Let’s Talk About Social Media
In the United States, an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes is spent per day on social media. (Nielson Total Audience Report, 2019)
Social media includes a wide range of websites and apps- Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Instagram, specifically, has been notoriously viewed as a double-edged sword. While the popular photo sharing social network service can work to enhance users lives in a multitude of ways such as staying connected to friends and family, helping with business, and serving as a way to share your life with others, the app undoubtedly comes with certain pitfalls.
A survey done with 1,500 teens and young adults shared by Time Magazine, stated that Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing. The article shared a variety of reasons why this is the case: an association with higher levels of anxiety, loneliness, and “FOMO” (fear-of-missing-out), and links to decreased self-esteem.
Knowing that over 16 million American adults are affected by Major Depressive Disorder in a given year, and that there are increasing levels of social media use each year, it is important to strategize and revamp your Instagram feed.
10 Instagram accounts that will boost your feed through talking about mental health
- If you’re feeling down, stressed, or confused about what someone you know may be going through- this is the account for you. This account provides simple overviews on how to support people with mental illness, misconceptions about mental illness, and the positive traits that come along with certain disorders. Additionally, it includes helpful illustrations to understand what mental illness can look like, and provides mental health check-ins to always stay on top of how you’re feeling.
- The handle says it all: self care is a priority. For times when you feel like you may be a burden, or not worthy- this is the perfect “feel good” account to turn to. The page features uplifting quotes, ways in which you can better your mental health by putting yourself first, things you should and should not keep saying, and normalizes the things we often feel guilty about.
- Going to therapy is cool. This account proves it. It also provides resources for when you can’t afford therapy, and tips on how to access mental health services. This page will destigmatize any bad feelings you’ve ever had when considering reaching out for help. It also will give you some helpful tips on how to prepare for therapy, once you’re ready. As they put it, “feel it to heal it”.
- Not run by a licensed professional, “just a girl who has anxiety giving advice about life”. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, or confused about why you can’t get a full nights sleep anymore- this is the account for you. With posts focusing on how anxiety can affect your life, signs to watch out for, what anxiety can look like in different settings, this account will help you understand why you’re feeling, what you’re feeling. On top of that, it normalizes anxiety and debunks all the myths about it. Over 6 millions adults are affected by anxiety each year; there is no need to feel alone in it.
- Dealing with the transition from adolescence to adulthood is no small feat, especially when your mental health is in question. This account will help you conquer all the fears and problems that come along with that transition. Millennial therapist, Sara Kuburic, uses this account to provide simple, yet helpful ways to address your mental health difficulties, and set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Through tips on self-talk, self-esteem, and gentle reminders regarding mental health and stress- Kuburic is there to help you navigate the effects of transition and hardship on your mental health.
- A black-owned account that celebrates self-love- We the Urban is there to enlighten, inspire, and empower today and tomorrow’s pacesetters. This account will provide you with tips on healing, “things you might need to hear today”, “things you shouldn’t be sorry for”, and encouraging reminders for a variety of situations that may be affecting your mental health. If you’re ever starting to feel like your emotions are not valid, this account will let you know that you are not alone in your journey or stuck with your feelings.
- The largest mental health community for children and immigrants: though this account can help anyone in need of some self-love, this is the account for people of color looking for help with mental health. Run by Sahaj Kohli, this account addresses the stigma that occurs in certain cultures regarding mental health and self-care, and promotes bicultural identities. Kohli’s goal is to address the stigma that taking care of yourself is selfish, and eliminate the assumption that occurs in certain cultures and communities that everyone is doing okay. Mental health does not discriminate. Everyone deserves a safe space, and this is the place for you if you’re struggling with any of these cultural stigmas or misconceptions.
- Relationships undeniably impact our mental health and overall well-being. The Mindful MFT, Vienna Pharaon, provides a space to learn about how your relationships are affecting your mental health. Through original quotes, she shares advice on how to remove yourself from bad situations, and better yourself in your relationships. She also offers Q+A’s where you can ask about how to handle your personal struggles, and get advice from a licensed and experienced professional. If you feel like you need some daily reminders to help yourself out with the relationships in your life, Pharaon is the perfect person to turn to.
- Although this account covers a broad array of topics, including political issues and social news- if you want some honest content about mental health, this may be the account for you. This account was created because the founders felt that objectivity didn’t exist in the news; they wanted to cover all kinds of important topics that many people felt were “too scary to talk about”, and reveal the truth in those experiences. Under their mental health highlight, you can read stories about the mental health problems that don’t get talked about enough like imposter syndrome, abuse, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and why it’s okay to just be okay. Your feed may get flooded with current news stories, but the content regarding mental health will always be upfront, and “shit that you should care about”. It’s the perfect 2020 account that we all should be following.
- If you’re someone wanting to hear from a therapist, but not quite ready to take the leap and find one- this account is here for you. Through fun illustrations, this account shows what different mental health problems can look like, provides simple actions you can take to better your well-being, and posts relevant content relating mental health with current day issues- “video call anxieties”, “effects of financial stress due to Covid-19”. However the main tool this account provides to destigmatize mental health is a video series called “Small Talks”. These short video segments come from different therapists, each on a different topic related to well-being: “how can I stop pushing people when I know I need them”, “how do I control my anger”, “what if my problems aren’t bad enough”. This account will make your mental health and well-being a priority, and help you not feel bad about it.
For better or for worse:
Instagram has become a part of almost everyone’s lives. As of January 2020, there are nearly 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram. If you’re going to use the app, use it to help yourself and follow these accounts!
You can’t see people’s mental health. You never know what someone is going through. Be kind always. –@selfcareisapriority