The Best Apps We Have Been Using To Get Us Through Life Under Lockdown
The pandemic and the restrictions to our lives that Covid-19 has introduced has meant we’ve all had to adopt a new way of life in lockdown, mostly inside and isolated.
The same-day-every-day experience we are all enduring really can make it feel like you’re stuck in a Groundhog Day cycle of eat, sleep, repeat. But! There are apps out there that can keep you fit, teach you new skills or even improve your terrible cooking.
With time to spare but nowhere to go, how do you make the most of this strange, new lockdown life?
Here's a few suggestions from some of our housebound team that might help…
‘Coach To 5K’ - Lucy, Account Director
The app I have loved and actually felt has been a bit of a life saver in lockdown is ‘Coach to 5K’.
I wanted to make the most of the allotted time outside for exercise, so I thought about setting myself a challenge and that challenge was to run 5K! This is where my journey with the ‘Coach to 5K’ app began.
Being able to have three runs set out each week with a structured plan to follow plus helpful instructions and encouragement from Jo Wiley, it ended up becoming something I looked forward to in Lockdown No.1 and something I am picking up in Lockdown No.2. However, the cold winter runs are not nearly as appealing!
I particularly like the reminder function to help prompt you to step away from the laptop occasionally and get some fresh air and I have enjoyed exploring my local countryside on my lunchtime runs!
It seems I am not alone as a record number of downloads were seen for the app in 2020! From March until the end of June, there were almost one million downloads – 858,000 compared to 448,000 during the same time last year – a 92% increase compared to 2019.
'TikTok' – Jemima, Account Executive
One of the apps I have enjoyed the most during lockdown has got to be TikTok. Without a doubt, this is one of the most addictive apps that I have downloaded and with a fellow 800 million global monthly users, I am definitely not alone in thinking this!
I downloaded TikTok during the first lockdown in March, back when it was the most downloaded app on the App Store. There’s so much content on TikTok, which is why it’s not surprising that the average user spends over an hour a day on the app. I used to always associate TikTok with young kids, but I was surprised to learn that 25% of their audience are actually between the ages of 25-34.
My favourite videos to watch involve cookery, as the highlight of my day during lockdown is creating new and exciting dinners. I came across the delicious ‘tortilla hack’ the other day, and it has revolutionised the way I make my lunches!! (I’d definitely recommend you take a look if you haven’t yet seen it).
‘Todoist’ - To-Do-List, tasks, Reminders – Nicole, Designer
‘Todoist’ allows you to capture and organise tasks the moment they pop into your head. You can set daily and weekly goals so you can visualise your productivity over time. I’ve been using ‘Todoist’ a lot more since lockdown.
Balancing work with other activities at home can sometimes be tiring, so it’s nice to have an app where I can jot down all my goals for the day. Even setting reminders for small things, like going for a run, or taking the dog for a walk, has really helped me stay productive (and active) during lockdown.
‘Waitrose Food App’ – Alastair, Account Manager
It was incredibly difficult to pinpoint just one app that has helped me through lockdown but it will come as no surprise to my team that the app I use the most is the Waitrose Food App.
Whilst I haven’t quite reached the heights of one who might regularly shop at such an esteemed establishment, I do find myself on their app regularly. Being in lockdown has given me the opportunity to the hone and perfect my cooking skills – the app provides plenty of editorial content to peruse but where it really steps up is in the recipes.
There are tabs for entertaining (not that anyone is doing much of that at the moment!), 30 minute meals, cake recipes and even vegetarian and vegan meals… if you’re that way inclined.
Without blowing my own trumpet too much, it’s allowed me to experiment with both exotic dishes such as Andhra Spicy Prawn, Coconut and Mango Curry as well more traditional favourites like a Barbecued Butterflied Lamb Leg. Now, gone are the days of boring sustenance - I have banished beans on toast for supper, the eggs and soldiers have been stood down and pasta with cheese is reserved for the laziest of Sundays.
If you’re looking to improve on your cooking skills or spice things up in the kitchen, I would definitely recommend the Waitrose Food App!
'Strava' - Lily, Account Executive
Strava is one app that has helped me through the never-ending lockdowns by getting me up and moving (even in the cold mornings)! Strava is an app that tracks your activities from running, to cycling, or even just a walk with friends through GPS.
What makes Strava unique, compared to other fitness apps, is the social media side to it. You are able to connect with friends and track their activities too, giving ‘kudos’ when deserved! This has really brought out my competitive side, which has been hidden for a while.
It really makes you strive to get a better time and monitor your performance to make sure you get your Personal Best! What I love about it, is even in these weird times we are living in, Strava has helped to get me out the house, get some fresh air (not so fresh in London) and hopefully a little bit fitter!
With our daily lives changed beyond any recognition with week after week of lockdown to endure, it’s easy to fall victim to relentless boredom. One day soon, lockdown will be over and perhaps, with a some help from useful apps like these, we might all emerge a little better than before.
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