If you have been stuck at home with plenty of free time in recent weeks, there are thousands of free apps that can help users stay active, learn to cook, play games and even read on your tablet or smartphone. Nowadays, many are trying to adapt to a new daily routine that’s 100% indoors including working from home, binge-watch entire series in Netflix and finding a way to exercise and keep active.
Here are some of the most essential apps for these days that will keep your body and mind active, and take advantage of what technology offers to us:
- Language: It’s a great time to start learning another language or brushing up one you haven’t used in a while. Apps like Duolingo, Busuu or Memrise offer dozens of language courses completely free!
- Yoga: Yoga is one of those activities you can do pretty much everywhere that will help relaxing the muscles and clear your mind from your routine. Free apps like Simply Yoga, Daily Yoga and Asana Rebel provide voice guidance with detailed instructions and routines.
- Exercise: Other options to help you work out indoors include apps loaded with free workouts like tap out planks, donkey kicks, and bicycle crunches. Some of these examples include Nike Training Club, Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer and Aaptiv.
- E-Books: Bookworms can now read an e-book on a tablet or even listen to an audiobook while cooking or exercising. Apps like Scribd and Audible offer exactly that, with free trials for new users to try out all the exciting content.
Physical activity in any form is an excellent way to keep you healthy physically as well as improving your mental wellbeing. There’s no time like now to take the best care of yourself as you possibly can!
This is the perfect time to look ahead at the next year and take control of your fate.
Follow our 8 steps to make 2020 a beautiful year.
STEP #1 – End of year review
This is an essential activity to ensure you don’t get swept by the new year. Look back at all that happened in 2019. The good, the bad and the ugly. Write down areas where you want to improve, but don’t be too critical. Every life is a process and we tend to be overly critical of ourselves. Find those areas that require extra attention in your life next year: finance, relationships, health, career, etc. Also, it’s important to write down things you are grateful for, so you can keep appreciating these things in the coming year.
STEP #2 – Brainstorm ideas for the New Year
Now it’s time to set some goals for 2020. Look at your year in review document and see where you need to put a little extra effort. Make sure to prioritize personal growth. Once you start living a harmonious life, a lot of other areas such as love, business, money, health and household will automatically improve themselves.
STEP #3 – Act on your goals
Keep your written goals visible during the new year. Write steps required to reach each goal. These are the actions you will take in 2020 to make your dreams a reality.
STEP #4 – Create a financial plan
Let’s face it, life can be challenging when we are struggling to pay the bills. Work out a budget plan and overview of finance for the new year. Establish how much you need to live and be sure to priority expenses toward this end. Then set aside money for entertainment (online casino, Netflix, computer games, movies, etc), so you know you can enjoy your year with ease of mind.
STEP #5 – Establish a support system
We live in a high-paced world. We are all expected to take care of everything by ourselves; but the truth of the matter is that we are a social and tribal being. We depend on others from our cradle to our deathbeds. Write down the people you can count on and the areas where they can help you. Also write the names of people you can help in 2020. Life will be much easier to bear when we help each other.
STEP #6 – Create a new daily routine
The goals you wrote for 2020 will take time to be realized, but you can already start to see immediate effects in your life when you begin on a new routine. Small changes in your day can bring huge results in the long run. Set a new routine of drinking a veggie shake in the morning, meditating 10 mins a day, doing exercise or yoga for 30 minutes a day or learn to do conscious breathing exercises. Take as little or as much as you can, but make sure you repeat it every day until it becomes an effortless habit.
STEP #7 – Aim for good enough, not perfection
Most people get discouraged after a month or two when their New Year resolutions go astray. We are beings of habits and habits are hard to change. Don’t go for a perfect outcome; that would be too much pressure to bear. Instead do everything at the best of your ability. If you only accomplish 50% of your goals, that is great! At the end of 2020, you want to look back at the year and feel proud of what you accomplished, regardless if only one of five goals were realized. Learn to love yourself just as you are.
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Perspective is everything. In a world were information flows like a tsunami, it’s important to keep focused on the data that is relevant to our modern lives. We have sifted the internet to find interesting and credible facts, backed by science, that will help you lead a more balanced and healthy life. Here are a few tips to make your life GREAT!
Learn to forgive
It’s not uncommon to carry a resentment for many years. Many people will wrong you throughout your life. But you don’t want to harm your future days by clinging with anger to something that happen years or decades ago. Researchers have found that forgiveness results in lower levels of anxiety, depression and major psychiatric disorders, since you are basically letting go of the toxic anger that fuels the resentment. Here’s a tip: write down the names of everyone that has wronged you. Then consciously say out loud “I forgive you” as you scan past each name. Try to be genuine. You can then move on with your life and gain a greater sense of freedom.
Traveling is good for you. Researchers have found that students that travel abroad for their studies ranked much higher in ‘Openness to Experience’, ‘Agreeableness’, and ‘Emotional Stability’, than their colleagues that stayed at home. Traveling will broaden your perspectives and literally reprogram your personality to make you more empathetic toward other people in your life.
The Gratitude Loop
We all have things to be grateful for. A psychology study showed that a one-time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in anxiety. Practicing gratitude is not as hard you may think. Write down a list of 3 to 5 things you are grateful in your life before going to bed, once or twice per week. Meditate on these things as you fall asleep. This activity can quickly become routine and bring big benefits to your life. As you focus on the good, rather than the bad, in your life, you will soon start seeing the “glass half-full” in situations where previously you would only see the negative aspects. It will become effortless to be thankful for the good, generating a cycle where the ‘good’ in life begins to shine out more and more so it becomes easier to be happier and even more grateful.
Nurture your Social Circle
We are a social animal. Research has shown that having a healthy social network can help you live up to 50% longer! Invest time to see family and friends. Developing closer and more intimate relationships can help you react less to stress and have a positive effect on your lifespan. Several studies have shown that people with strong social relationships can reduce risks of chronic diseases in heart, brain, hormonal and immune function. It is important also not to focus only on family and friends. Providing support to the needy and strangers can have equally good results for your brain. One study showed that providing support to others can be more beneficial than receiving it! The brains of the participants that were giving most support had reduced activation in brain areas related to stress responses. Go out today and talk to your friends, family and even strangers – your life will immediately be enriched!