Tag Archives: self love

21 instagram accounts to follow for self-care AND mental health advice

With everything going on right now, we could all use a little pick-me-up. Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, life has been especially stressful to say the least. Restaurants, bars, malls and schools have shut down nationwide. Getting together with close friends and family is a lost luxury and relic of the past. To make matters worse, we can barely even leave our homes anymore.

As troubling as these times are for us all, they’re even tougher for people who already suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues on a daily basis. If you’re one of these people, just know that you’re not alone, and there are tons of helpful resources freely available at your fingertips. When you follow the right people, social media can be surprisingly therapeutic! 

Illustration by Serena Rodriguez

In case you’ve been struggling with anxiety, low motivation, mood swings, self-doubt or just general existential woes, we’ve rounded up the best Instagram feeds to follow for mental health advice and self-care tips! Check out these 21 Instagram accounts for immediate inspiration and encouragement.  

  1. @thisismybrave
    Mental health is super important, especially during times like these. This universal truth lies at the very heart of This Is My Brave, a community-centered Instagram account with a goal to “end stigma, one story at a time”. Their content aims to raise awareness about the reality of mental health by featuring personal anecdotes from brave individuals living with mental illness. In light of the Coronavirus, This Is My Brave also provides useful tips and advice that their 16k followers can use while practicing social distancing. Be sure to follow their Instagram if you like inspirational quotes and interesting stories from relatable people across the globe!

  2. @selfcareisforeveryone
    “A space that honors the importance of choosing self-care over self-harm,” Self-Care Is For Everyone is an Instagram account and website that posts inspirational messages, helpful reminders and valuable information about mental, spiritual and emotional health. Not only do they encourage mindfulness by providing motivational quotes and content to their 852k followers, but they’ve recently devoted their efforts to addressing COVID-19 by enlightening the public about ways we can enhance our health and wellness during quarantine.

  3. @letstalkaboutmentalhealth
    Let’s Talk About Mental Health is an Instagram account run by Jessica Walsh as part of her self-help project, 12 Kinds of Kindness. Most of the content consists of motivational quotes and stories from real people struggling with mental illness. In these trying times, we should all be making mental health a top priority. By following Let’s Talk About Mental Health, Instagram users can draw inspiration from individuals who have battled mental illness, emerged victorious, and ultimately blossomed into their best selves.

  4. @recipesforselflove
    This Instagram account created by South African artist Alison Rachel combines elegant illustrations with words of inspiration to create aesthetically pleasing content that promotes self-love. Fans of feminist artwork will surely love this Instagram feed, which features illustrations of women in each and every post. Rachel’s helpful reminders like “your mental health is paramount” and “don’t lose hope that things can and will get better” provide her 580k followers with much-needed motivation during these turbulent times.

  5. @letsmend
    An “award-winning self care company that helps people in 195 countries through heartbreak, Let’s Mend offers encouragement and opportunities for self-reflection to their 12k Instagram followers. Each post provides little pearls of wisdom like “it’s ok if all you did today was survive” and “every day is a second chance,” reminding us all to live in each and every moment as the very best version of ourselves!

  6. @theblissfulmind
    Life coach and content creator Catherine Beard formed The Blissful Mind to “help overthinkers get out of their own heads so they can stress less and take action.” From skincare to spirituality, The Blissful Mind’s Instagram feed offers invaluable tips and insights on personal growth and productivity. Anyone who appreciates aesthetics and inspirational quotes should definitely hit that follow button!

     
  7. @blessingmanifesting
    Without a doubt, the most colorful Instagram feed on this list is none other than Blessing Manifesting! A mosaic of bright hues and rainbow letters, Blessing Manifesting’s content provides their 150k followers with countless self-care tips, to-do lists, ideas and opportunities for introspection. Their adorable cartoon illustrations are sure to win over kawaii lovers or just about anyone who enjoys a pop of color with their daily dose of inspiration!

  8. @journey_to_wellness_
    While we wait for this pandemic to reach its end, I think we can all agree that humanity is on a journey to wellness. Luckily, those looking for someone to steer them on the right path need only follow Journey to Wellness on Instagram! Pairing mental health advice with cute illustrations of cartoon characters practicing mindfulness, this account breaks down the complexities of self-care into manageable steps. Their 283k followers can look forward to daily reminders, positive affirmations, and detailed checklists geared towards enhancing emotional wellness!

  9. @iamwellandgood
    Well + Good is an Instagram account geared towards “decoding and demystifying what it means to live a well life, inside and out.” Not only to they provide healthy recipes and guided workouts to nearly a million followers, but they also post relatable memes and useful life hacks! Their informative content goes beyond just health and wellness, however, including information about relationships, skincare, and even astrology. Even in the face of the current Coronavirus crisis, Well + Good has been at the top of their Insta game with daily posts including medical advice, tips on working from home, and other relevant content!

  10. @howamifeelingg
    This account features artwork and stories related to mental health, most of which are created and submitted by followers! By encouraging individuals “to join in on the conversation surrounding mental health, growth, healing, emotions, art, and more,” How Am I Feeling has become a community-driven platform that shares inspiration and information on emotional wellness. Their Insta feed features some truly amazing art and photography, so definitely follow them if you’re into that kind of stuff! You can even get your own art or short stories featured on their Instagram by submitting your work to their website!

  11. @myselflovesupply
    If your self-love supply is running out, look no further! My Self-Love Supply has more than enough encouragement to go around. Their Instagram provides self-love tips, self-care routines, and healthy living inspiration to over 1.1 million followers. With everything going on right now, we could all use a little more positivity in our lives (and Insta feeds)! Their Insta feed has plenty to offer, including self-care advice during quarantine, steps for managing COVID-19 anxiety, and even an isolation wellbeing to-do list!

  12. @happsters
    Here’s a quick quarantine challenge for you: try and look at Happsters’ Insta feed without smiling… As far as I’m concerned, it’s just not possible. Scroll down their page and you’ll find tons of cute videos of dogs, babies, babies hugging dogs, and pretty much every other adorable thing you can think of. They also post lots of inspirational quotes, self-love tips, and mental health advice too!

  13. @howdoyouadult
    Meme-lovers and mental health advocates alike should definitely follow this account on Insta, especially if you like your memes with a heavy dose of reality. How Do You Adult’s Insta feed features tons of amusing cartoons, jokes, and pictures that are sure to take the edge off of any Coronavirus anxiety you might be feeling lately! All of their content is super relatable and entertaining, especially for us soon-to-be-graduating Longhorns that are feeling super unprepared for life after college!

  14. @positivelypresent
    Positively Present has almost a million Instagram followers, one of whom is none other than Paris Hilton! If that doesn’t convince you to hit the follow button, then surely their colorful inspirational content will! All artwork featured on their feed is created by the founder of the account herself, Dani DiPirro. If you thought inspirational quotes couldn’t get any better, just check out Positively Present’s recent posts and you’ll see how the cute kawaii influences and rainbow colors bring positivity to a whole new level!

  15. @talkspace
    TalkSpace provides “confidential and affordable online therapy with professional, licensed therapists, wherever & whenever you need it.” Their Instagram profile even has a highlight for COVID-19 support, which includes links to resources, articles on their website, and even a free therapist-led Facebook support group. Followers are also encouraged to send in their questions and concerns via direct message, which are then answered by therapists on TalkSpace’s Instagram story. Aside from Coronavirus-related advice, they also post daily inspiration, mental health information, and self-care tips. Whether you’ve personally benefited from therapy in the past or have never even spoken to a therapist before, you’re sure to find something of value from TalkSpace on Insta!

  16. @theblurtfoundation
    According to their Insta bio, The Blurt Foundation is “dedicated to helping those affected by depression.” Most of their feed consists of inspirational illustrations, however they also post relatable memes and informative content as well. Check them out if you need some friendly self-care reminders every once in a while!

  17. @milennial.therapist
    Created by a licensed psychotherapist, Millennial.Therapist aims to raise mental health awareness by “writing about what it means to be human.” Their Instagram feed is formatted beautifully with a consistent color scheme, and almost every post consists of plain text rather than photographs or illustrations. In that sense, Millennial.Therapist’s content is definitely more on the informative side, although their frequent “gentle reminders” offer plenty of inspiration to over 370k followers. Be sure to give them a follow if you want to balance out all of the pictures on Insta with some helpful text-based content!

  18. @anxietyhealer
    Anxiety Healer strives to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention within the Instagram community and beyond. A lot of their content comes from Twitter, and pretty much all of the tweets they post are related to mental health and wellness. Fortunately, Anxiety Healer isn’t the kind of account that crops out other people’s social media handles, and they always give credit where it’s due! Not to mention, they also post insightful infographics on a variety of health topics like self-care ideas, how to support someone with mental illness, and things to do while social distancing!

  19. @thepsychologymum
    Clinical psychologist Dr. Emma Hepburn created The Psychology Mum on Instagram, where she posts her own psychology-related illustrations along with evidence-based mental health advice. A lot of The Psychology Mum’s content aims to debunk common myths surrounding mental illness, but she also offers helpful resources, detailed do’s and don’ts, and artsy infographics related to self-care and wellness!

  20. @careercontessa
    This one’s for all of the girl bosses out there! Career Contessa offers professional advice, resources, and encouragement to over 133k followers on Instagram. Not only does their Insta feed feature lots of funny content and relatable memes, but they even manage to make their Coronavirus-related posts entertaining with one-liners like “now I know why dogs get so excited to go for walks” and “a large group of people is called a ‘no thanks.’” Their page is loaded with helpful tips, tricks, and quotes ranging from inspirational to downright hilarious. Scroll through their Insta feed long enough and you might just find yourself updating your resume!

  21. @brenebrown
    It only feels right to save the best (and only Longhorn on this list) for last! As a Texas Ex herself, Brené Brown is definitely someone you should be following on Instagram if you aren’t already. Needless to say, her helpful advice and inspirational quotes are particularly relevant right now. In response to the current pandemic, Brené has been using Instagram to promote public awareness, health and safety, reminding us all to wash our hands, practice social distancing, and unite as a community while we fight COVID-19 together! Join her 2.4 million followers for meaningful advice, motivational content, and many UT references!

What To Do About Holiday Blues

Ah, Christmas; the most wonderful (chaotic) time of the year. We blast carols the whole month of December as the days grow shorter, consumerism skyrockets, and the pressure of social gatherings thickens. On top of that, for students, finals loom over the horizon. Term papers, group projects, and that honors thesis are all due in less than a week. By the time Christmas rolls around, most of us haven’t even caught our breath in time to appreciate the holiday. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This time of year can also pain us for a variety of other reasons. Perhaps we just lost someone dear to us, or we struggle with a mental illness. Some of us may be international students separated from our families for the holidays, or we might be dealing with a tough financial situation. Whatever the case may be, although we’re dreaming of white Christmas, we may be experiencing a blue one. 

So, what do we do?

Maybe we should practice some self care; take a small break from all the commotion, a quick pause from the endless rush of life. But this time around, a cup of tea and a hot bath don’t seem like they’re going to cut it.

Kathryn Redd, an associate director at the University of Texas at Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC), has a different perspective on self care. She debunks the generalization of self care as a cure-all and offers an alternate perspective.

“There’s times when going to the gym and eating enough fruits and vegetables is not going to help if I get the flu; it’s not going to help if I break a bone,” Redd said. “I think the same is true for mental health. Putting in place a practice to keep ourselves mentally well is fantastic. And then there are times when that’s not enough or it’s not the right thing in that moment. So like taking a bath is not going to cure depression.”

If self care is just a supplementary practice, then what should we do if our situation becomes more severe? Redd suggests visiting a therapist or a psychiatrist, but the solution isn’t the same for everyone. Sometimes, it’s enough to simply be mindful of what changes we may need to make in our lives. 

“Not everyone needs to see a therapist… it’s not the cure for everything,” Redd said. “Reflect on yourself and your life experience and recognize when you need to switch routes.”

Maybe we need to have an honest conversation with ourselves before we gear up for the holidays. The pressure to plaster on a smile can make it difficult to face the truth of our situation; we want to put on a happy face for the benefit of those around us. The expectation that Christmas has to be a happy time, however, is extremely toxic.

“The holidays can be really hard for people because I think there’s this pressure to be happy and jolly and jovial but that’s not always the reality,” Redd said.

It’s important to accept other emotions that may arise during the holidays, whether they be grief, sadness, frustration, anger, etc. By giving ourselves permission to feel these emotions, rather than suppressing them, we have the opportunity to find closure, experience catharsis, or simply gain self acceptance. After all, there’s nothing wrong with feeling these emotions.

“It’s not the emotions that are bad, in themselves they are neutral, it’s what we do with those emotions,” Redd explains. 

So what if we channel these emotions in a more constructive way?

“I tend to think one of the things that embodies the Christmas spirit is giving, like sharing time with others and giving of yourself,” Redd said. “One of the things we know that is actually also beneficial for mental health is volunteering. You don’t have to feel it- Maybe the goal isn’t to get into the holiday spirit; maybe the goal is to use yourself in a way that benefits others.”

Zoe Sugg, one of my favorite YouTubers, encompasses this giving spirit through her annual VlogMas series. Unlike previous years, on December 1st, Zoe did not put out a video to kickstart her daily vlogs in December leading up to Christmas Day. On December 2nd, she decided to record a precursor to her Vlogmas series explaining why.

“Recently I’ve just not been feeling great mental health wise, and what’s annoying is that I didn’t really want to say that,” Sugg explained.

As a YouTuber who so passionately represents holiday cheer as an integrated part of her brand, Sugg felt ashamed of her struggle during the holidays.

“Everyone knows how much I love Christmas; I can’t start a Vlogmas crying into the abyss,” she said.

However, instead of shoving these emotions under the rug, she took the opportunity to advocate for mental health and express some truths that are consistent with Redd’s advice.

“It’s far more common than you think; 1 in 4 people have mental health issues. Vlogmas isn’t always going to be twinkly lights and smiley, happy faces. It might be, sometimes… but this is my real life and I didn’t start Vlogmas yesterday because I just had a really awful day. I needed that day to do nothing and cry a bit,” Sugg said.

As Redd suggested, what helped Sugg feel better is to give some of her time for others.

“I know how much Vlogmas means to a lot of people, and I know for the people that are having a crappy day, whatever I upload is what makes you feel better. I think filming will make me feel better… sometimes filming makes me feel better.”

For some people, the theme of giving is an effective way to navigate the holiday blues. But the solution is different for everyone.

“What helps me cut through the chaos is to say what’s important about this time? For me it’s important to spend time with my family and it’s important to have experiences together,” Redd said. “What is the theme for you of the holiday season? What’s the word or the theme that you can really rally around? That’s what you hold on to; just let all the other stuff fade away.”

If you are feeling stressed this holiday season, here are a few resources:

UT Counseling & Mental Health Center: https://cmhc.utexas.edu/

24/7 Crisis Hotline (UT Students Only): 512-471-2255

Navigating the Holidays and Mental Health (our article & guide): http://www.burntx.com/2019/12/06/navigating-the-holidays-and-mental-health/

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay