Modern life is stressful enough for many of us – overscheduled work, school and other activities, traffic, the high cost of living, traffic, family and relationship drama, traffic, urban issues such as homelessness, rising rents, and more (did we mention traffic?). But 2020 seems to have provided an overdose of everything, as well as the handy additions of a pandemic, quarantine rules, virtual work and school, escalating political drama, and a never-ending wave of natural disasters (heatwaves, fires, derechos, hurricanes). Not to mention the murder hornets.
To help with the overload, the LA County Department of Mental Health is now offering all LA County residents a free subscription to the Headspace meditation and relaxation app, which offers meditation how-tos, guided meditations of many different lengths and for many different situations, group meditations, and tools such as timers, tips and support resources, with something for everyone from very beginning level to those who have long since discovered the benefits of mindfulness.
But if you’re not a meditator, or are looking for other ways to relax and de-stress, the app also has tools to help with sleep (falling asleep, getting back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night, etc.), daytime focus (including music, 3D soundscapes (this reporter, missing rainy summer days at midwestern lakes, is partial to “Cabin Downpour”), and other soothing audio tracks including a special playlist curated by singer John Legend.
Finally, there are also physical exercises, including guided workouts of many kinds and many lengths, to help with stress release, anxiety, energy boosts, and general health and fitness. All available with just a few clicks on your smart phone.
A subscription to Headspace Plus usually runs $12.99/month or $69.99/year, but LA County residents can now receive free, full-access subscriptions through 2020. To sign up, just go to https://www.headspace.com/lacounty and make sure your browser’s location information is enabled when you register.
It won’t get rid of the murder hornets, but it might help you feel a bit more able to cope with some of your other daily stress at the moment.