Instagram vs. Real Life
Now scrolling through my Instagram feed, I take each post with a pinch of salt. Individuals only post their highlights and this can often seem as if they have a ‘perfect’ life and are continually happy, positive and stress-free. Instagram is not real life and I think it is important to remember to not judge real life based on someone else’s styled-up life.
I always aspire to those bloggers who are taking the time to make this evident, especially thinking of how many very young women are active on the platform.
Some wellness figures have taken things a step further. Since emotional health and mind/body topics have become increasingly relevant in the world of wellness, many health leaders on Instagram have opened up about their real-life moments of anxiety, stress and drama.
I have identified a couple of women in wellness who I personally admire for being open and sharing relevant posts.
Food blogger Deliciously Ella has been discussing the feeling of being overwhelmed that comes with being a new business owner.
“Every time I tried to drift off last night I’d have a pang of fear and anxiety that shot through me like a bolt. My head felt more full of worries than I’ve felt in a long time. It’s strange as in many ways I feel more settled and grounded than I ever have in my life. I’m getting to a place where I genuinely understand who I am and in creating a life with Matt I’ve learnt so much more about love, kindness and openness, and that’s shifted my whole way of being to a much deeper sense of gratitude. Yet, every now and again, the fear of not doing things well enough comes creeping in and I can’t help but wonder whether I’m being a good enough wife, sister, friend and daughter, let alone a good enough leader and business woman.
I share this not because I’m searching for validation, I know that only I can do that and that happiness is found within ourselves, but because I want to highlight that everyone has their ups and downs and that social media doesn’t always reflect this.
I’m apprehensive at times to share when I’ve had these moments and the reasons behind them but this morning it felt important to share because sometimes I think in always keeping these feelings private it only exacerbates the fear that we’re not as good as the people around us – we can see ourselves as the flawed, failing ones and others as the carefree ones when in fact they may well feel the same way, and I think this is especially true when we’re connecting with people through a screen. We’re all human, we all have these moments and we all need to know that that’s okay.”
The yogi entrepreneur behind Strala Yoga is opening up on juggling big ideas and even bigger feelings.
“Mike took this pic of me yesterday and said this is me in melt down mode. I have learned to lean onto melt downs & know that they are like storms clearing the sky and creating space for something true on the other side. Inspired by @deliciouslyella who shared her anxiety recently and also reflecting on how we really don’t share these kinds of moments in a world of over sharing or hyper selected sharing and maybe it’s valuable to find a middle ground where real connection is possible.
Everything is great and I’m in awe of where I am in my life, but the melt downs still show up and if they didn’t I would be concerned. A pain in my neck I’m stretching out here is the affect of taking a lot of time on a new book idea. The concept is big for me and I feel the weight of it and I am in the “want to get it right” mode. Also Daisy is just so awesome and I feel more decisions coming up like where to find more nature, school choices, travel choices and things. It’s all lovely it just looks like this, not a glossy pic in dancer pose.”
Founder of Bando recently opened up on The Bulletproof Podcast about her ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety.
“Less than 48 hours ago I was at a solid 7 – and just like that today I find myself in the low 4’s. Tearful, angry, foggy, self loathing, sluggish and frustrated. I know I’m in the 4’s not the 2’s because of the anger and frustration. In the 2’s there is more of an absence of all emotion. So by 9:30 I had already told myself to F-OFF about 13 times and then backed that up with specific criticisms about how I spend my time, why I am a failure, my thighs, my skin, my mind. And let me tell you. I am very very convincing.
If a friend presented me with these same feelings and emotions I would hug her, be gentle with her and give her permission to lay still and quiet her mind. But with myself its like going into battle with my most detested enemy.
I hate that I’m here today. Well, annoyed really. It will get in the way of my productivity, my long list of things I wanted to accomplish today and more than anything else it feels like a personal failure. I couldn’t keep myself well and functioning. Like I was effortlessly treading water and then, out of nowhere, my legs gave out, my arms gave out and I didn’t have enough strength to keep my head above water. It’s another lie I tell myself. It’s my fault. I did this. But I didn’t. True my thoughts and behaviour can contribute, but also it happens, without warning, and the only thing I can control is how I deal with it when it appears.”
These three women are inspiring in many ways; they show that mental health is nothing to be ashamed of and shouldn’t be a taboo subject. They also help to reinforce that depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can happen to anyone, no matter how perfect their life appears on the outside. It is important to share and learn from other people’s journeys and personal experiences. These women are relatable and authentic. Social media should be used to help us feel more connected, not more alienated in our ongoing journey to live well. I feel that transparency is key!