By Sara Paciaroni Sara is a freelance writer and aspiring photojournalist who loves yoga and cooking. She’s always on the lookout for ways to bring attention to causes she holds dear.

Summer holidays are far behind and Christmas still seems like a mirage. Maybe your boss has asked you to attend his office to discuss your targets, or maybe its fundraising season at your child’s school requiring endless parent volunteer hours. Not to mention, it’s a new year, and apparently, that means we’re supposed to be doing more. Whatever it is, we’re no stranger to anxiety.

For those of us that suffer from anxiety and don’t cope too well with stress, it might be a struggle to keep up with the amount of work and responsibility as a parent. The feeling of not doing enough creeps up at every task, not to mention the fear of coming across as lazy because that one day you just weren’t in the right mindset to work.

We know it can be extremely difficult to conciliate your mental health with meeting society’s expectations on efficiency. So we’ve done (part of) the work for you. We’ve tested these anxiety-busting apps so that you can make your life easier and healthier.

#1 Simple Habit

Since addressing my anxiety, I have consulted a number of resources on the topic and followed every course that my university provided at the time. The major theme?  Mindfulness.

Simple Habit has a guided meditation for every situation to encourage you to live in the present. Stuck on the train for your commute to work and suddenly feeling suffocating? A guided 3-minute on-the-go meditation might just be what you need to instantly feel better. Most of them are free, but you can unlock all exercises for about ÂŁ10 a month.

Meditations can be short or long, depending on your needs and availability, but just know that a few minutes of calm can make the world of a difference to your anxiety levels. The app offers dedicated meditations like Sharpen Focus, Enhance Your Workflow, and Motivation To Study and many others!

#2 Focus

With a beautiful minimal design, this app cares about your productivity without compromising your wellbeing. It allows you to create tasks and set a timer for how long you aim to complete them in. This prevents you from seeting over an hour on each task to keep you focused and able to take breaks.

Focus is built around the Pomodoro technique, which consists of taking several short breaks for every 25 minutes of work.  This can improve your efficiency and prevent burnout, as your focus naturally declines after 45 minutes. Giving your body, and your mind, little breaks here and there can do wonders for your stress and productivity levels, so definitely give this one a try if you’re feeling not so sharp in those departments.

#3 Wunderlist

If you are obsessed with making lists like I am, this app is a list maker’s heaven. Not only do lists keep us organised, but they definitely relieve anxiety. Sometimes putting your thoughts on paper — or on your screen — is enough to lift some weight off your shoulders. Often we find ourselves frozen by the many commitments, so much that we don’t know where to start from and we feel like giving up. But, this way it’s all laid out for you.

Wunderlist is completely free and it allows you to create a variety of lists, from work to family, through groceries and travel. It is quite aesthetically pleasing as well — something not to be underestimated when it comes to being more organised but at the same time, relaxed.

But wait for the most fantastic thing of all: every time you complete a task, you can just tick it off and it disappears from your list. Is it not so liberating to watch your tasks vanish from your to do list? Nothing compared to crossing them out on a post-it.

#3 Google Keep

Have an anxious brain that’s often overloaded with thoughts? Us, too. Ever been caught in the midst of things with a thought that you absolutely wanted to jot down, but can’t find a pen and paper? Yeah, us too.

Well in comes Google Keep with a place to jot down anything that crosses your mind, so you don’t have to think about it again until you need to. Later on, you can edit it with colours and labels, share it or add collaborators.

Writing can be a remedy against anxiety and stress. Google Keep is not only for quick notes, but you can also use it for anything you want to write. The search bar allows you to search through your notes if you ever want to find something you wrote a while ago.

We’re no stranger to the idea that apps can do life-changing things, especially for our mental wellbeing.  However, they are not a replacement for therapy. If you find your anxiety feels unendurable, do get in touch with a therapist. Talking therapy is always a good idea, no matter how bad or not bad enough you think your mental health is. Your therapist will then be able to advise you with the best course of action.  But, we do think that the first step in a clearer, calmer mind, is to hit up the App Store.

The world needs more happy

We are sending you a compliment every day, for a year!