January can be a tough time; all that festive partying, darkened afternoons and chilly weather means that inspiration and motivation can often be more difficult than usual. This tends to lead to stress – and a lot of it – which, in turn, renders you unable to focus.
But fear not creative folk – here we’ve pulled together some of the finest gadgets that aim to help you get back to your best self. From nature-inspired structures to electronic wizardry, explore the technology that could bring the calm back into your creative process.
01. Fidget Cube
Funded through Kickstarter in 2016, this clever desk toy from designers Matthew and Mark McLachlan will remind you that playing around with puzzles can often lead to a more efficient work ethic. Featuring six sides, each features something to fidget with, whether you like to click, flip, glide or roll. There’s even a side inspired by those age-old worry stones that aim to get you breathing and reduce anxiety.
We all know that a little greenery can go a long way in establishing a calm and relaxing work environment. If you’re unable to stroll around the park on your lunch break or escape to the countryside at the weekend, a terrarium is pretty much the next best thing.
This one from biOrb is tech-heavy but that means it can take care of your plants so you don’t have to. Creating the perfect micro-climate for growing tropical plants, you can sit back and enjoy your personal slice of paradise.
Wearable technology is often a go-to choice when it comes to wellbeing, in both the mind and the body. The Sona bracelet wants to “train your resilience to stress” and comes with five Resonance breathing meditation sessions for focus and calm – perfect if you need a quick fix during small, intense bouts of stress-related anxiety. It also keeps tabs on your heart-rate and physical activity to measure your overall stress levels.
04. The Pip
Who knew that your fingertips could lead to a happier and healthier mind? The team behind The Pip honed in on this revelation and designed a gadget that takes the communications from your fingertips and turns them into a visualisation that enables you to keep track of your stress levels. With a scientific board at the heart of the design, The Pip allows you to be self-aware and, in turn, establish some self-care.
Claiming to be the first wearable technology that “actively elevates your mood and lowers stress,” Thync uses electronic pulses to stimulate the brain. Don’t let that worry you though – this stress relief gadget was developed by a team of neuroscientists from MIT, Harvard & Stanford and has been clinically tested over 1,000 times. Plus, with such a sleek design, you’ll be combating stress in serious style.
Initially funded 150% percent of their target amount on IndieGoGo back in 2015, Zach Sivan and Arrow Electronics created a wearable that allows you to discover what exactly triggers your stress. The bracelet monitors your heart rate and uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine your stress and calmness levels based on time, location and people you meet throughout your day. Cut back on the negativity in your life.
07. Face Of The Moon Stress Ball
Stress balls are a go-to toy for desk spaces and whilst most of them do the job, this stress relief product from The Museum of Modern Art is truly one-of-a-kind. Created by Japanese designer Makiko Yoshida, the ‘Faces of the Moon’ expressions change as you squeeze. Produced using a unique texture, it’s addictive tendencies will allow you to relieve some much needed anxiety. Who couldn’t love a face like that?
When it comes to managing your stress levels, focusing on your breath is one of the most important exercises around. Spire helps to manage this by measuring your breathing, notifying you when your it reflects tension. Through its use, you can discover what makes you calm and focused or stressed and agitated, allowing you to be more productive than ever. Designed to clip onto your belt, you can also programme your Spire to let you know when you’ve been inactive and it’s time to get walking.
Bad posture is one of the most common problems for creatives who work at a desk. Thankfully, the team at Prana have created a stress relief wearable that not only tracks your breath but also tells you when you need to improve your posture. Designed to rapidly activate your body’s relaxation response through proper diaphragmatic breathing and good posture, Prana could enable you to have a calm working day in no time.
You may already be well on your way to stress management through meditation and whilst this is proven to keep your mind healthy, you may have trouble sticking to a meditative routine or find yourself distracted during the process. Designed like a headband, Muse uses brain-sensing technology to measure whether your mind is calm or active, and translates those signals into guiding sounds, so you can stay focused.