It’s no surprise that both personal and professional challenges are causing teachers to feel burnt out from the pandemic. Even prior to COVID-19, 46% of teachers said they experienced a high level of daily stress. As the pandemic requires us to enforce strict health and safety measures, reimagine curriculum and instruction to meet new educational needs, and support students’ wellbeing, it can be challenging to keep up with all of the other important aspects of our lives outside of teaching. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six apps and services to help improve your life as you work around the complexities of being a teacher during the pandemic:
1. Grocery Delivery and Pickup
Even before the pandemic, it was common for the teacher workday to extend longer than a traditional 9-to-5 job. And that is still common, even if you are teaching fully-online. Grocery delivery or pickup can save you a significant amount of your personal time by eliminating the need to leave the house and/or shop. Admittedly, ordering delivery is an added expense and a luxury. If you can afford it on occasion and need to get something off your plate, give yourself permission to spend on convenience.
2. Food Delivery and Takeout
Even if you are teaching remotely and spend your whole day at home, you probably don’t want to cook every night. Having food delivered to your house is a great choice for both your safety and to save time on dinner! Apps like Uber Eats and Postmates offer a wide variety of options from fast food to high-end dining, and Postmates even offers delivery of groceries, home supplies, and more. Apps like GrubHub and DoorDash deliver meals from a more select group of restaurants, but this can make your delivery time faster. Make sure you find a referral code when you sign up, as many of these apps offer free delivery or a discount for your first delivery or more.
3. Meditation and Relaxation Apps
As a teacher, you may only have a few moments of downtime during the weekdays as you balance busy school days with your family and personal life. The events of 2020 and 2021 have made it more important than ever to find ways to support your mental and emotional health. There is a saying, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” The idea is that the times we feel most overwhelmed are the times we benefit the most from pausing to reflect, heal, and reset. Meditation and relaxation apps offer a quick and accessible way to destress through guided meditation sessions of varying lengths of time, as well as relaxing sounds and stories to help you focus, de-stress, or sleep.
4. Organization Apps
Teachers are the champions of staying organized! While some people prefer to use a physical agenda or planner, using a digital planner or app on your phone makes it possible to set notifications, easily email other people details of events, and integrate external apps to do things like get directions to scheduled events. Try Todoist if you like making and checking off lists and need an app that integrates with your other productivity apps. If you like the basic calendar format, a simple app like Apple calendar or Google calendar may be the best fit for you. Of course, these depend on personal preference; if the idea of learning or switching to a new system adds to your stress, stick to the old pen and paper.
5. Budgeting Apps and Services
The pandemic has stressed many people financially, but it can be particularly hard to keep up with budgeting and monitoring your finances when you’re teaching full time. Rather than using a spreadsheet to build and maintain a budget, there are countless apps to help you track and categorize your purchases. With apps like Mint and Albert, you can make sure you’re not overspending on groceries, food delivery apps, or—dare we say it—school supplies, while also ensuring you’re saving sufficiently for your future financial needs and goals.
6. Connect Through Social Media
Even though it might not be possible to meet up with friends and family, attend events, or participate in activities the same way we used to, it’s still important to stay connected for our mental and emotional health. Social media allows us to make connections, talk to friends, and stay active in our communities while maintaining social distance. Many people have found connections and online friendships during the pandemic through Facebook groups focused on shared activities, hobbies, or neighborhood areas. Others have found joy and a laugh through apps like TikTok and Instagram, where they can share candid videos and memes with friends.
Implementing these apps and services into your daily life can lift a weight off of your shoulders, making your everyday stresses feel a bit less challenging. Plus, you’ll be completing your goals more productively and efficiently than ever, giving you more time to spend on yourself and your own wellbeing