Since having my first child 8 years ago my anxiety levels have gotten progressively worse year on year, if not week on week. I imagine it’s common amongst many parents to varying degrees. I first heard of mindfulness shorty after my daughter was born 2 years ago and instantly fell in love with the concept. I’m always looking for ways to battle my anxiety and be the best mum I can be and this seemed perfect. My attempts to put it into practice though have been inconsistent.
At the start of this year I made a decision to try and be more mindful on a daily basis, but without any dedicated practice I’ve been finding it hard to stick to. When Welzen approached me a couple of weeks ago to see if I’d like to review their Mindfulness Meditation app it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Introducing the Welzen App
In the free version of the Welzen app you can access 5 days of guided mindfulness mediation which gives you a great introduction to the intention of mindfulness and the different types of meditation, such as breathing, gratitude, body scan, sounds and kindness. These free meditations range between 5-7 minutes each so are easy enough to fit into even the busiest of schedules (always my excuse for not meditating before). All you need to do is pop in some earphones sit back and listen to the calming voice guiding you through. For the first time in my life I managed to meditate for 5 days straight and couldn’t wait to explore the rest of the app.
To unlock the rest of the app you will need to sign up for a subscription (see below). At the time of writing, the rest of the mediations are divided into 9 categories:
- Office Hours
- Manage Stress
- Reduce Anxiety
- Increase Focus
- Better Sleep
- Improve Relationships
- Enhance Creativity
- Kids Meditations
- Female Guidance
With the exception of the last two, within each category there’s an introduction and a coaching series with 2-3 sessions exploring more about the topic and how mindfulness meditation can help, as well as three different individual meditations all of which allow you to chose the length of session (5, 10, 15 or20 minutes).
Who Is The App For
I honestly believe that mindful meditation can benefit everyone and I think the Welzen app covers all bases. One thing I really liked though was the inclusion of a kids section, voiced over by kids.
In the Kids Meditation category there is a short (2-3 min) meditation depending on the kid’s age; under 6, 7-9 yr old, and 10-12 yr old. Meditation didn’t interest My 7 year old at first, but he decided to give it a go last night. Surprisingly, not only did he enjoy it he has now decided he wants to do it every night before bed! If he can keep it up he’ll be learning a valuable skill for life. That makes me one very happy mummy indeed.
In the female guidance section there a number of 10 minute mediations from Accepting Changes, to Gratitude and Deep Relaxation. Unlike the rest of the app these meditations are voiced by a female if that’s something that makes a difference to you.
When and Where To Use
I’ve been experimenting with different times to do my mindfulness meditation. I’ve tried first thing in the morning, last thing at night, just after the kids have gone to bed and even during the day when L was playing nicely by herself for a while (never happens for long).
Last thing at night I generally fell asleep before I’d completed the meditation and woke up half an hour later when my phone fell of the bed, oops. Once the kids are in bed I generally have a lot to get done and one or both will often call me back upstairs at some point so this didn’t really work out for me either. During the day is great for when I need to come back to the present and stop the anxiety and/or stress building up too high, but it isn’t always possible to get 5 minutes peace, especially now L has stopped her naps. (Read about the end of nap time here) For me, getting up a little earlier and making this part of my morning routine has been the best method. It ensures I get at least one session in a day (I will do more if the opportunity arises or I feel then need), and I find it helps set the intention for the day ahead.
The beauty of this app is that it really can be used anywhere. You can sit up in bed, on the couch, at the dining room table, at your desk, on the floor. The Office Hours meditations are designed to be used while you are at work and are less than 2 minutes long. It’s a practice that really can fit into your life however, wherever and whenever you want/need it to.
How Much and Where From
The app is available for iOS and android. The app can be downloaded for free as mentioned above, and you will also be able to listen to the introductions for the other categories. To access the coaching and the meditations themselves though, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. At the time of writing there are three payment options:
- One month: £9.99
- One year: £58.99
- Forever: £149.99
The forever subscription will obviously give you access to all future meditations and coaching series they add as well.
In the 2 weeks I’ve been using the app I’ve noticed a real difference. I’ve been focusing on the Anxiety and Stress meditations, being sure to do one every day. My anxiety isn’t going to disappear overnight, but this daily practice is definitely helping. I now find myself stopping and doing breathing exercises for a minute or two, bringing me back to the present. Each meditation leaves me optimistic for the day ahead or relaxes me when things are getting too much.
The Welzen app certainly doesn’t come cheap and only you can decide if it’s worth the cost to you. I would definitely recommend trying out the free version and seeing how you get on though. You’ve got nothing to lose. These mindful meditations have become a part of my daily routine now and I love it. I’m excited to explore all the other categories too.
Have you ever tried mindfulness meditation? How did you get on?
*Note: I was provided with a lifetime subscription for the purpose of writing this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.