Running a business can be stressful at the best of times.
So can working for one when you’re constantly busy and running around trying to manage multiple projects.
Throw in the events of the last two years, and the stress and anxiety of the UK workforce has been through the roof for a long time.
According to a report by Mind, 60% of adults said their mental health got worse during the lockdowns in 2020 and early this year.
There’s been more emphasis than ever on the importance of mental health over the past couple of years.
Not just for business owners.
Employee wellbeing is high on the agenda right now.
Finding time to destress, take a second and relax can be difficult to do.
But there’s always things you can do to make the time, and there are a tonne of apps available that can help you find even just a couple of minutes to refocus and relax in your work.
If you’ve got a business phone, it’s the ideal thing to use to download these kinds of apps, especially if you don’t like the idea of downloading work related apps to your personal phone.
And if you’re a business owner, offering access to these mental health and wellbeing apps through your business phones can be a great way to keep employees healthy.
There are a lot of wellbeing apps available, here are a few of the more popular ones on the market you could try.
Headspace provides its services to hundreds of corporate customers, including some of the biggest names like Google and Starbucks, who offer it to their employees as an added benefit.
Anyone is able to access content on the app without paying anything, but a subscription is required to access premium content.
Essentially, you’ll be able to try before you buy, to see if it would meet your employees expectations.
The Calm app aims to improve sleep; encouraging relaxation and boosting mindfulness with sleep stories narrated by celebrities and popular figures.
Calm is among the most popular apps for mindfulness and boasts the most subscribers on the market – probably because they’re constantly adding new content to it’s free and premium versions.
Whether it’s sleep or stress your employees are struggling with, the calm app can provide a huge boost to your business’ wellbeing strategy.
This app can help your employees learn how to better manage their feelings of anxiety and depression.
Catch it uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help change the way your staff think and feel about things, and encourages them to turn their negative thoughts into positive ones.
The app is suitable for any of your employees that might suffer with anxiety, depression, anger or confusion and allows them to record their feelings in three simple steps:
- ‘Catch it’ records and rates their mood
- ‘Check it’ asks them to take a moment to reflect on what they’re thinking
- ‘Change it’ asks them to think about a better way of dealing with a problem
Chill Panda teaches your employees how to use breathing techniques to help them relax more, worry less and feel better – and it’s currently being tested in the NHS.
The app measures their heart rate and suggests tasks to help their state of mind, which include some simple breathing exercises.
To measure their heart rate, the app uses their devices’ LED light to measure the volume of blood flowing through their fingertip as their heart beats.
They’ll also be asked to rate their mood to work out their current emotional state, and then encouraged to take part in a variety of playful tasks and activities – including breathing and light exercise.
Chill Panda is suitable for all ages who want to learn how to manage their stress and worry better.
My Possible Self: The Mental Health App
My Possible Self will allow your employees to take back control of their thoughts and feelings.
By using simple learning modules, they can start managing their anxiety and stress – tackling their unhelpful thinking little by little.
The app gives your employees a place to record their experiences and track their symptoms with the everyday mood tracker to highlight activities, people and places that influence their moods.
Your employees will really be able to get to grips with their mental health.
New modules are added on a regular basis and are suitable for anyone over the age of 18 who’s suffering from anxiety or depression.
A subscription is required to access most of the modules, but one will be available for free when you download, which effectively allows you to try before you buy to see if it’s something your employees might find useful.
Thrive uses games to track an employee’s mood and teaches them methods to take control of their stress and anxiety.
Your employees can learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing that’ll help them cope better with situations they find stressful and manage their negative thoughts.
It’s available to download for free on the App Store, Google Play or the developer’s website, but you’ll need an access code from the developer first.
Another app being tested in the NHS is Cove.
This one allows users to capture their mood and express how they feel with music.
If you find you or employees struggle expressing how you feel with words, Cove gives you the ability to create music that reflects your emotions – like joy, sadness or anger.
To create music, choose from a variety of different moods – like calm, struggling, longing, playful, clouded, etc – and once you’ve selected the one that best matches how you feel you can easily add and remove different musical effects.
You can store your creations in a personal journal or even send them to someone and let the music do the talking.
Finding some time to maintain mental health and wellbeing
Obviously owning a business phone and downloading an app isn’t a quick and easy fix to such a serious health and wellbeing issue among both employees and employers.
But the fact is, many employees have business phones now as they’re working remotely and many more business owners are examining new ways to improve mental health and wellbeing among employees.
Anything is a good start, and simply offering time and the tools for employees to take advantage of can go a long way.