Life can quickly become stressful and feel like it is going off the rails.
When you sense that shift interiorly, it can be helpful to take a step back. Give yourself a mental time out if needed. Take some deep breaths. Start counting out loud the things for which you are grateful. Pay attention to what is happening in your life. Ask yourself, “What just happened that is causing this emotional and physical reaction in my body? What can I do about it right now?”
Sometimes when I feel anxious I catch myself mindlessly scrolling on social media (particularly Instagram) as a way to deal with my stress. It tends to be pure distraction from taking the time to understand why my body and mind feel stressed. But I am usually left feeling more anxiety, and now I’m comparing my life to what I see as I scroll as well.
But, while endless scrolling is not a tool for dealing with stress, it sometimes helps with stress to have your feed more full of people who are encouraging and life-giving to your spirit.
Here are a handful of encouraging accounts that always breathe freshness into my spirit when I need it most.
Lara Casey is one of my favorite people to follow on the internet. The founder of Cultivate What Matters, creator of the PowerSheets goal planner, best-selling author, and podcaster, Lara is one of the most genuine women online today. She radiates authenticity from all areas of her life and is not ashamed to share darker, harder parts of her life story (battling an eating disorder, divorce, and marriage infidelity).
When I look at Lara’s feed, it is very clear to me that she is a cheerleader and champion for all women. She has a unique way of speaking and writing that feels as if she is speaking directly to your heart, in your current reality.
Her books speak to my spirit. Listening to her podcast feels like we’re real-life friends on a coffee date. Using her goal planning tool, PowerSheets, has shown me how to set goals that are not about perfectly achieving or grasping at life, but rather about my real desires.
Jordan Pickell Counseling
As a woman who sees a therapist, I am encouraged when I see other women serving others as therapists and counselors. I stumbled onto Jordan’s account when several friends on Instagram began sharing her posts. They struck me, and shortly thereafter I was following her work.
A clinical counselor and trauma therapist in Vancouver, B.C., she shares simple, yet powerful words and images on important themes related to deep healing work. I find it helpful to have in my social media feed people who value and speak on these topics, because it reminds me to take the time to do healing work in my own life.
A young wife and mom, entrepreneur, and creative designer, Rachel’s account is like a bright ray of sunshine and positivity in my feed.
As an online business owner, Rachel’s focus is on authenticity; gorgeous, quality products; and seeking joy in the present moment. She shares cozy pictures of her home, business, and early morning cup of coffee, and loves creating homemade bouquets from Trader Joe’s flowers. I always leave her account feeling energized and refreshed.
I love her products so much that I own four of her different mugs. This one is my favorite.
Morgan Harper Nichols
Morgan is a creative writer and artist living in Southern California with her young family. She is easily one of the most encouraging and uplifting women I follow on Instagram these days.
You may know her by the colorful artwork she custom designs, but she also shares beautiful (and free!) images that can be saved as screensavers for your phone.
What I love about Morgan’s work is she speaks to the deeper desires of the hearts of women today. She encourages women and speaks life in ways I find so refreshing. Morgan clearly has a gift, and it warms my heart to see how she uses it to uplift and speak life to other women in all seasons of life.
Shannan is an adoptive mom, pastor’s wife, blogger, and published author, and just a big-hearted, compassionate human being. When I consider all of the people I follow on Instagram, Shannan’s account is like a peaceful, strengthening presence. She is humble yet bold, and has thoughtful conversations around many social and spiritual issues many of us have on our minds today.
I first began following Shannan’s blog several years ago. Both of her books, Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted and The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You, are thought-provoking and have helped broaden my perspective outside of my lived experience and local community.
Shannan has a remarkable ability to capture and notice the small, beautiful details of daily life: the tea cup display in her kitchen, the morning walk in her neighborhood, serving in local activities and her local church community. There is nothing showy or ostentatious about her writing or living, but rather a beautiful simplicity she carries about herself.
We all know there is plenty of chaos and noise on social media. What would it look like if we were more choosy in whom we decide to follow on places like Instagram? What would it look like to have a feed filled with more peace, encouragement, and beauty?
In times when we feel anxiety or stress from the swirling of life around us, let’s not lose ourselves in mindless scrolling; but rather, take the time to surround ourselves with encouraging accounts to follow.