My mother calls it Active Mind. You know, when you can’t sleep because your brain is just ticking over with so much STUFF! The bills that need paying, friends that need helping, that thing you had forgotten that you had to do for work that needs to be done by tomorrow, reflecting on failures in parenting, or even pondering possible holiday destinations – all of these things can help keep sleep at bay. Nearly all the women in my family have suffered from this ‘affliction’, and we all joke about not being able to turn our brains off or being unable to wind down.
I am not really into fluffy stuff like meditation or “going to a happy place” or visiualisations or the like, but at the (relatively!) advanced age of 37, I am willing to give something new a good old college try in the name of research. I decided to do what any self-respecting Digital Literacy Coach would do – I turned to technology!
I know what you’re going to say… Technology with its screens and lights doesn’t sound like a logical choice, but stay with me!
A colleague (Nora) recommended an app called Headspace. “Keri-Lee!” she proclaimed, “Have I got an app for you! You have to try Headspace.”
I began downloading immediately, and then asked, “What does it do?”
“It’s a meditation app,” my colleague replied.
Well, that’s something different, I thought, and promptly forgot about it. However, the holidays rolled around, and I stumbled across it again. Why not give it a crack?
It was 5am. My son had just woken me up (apologetically, at least), and having settled him back to bed, I was wide awake and in need of more rest. Time to try this app. I watched the 3 or 4 short starter animations (which were very good, I thought), then lay back to listen to the actual meditation part – 10 minutes in total.
At the end of the first meditation, I actually went back to sleep. That is simply UNHEARD of for me. I felt very refreshed when I awoke, which was a definite bonus.
I was putting the kids to bed later that night, when it struck me I should try it with them too. How nice to think about potentially breaking the cycle of Active Mind with my daughter and son and teaching them the skills of quietening their minds! They were quite excited about getting to use the iPad close to bedtime (it’s the little things..!), and both seemed to enjoy it, though the soporific effects it had on me were somewhat lost on them.
The next morning, they both proudly announced they had slept longer than they usually do, by about 30 minutes. Well hey! That’s better than a kick in the head!
We have created a nice little routine now, where we have a story, then get them tucked up ready for their Headspace. We’ve just had day 3, and all seems to be well from their end of the house.
So to the nitty gritty. The app is free – for the first 10 days of meditations. You can choose to sign up monthly, annually, biannually or forever. I have chosen to get a yearly subscription, I am so enjoying the quiet time at night. It seems a reasonable price to pay for my sanity!
Another thing that drew me to the app was the whole design concept. The simplicity of the images and the colour scheme really appealed to me. Their website: getsomeheadspace.com is also well set out, with a straightforward design concept which really helped me. If the design was poor, it would have turned me off the app itself for sure.
The infographics it includes in the progress tab are simple, yet effective. I can see this will be an excellent app/site to show students learning about infographics and design.
Check the video below to see the first animation in the series, or download the Headspace app and get started!