Forget Angry Birds and other mobile apps that do a great job of helping you waste time. And set aside for now the apps that help you find information and practice clinical medicine more efficiently. It was only a matter of time before mobile apps would be developed that can actually help you prevent physician burnout.
Here are my two favorite free mobile apps to help you lower stress and create more work life balance.
I have been using these apps on my iPhone for a while now that are doing a really good job of keeping me focused on the simple daily steps that make all the difference in preventing physician burnout.
Research shows meditation and other forms of mindfulness based stress relief (MBSR) – like the 1 Minute Stress Relief Program – are the most effective way to lower your stress level and prevent physician burnout. And most of us struggle to maintain a regular meditation habit. That‘s where Insight Timer comes in.
I use this free iPhone mobile app every day in my own meditation practice and every coaching client I have shared it with raves about it too.
If you have struggled to get a meditation habit off the ground in the past, I encourage you to play with the Insight Timer mobile app and see for yourself just how powerful it is. With just a couple taps on your phone, you can,
- Set up a meditation session of any length.
- Include bell and singing bowl tones at whatever interval you want to help you stay present.
- Insight Timer keeps track of all of your meditation sessions so you can always see how many sessions and what length, average length and total meditation time since you started using the app.
- You can see and connect with hundreds of people all over the world that are meditating using the Insight Timer mobile app at the same time you are. As I write this post, 136 people are meditating around the world. The map on the face of the app shows you exactly where they are too.
Lift is another free iPhone app that is perfect for all actions you want to turn into life balance habits. Things like exercise, yoga, going for a walk, planning your day, writing in your journal, being grateful, and spending time with your significant other/children. You get the picture.
With Lift you load in the activities you want to turn into habits and it helps you track your checklist with a big green checkmark. Tap the checkmark when you complete a task and pat yourself on the back. Lift tracks all your check ins with simple graphs showing your weekly successes, all in that lovely shade of check mark green.
You can also connect with everyone else on Lift who has that same to do item on their list. I have “plan my day” loaded as an activity in my Lift app and there are thousands of other people with that as one of their action steps too. You can connect, form a group even give them a thumbs up when they check the box.
You can set up Lift to give you daily reminders for each activity and send you an occasional “supportive message” if you wish. It sends me a message about every other day telling me I am on a consecutive day streak in one of my activities as in, “You have walked for 7 days in a row. What can you do today?”
Insight Timer and Lift are two mobile apps I use every day to support my mindfulness/meditation practice and create more life balance.
I have no conflict of interest to disclose. I am recommending these based on my own experience and the experience of my coaching clients and have never even met the developers of either web app – I just love the way they keep me in action and think you will too.
Dike Drummond is a family physician and provides burnout prevention and treatment services for healthcare professionals at his site, The Happy MD.