my tried and tested top 5 mindfulness apps you can download;
1. Headspace. With his voice a soft as a babies bum, you cannot help but relax when founder Andy Puddicumbe opens his mouth. In fact, Andy nearly always relaxes me enough to make me go to sleep! Free for 10 days worth of meditations, then subscription there after if you want to go deeper, Headspace gets a huge thumbs up.
2. Calm. I really liked the sleep stories on Calm. You can choose from an assortment of titles and once the story finishes, the app stops, hoping that you‘ve drifted off - it’s hard not to! The photography is great, the choices of medititations are excellent and you can just put on relaxing music instead if you prefer. Loved this! 7 days free trial then yearly subscription.
3. Breethe. Manage stress, feel happier, sleep better - life coach Lynne Goldberg teaches you how to relax. Learn how to meditate, listen to calming music, use guided meditations for specific problems and learn breathing exercises. 14 days free and then monthly subscription. Worth trying out.
4. Stop Breathe Think. Tell the app how you're feeling currently and it will choose meditations for you. This was ok and the voices weren’t annoying (not quite Andy though). Not as many bells and whistles as the others.
5. Simple Habit. 5 minute meditations to calm your mind. Daily meditation can help both sleep and stress ( errrr hello midlifers, this is us), this app has 75 different mindfulness teachers, you can choose topics that interest you, pick a time you want to try and stick to and the app will remind you. The first month is free then it’s monthly or billed annually.
As my lovely friend and ardent meditation expert Elizabeth Caroline would say ‘Get you OM on!’
What apps do do it for you?