Ever said - I’m too busy to chill out?
Find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed with THE STUFF? You know...all those responsibilities you think you have to deal with right now! Maybe it’s family drama or how long it’s been since you caught up with your bestie. Maybe you’ve been on a constant rollercoaster of planning - life-admin tasks or attending the 6th wedding this year, or keeping on top of your performance at work!
Ever feel that your head is THIS MUCH of a metaphorical shed?!
I’m not going to lie and say I’ve nailed this. You should totally see me trying to plan stuff when I'm hungry - toddler tantrums have nothing on me! Something I have tried that really works to help me recharge (disclaimer - I often need to be reminded to do it mid-tantrum) is to meditate.
Mediation can be an epic tool for helping with personal goals, task focus, emotional wellbeing, mood-regulation, reducing blood pressure...the list goes on. This piece isn’t about convincing you to try it, but if you were wondering where to start - Meditainment is a great place.
Here's a personal review of it, so you know what to expect.
What is Meditainment?
www.meditainment.com is a website containing a series of 18, FREE, high-quality, guided meditations for relaxing and making your mind quiet, for handling stress, for visualising personal goals and much more...
Each guided meditation ‘level’ is designed for a purpose, whether you want to calm that overactive mind of yours, think positively about situations, renew your confidence, or just chill the 'eff out. The unique nature sounds, the electronic music and beats, the calming female voice you hear throughout the meditation all help to visualise yourself in the ‘level or place’. These vary from a relaxing meadow, a spa, an island, a deep ocean - each place you visit is different - its “meditation that takes you places” without leaving your bedroom / man-cave. It guides you through 20 minute meditations that actually do keep you motivated to meditate. Meditainment is produced and run by Wellmind Media, a producer of digital courses for mental wellbeing.
Who is it for?
The meditations can be followed by anyone with access to the internet and an email address, whether you are a beginner or if you have meditated before. It’s used in-flight on Virgin, Qantas & various US flights and is shared by 2.7k peeps. So, it's a well-used tool.
How did I find out about it?
- at the Sanctuary Spa, Covent Garden with my mum & fellow Life by Equiper Julie. This was a ladies day spa that closed a few years ago. You know the one where the infamous Joan Collin’s cavorted on the pool swing for a naughty film?! I digress!
Part of the spa day included a free 'sleep retreat' - think chilled out bods, comfy beds, darken room, 30 min rest, snoring most likely...but they played this amazing guided meditation where you were in a garden on a summer’s day, resting in a hammock!
A simple google search afterwards told me that this was the Secret Garden ‘level’ from Meditainment!
What to expect from Meditainment:
Apart from 1st one which is a 7 min ‘place for rapid relaxation’, the other 17 meditation ‘levels’ are 20 mins long. Each one helps you visualise yourself in a different place (a beach, island, garden, meadow, spa, oasis, igloo, sea, air, cabin in the wood, even outer space!) with the electronic beats and sound effects matched perfectly for the appropriate story. And who doesn’t like rainforest sounds or waves, birds, water, dolphins, log fire burning?!
Generally each 20 min mediation involves:
A relaxing woman's voice.
Helping you get into a meditative state in the first 10 mins and returning you to a rested & refreshed awake state afterwards.
Giving you some space at the beginning to think of whatever comes to mind but then instructing you to calm the ‘chatter’ and enjoy a well deserved relaxing break.
Instructing you to close your eyes.
Giving you plenty of yummy affirmations like 'you really deserve it'.
Some count you down 10-1 asking you to focus on the numbers & allow your thoughts to became progressively calmer, some you choose a door in your mind to go through.
A different story for each level and you follow what the voice is saying to be guided through the journey.
Slowly bringing yourself back to your awake state at the end of the 20 mins with the music and instructions.
Rest assured, all you need to do to be awake is to open your eyes - there’s nothing ‘Derren Brown’ hypnosis about it!
There are also 2 additional levels for pain management and for falling asleep specifically.
What’s the catch?
All you need to access Meditainment is an email address. Immediately you get a 7 min rapid level plus the first 20 min place unlocked for a month. This gives you time to practice meditation in these 2 places as many times as you want. In the second month, 1 new place will unlock for you while the first will be locked again, and so on...every month you will have a new place to discover. All this for free.
Once you have worked your way round all the ‘places’, it re-starts over again.
Of course, you have the option to pay £20 (or €25, $30) one-time payment to unlock all the destinations and keep them unlocked forever! If you are not satisfied with the programme you can cancel your registration during the first week and get your money back.
The good thing about paying is that there’s no need to wait each month for a new adventure; they'll all be at your fingertips straight away for you to choose from, whenever you want. Simples!
How do I use it?
Use a portable device like a phone, laptop, ipad so you can relax anywhere you like with internet connection.
Access the internet, log-in with your email address and it’ll automatically take you to the level that's unlocked that month. Read what the levels are all about - here's a definitive list of all the levels and what they help with!
Use ear buds or noise cancelling headphones for an immersive experience - it definitely spoils the experience if you hear the tumble dryer in the background.
Best used if sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. You’ll be guided through imagining everything so have a kid/co-worker/animal-free zone to concentrate in.
Pre-warning - if you listen lying down, you risk falling asleep! Meditainment is a great tool for sleep (my partner will often ask me to put it to fall asleep to) but like me, my mum and my mates who use it, if we’re not sitting up we fall asleep & can't remember half of what happens.
When not to use it - in the bath for the reason above - safety first people!
You can record each level on a voice recording app so you can listen to specific ones even if you don't have internet access. Plus I set up another account via my Facebook log in about 2 months after I first signed up so that I don't have to wait another year to listen again to my faves.
I hope they don't think I'm hacking their product too much - It’s just way I feel some people will want to use it.
You can use the SuperNote app to record on your phone if you play it on another device. [If like mine, your childhood skills mostly consisted of pressing play & record at the same time on cassette tapes when the top 40 came on (sorry younger readers for this 80’s/90’s reference - but hey - you’ll never feel the pressure pressing the right buttons before the DJ spoke)].
However if you want access to all the levels, you might just as well pay the 1-time fee as recording isn't ideal if you have any distractions like window cleaners /dogs / kids or have to remember to 'airplane mode' your phone. So, if you're at risk of feeling angry if distractions happen, you'll be better off paying to unlock all the levels. Remember you have a 1 week guarantee of full refund if you don't like what you’ve paid for.
13 Reasons why Meditainment is good:
1. The quality of their guided meditations are second to none. The voiceovers are clear and professionally recorded, and the background music is also very high quality. You feel like you're getting your money's worth.
2. The sounds effects actually sound like the thing they are meant to be! Bonus! They aren't too loud or distracting from the story your visualising.
3. The levels are engaging - you do actually lose yourself in the exotic locations like the private island or the oasis in the desert. The sumptuous music is rather soothing.
4. It’s great for beginners to meditation with no prior experience as it guides you from start to finish on what to focus on, when to breathe in deeply, how to release your concerns each time you exhale. Its tells you everything you need to consider, and nothing you don’t.
5. Meditation like this is the ultimate exercise for peace-of-mind. Whether you are trying to feel confident, feel less tense or sleep - skeptics: this is worth a try.
6. Each guided meditation ‘level’ is designed for a purpose, so it's a good overall tool for most people, whether you want to calm your mind, relax, have better sleep, think positively about situations, renew your confidence etc.
7. Everyone has opportunity to mediate - it has a free option if money is tight.
8. If you go for the free option, you don’t even need to make a choice on what to meditate with - just stick it on and listen. If you go for the paid option, you can choose your faves - great for people rather particular about what they like.
9. You're only 30 secs away from meditating as it's so easy to stick it on your device. Great news if you're feeling overwhelmed and need a quick help-me-out.
10. It’s good if you're prone to boredom or like novelty as each month you have a new level which familiar exercises but unique stories to engage you - you’ll soon have your faves! There may be certain ones you might not click with (eg, if you don't like sound of bees then the garden ones might bee-annoying - see what I did there??) but if that's the case, pay up and unlock all for £20 which is on the reasonable side for lifetime access.
11. Their Facebook page has many links to interesting meditation articles plus 3 min audio/visuals for task motivation or to de-stress which actually work. The task one I actually used before writing this review! It’ll also be handy as a pre-workout motivator on rainy days!!
12. You get emails from Meditainment to remind you when your new level is open plus emails with exercises that help enhance your wellbeing in the run up to the new level (e.g. tips for recharging, positive affirmations, mindfulness techniques etc). This helps to keep you engaged and can supplement any other wellbeing practices you do such as keeping a daily journal.
13. Got a friend who's going through heavy stuff and needs some relaxing? Just pointing them to the site can help them take action, plus its free, they can do it in their own time and where they feel safe.
Anything not to love?
I highly recommend Meditainment for enhancing your wellbeing. I have recommended it to so many family and friends and they too have found it useful.
The quality of the meditations plus the variety means that everyone can get something from it, wherever it's a chill out or for sleepytime.
The key is to make it work for you, either as the free option where the choice is made for you, that you may or may not prefer to other ones, or the pay up option where you get to choose which level you do but may end up paying for a handful of places you choose regularly.
It’s absolutely reasonable money for lifetime access and choice but also accessible to everyone if money is tight.
It’s useful to know it is there, even for somebody that doesn’t practice guided meditations on a daily basis, but it's an option if life gets too noisy and it is so quick to access.
Check it out and don’t forget that it’s free to register.