By Samantha Kerrigan, CBS 12 News
Returning to the office is a reality a lot of us are getting used to, but after working from home for more than two years, that can be a little stressful.
These days there are tools to help you manage those feelings and they’re available right at your fingertips.
Mental health apps like Calm, Headspace, Moodfit and Simple Habit are becoming increasingly popular.
Sleep stories and guided meditations are just a couple of the resources most of these apps have in common. But do they actually help? According to licensed psychotherapist Kristen Bomas, the answer is yes.
“There’s more harm in not trying because the fear stays alive.”
Kristen says the anxiety many people are feeling about transitioning back to the office environment is normal and the first thing to do is accept those feelings.
“Life is vague. Work is structured and so that’s the difficulty, but if you can get used to that, you really do separate work and life,” Kristen says.
The starting point could be as easy as taking a deep breath because according to Kristen, we’re all forgetting to breathe.
“We are breathing so unconsciously and we’re just letting our body breathe as it has to, but conscious breathing when we become aware of our breath, it is by far the most healing modality,” Kristen explains.
Focusing on your breath is the first step to all the guided meditations offered on the apps.
“Some lead up to full mediation and some keep it short and sweet which a lot of people need,” Kristen says.
It might not be for everyone, but Kristen says meditation is proven to calm your mind.
Even just a one-minute meditation sitting at your desk can help clear out anxious thoughts.
“You start to think on your own which is important when we talk about fear, which is at the basis of stress and anxiety.”
Another way to clear your mind is to dump your thoughts into a journal.
Some of these apps have space for journaling, or you can just use old fashioned pen and paper.
You can even find a gratitude journal on Moodfit which is one of Kristen’s recommendations for starting your day right.
“I always tell people once you get rid of all the space taken up with all of this, you have space for more to come in and I tell them to fill it with gratitude,’ Kristen says.
And how you end your day is just as important to your mental health, so before you pick up the remote control at bedtime, think about this Kristen says the worst thing we can do if we’re having trouble sleeping is turn on the TV.
“Those apps with sound sometimes bridge that gap, so for them its giving them a sound that’s proven to match the neurological waves in your mind,” Kristen says. “That gets your mind in alignment with your body so that the mind is also falling asleep and getting restful as the body is,” she goes on.
While these apps are realistic for managing your stress anxiety long term, Kristen says they won’t be your sole healer.
Its key to remember that what works for one person, doesn’t work for everyone.
So, it’s important to find what feels right for you and then just take it one day at a time.
Click here to read the full article on CBS 12 News.