Event planning has often been cited as one of the most stressful jobs out there. Pile a global pandemic on top of that and it is a miracle that planners are still going strong. While we know you are resilient, hard-working and capable, everyone could use a little calm, especially now. Meditation and mindfulness practices can be great ways to reduce stress and re-center intentions. Being the busy bees you are, we compiled a list of the best, free meditation apps so you can practice meditation on the go.
This app allows you to practice focusing your attention for a few minutes at a time. It will remind you to practice in the morning, afternoon and evening and will track your progress and commitment to a routine. The structured routine is a great place for beginners to start. A few minutes three times a day is doable for even the busiest planner.
See also: 3 Mindfulness Mantras
On Smiling Mind hundreds of free, guided meditations are organized into ‘programs’ including Sleep, Relationships and Workplace. Most practices are 5 to 15 minutes long and the programs allow you to focus on a specific area of your life, meaning you can deep-dive into a practice around work, for example, in a time-efficient manner.
For more experienced meditators, Insight Timer offers music tracks, ambient sounds and timers so individuals can set their own practice time and tune. However, they also offer guided sessions for those ready to relinquish some control. A big draw for this app is the personalized timer with an option to set gentle alarm sounds that are less jarring than a traditional bell. Plus, setting your own practice time means you can fit it into your schedule. Try a 5-minute practice while waiting for your coffee to brew or a 15-minute one on your commute.
This app was designed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help service members and veterans learn mindfulness practices. While developed for vets, the app is said to focus on “reducing stress, improving emotional balance, increasing self-awareness, helping with anxiety and depression, and coping more effectively with chronic pain.” Stress and anxiety are nothing new for many planners, so this app is a great option for targeting chronic anxiety or pain and everyday stress.
Those unconvinced of the effectiveness of meditation and mindful practices, or by their own ability to sit still for an extended period of time may find this app fits their approach to wellness. The tagline for this app is “meditation for fidgety skeptics” which is what its’ founder, Dan Harris, used to be. A popular review of the app describes it as “using straight talk and a sense of humor to help you focus” on your mindfulness goals.
Perhaps one of the most popular meditation apps, Headspace is offering a free, one-year subscription to Headspace Plus for anyone who has recently become unemployed due to COVID-19. While the free version is still available to everyone, Headspace Plus offers extras such as Move Mode, home workouts and guided runs, Sleep by Headspace for relaxing sleepcasts, and The Wake Up to help you start your day inspired. If you are recently unemployed, click here to sign up for Headspace Plus for free!