Lockdown has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. One area where its effects are being felt by women across the country is our mental health.
For Mental Health Awareness Week, Grazia revealed the results of our new Life After Lockdown survey in partnership with Instagram, which showed nearly three quarters of women aged 25-54 are now seeking help and advice for anxiety, depression or loneliness.
The study showed one in ten women (11%) turned to social media for mental health support during lockdown and over a third (37%) said that social media was their greatest source of inspiration during this time.
Speaking about the results, Instagram’s Head of UK Communications Sinead Purcell said: 'Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day, connecting with others who are going through the same thing and knowing you’re not alone can help.
'As our findings show, social media has been a vital support network for many, and with experts like @dr.chris.george and @drchatterjee offering professional advice for people dealing with a range of mental health issues in lockdown, Instagram can often be the first step in encouraging people to seek tailored, one-to-one support.'
So whether you’re looking for advice from experts, or just want to inject your feeds with a dose of positivity, we’ve curated our favourite Instagram accounts to follow this week and beyond.
Where to turn for support and guidance
Dr Alex George @dralexgeorge
Dr. Alex George has moved from Love Island hunk to celebrity doctor, and now to the NHS frontline. He uses his platform to share updates about COVID-19, from posts discussing the state of the nation’s hospital, to IGTV videos separating fact from fiction. He is also keen advocate for mental health, and has shared his advice on how to stay positive during lockdown to help people during the crisis.
Dr Rangan Chatterjee @drchatterjee
Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a doctor, author and podcast host who aims to 'keep health simple and achievable for all.' Recently he has been championing the importance of sleep for mental health during lockdown, and provided some tips for how to ensure you set yourself up for sleep success.
Dr Chris George @dr.chris.george
Dr. Chris George is an NHS GP dedicated to keeping the nation fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. During lockdown he has been encouraging people to stay safe and stay active, so check out his tips for how people can take first steps to improving their overall quality of life.
Kimberley Wilson @foodandpsych
Chartered Psychologist Kimberley Wilson has been working to keep us all more zen. She created the #FlattenTheAnxietyCurve hashtag to post content with practical tips on how to take care of our mental health during this crisis, such as watching less news and to stop catastrophising as much as we can.
Dr Emma Hepburn @thepsychologymum
Dr Emma Hepburn encourages people to focus on the things that we can control. She warns that by doing the opposite and focusing on the unknown, we will fill the gaps in our knowledge with imagined futures created by our worries. Check out how she uses illustrations to highlight the wealth of emotions people may feel during the pandemic, to help people realise they are not alone.
Mental Health Mates @mentalhealthmates
Founded by Bryony Gordon and Mika Simmons, Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support groups run by people with mental health issues. They have been hosting regular Instagram Lives to share advice and guidance about what we can do to support each other during lockdown, and has also been organising virtual reading groups and coffee morning to keep people connected.
Anna Mathur @annamathur
Psychologist Anna Mathur runs The Therapy Edit, a twice weekly series published on Mondays and Fridays helping people deal with different mental health issues ranging from anxiety and uncertainty.
Where to turn for inspiration and positivity
Together Apart We Run @togetherapartwerun
@rozannapurcell and @rachelpurcll have set up a supportive Instagram running community with their #togetherapartwerun initiative. Runners are sharing their progress on Instagram using the hashtag, and building up to a shared goal - a virtual race set to take place on 2nd August at 10am. Will you join them?
We Are Your Neighbours @weareyourneighbours
A photography project launched on Instagram by photographers Tristan Bejawn (@tristan.bejawn) and Joe Connor (@joevconnor), the movement encourages people to ask their neighbours to pose for a photo (at a safe distance), which they then share via #weareyourneighbours. As well as getting communities talking, the founders hope to turn the photos into an exhibition one day- we can’t wait!
People Of The Pandemic @peopleofthepandemic
Started by refugee rights campaigner Jaz O’Hara, the account shares inspiring stories of the UK heroes who are bravely putting themselves on the line throughout the pandemic, from nurses to police officers and delivery drivers.
My Dear New Friend @mydearnewfriend
The movement, founded on Instagram by Ayesha Shand and her cousin Alice Irwin, encourages children to write letters to people living in care homes to spread joy and positivity. The girls encourage parents to help their children write letters and share examples as inspiration to help people out. They already have the support of Princess Eugenie, Sophie Dahl and many more!
The Happy Newspaper @thehappynewspaper
The Happy News is published throughout the year and shares positive and uplifting stories to keep people feeling good. Their account feed is full of stories celebrating the positivity in the world around us, and is guaranteed to help people mentally during the pandemic.
Dogs Working From Home @dogsworkingfromhome
A daily dose of puppy positivity. Head to this account to view pictures of pups around the world getting ready for their conference calls, hard at work with their laptops, or simply chilling our after a log day of WFH.
READ MORE: Revealed: The Mental Health Cost Of Lockdown