Welcome to #TRVSTLOVES. We curate news, ideas, and inspiration from across the world that demonstrates how real action can accomplish a positive social impact. The thing about social media is that love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. We’re looking at a few positive accounts on Instagram which tackle mental health, resilience, and body image head-on.
Richie Norton is a former professional rugby player with an Instagram account that focuses on mind and body. He regularly shares his yoga practice, as well as tips on breathwork and mental health. Richie has experienced a number of physical health problems as well as issues with alcohol but found that yoga was a key contributor to recovery.
Sadly, there’s still a certain amount of stigma attached to men doing yoga, classes are often female-oriented, and it can be intimidating for men to join when they’re still the minority. Yet there are many benefits of yoga for men.
Of course, there’s the obvious increased flexibility, but yoga can also build body strength, encourage full body awareness and help manage stress levels. As the taboos break down, many professional male athletes are now incorporating yoga as part of their training to support their bodies and maximize performance. Social media accounts such as Richie’s endorse this movement and send out a message to men that yoga can be an important and effective practice to be enjoyed by all.
Related: Check out our picks of the best eco-friendly yoga mats to practice with the environment in mind.
Anna Mathur is an author and someone who shows a great deal of honesty and vulnerability on her platform. As a mother of young children, Anna is open and unafraid to share the challenges of motherhood, including getting the balance right between being a mum and trying to maintain a sense of self.
She frequently talks about some of the more difficult subjects of parenting, like how it’s ok to want time away from your children, it’s normal to feel frustrated and angry at times, and the importance of self-care to avoid burnout.
Related: 20 ideas for self-care to practice at home.
The internet can be a tricky place to navigate as a parent, many “perfect” images of family life can leave parents feeling less than adequate, so honest accounts like Anna’s can be comforting and reassuring for those with little ones.
For a bit of a light-hearted read (and to perhaps realize you’re not alone), then check out the most googled parenting questions, which include “what's the best way to handle a toddler who bites?” and “why won't my three year old listen to me?”.
Ruby Rare is the author of Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults. As a queer, non-monogamous woman, her Instagram page is incredibly welcoming, educational, and informative too. One of her aims is to get people talking more openly and inclusively about sex, so many of her posts are of this nature, encouraging people to feel comfortable in their own bodies.
Ruby feels that shame about sex can often start at a young age and that many young people learn from “the things that are not said more than the things that are said...the conversations that you shouldn’t be overhearing”. She’s now teaching sex education in schools, and through her posts, she aims to overcome any associated shame with what can be viewed as a taboo subject.
Ruby is also an advocate for body positivity and regularly shares images of herself that don’t necessarily fit the “Instagram Beach Body”, images that many of us are accustomed to seeing. It’s been said that social media can increase the risk of eating disorders and negative body image, fuelled by people making comparisons to images they see online, so work like Ruby’s is incredibly necessary for this space.
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee has a simple mission, to keep health simple. Focusing on both mental and physical health, Dr. Chatterjee is a medical doctor with over 16 years of experience, so he knows his stuff. His posts are mainly snippets from his incredibly informative podcasts, which give you an idea of which ones you’d most prefer to listen to in full.
Whilst we might be a little oversaturated with podcasts these days (seems that just about everyone has one), we think it’s worth checking out Feel Better Live More, which covers such a vast variety of health topics. We rather loved a recent episode, “3 questions to ask yourself every time you pick up your phone”. The WWW strategy stands for “what for, why now, and what else” and encourages us to use our phones only when we mindfully and intentionally mean to do so.
According to recent research from WhistleOut, the average person will spend almost 76,500 hours of their lives on their mobile phone - that’s almost nine years! Whilst there are, no doubt, many caveats to this research, it’s a bit of a wake-up call, especially as many phones allow you to check how many hours a day you use your device. If you’re feeling brave, perhaps take a look at your screen time and see if it’s more or less than you thought, if it’s more, then maybe it’s worth implementing the WWW strategy!
Related: Have a browse of our curated selection of mental health quotes to be inspired by what thinkers. practitioners and those affected have to say about mental health.
Last but by no means least is Henry Fraser, one of life’s amazing human beings, who, when faced with the unthinkable, has not only survived but thrived. Back in 2009, Henry was on a boys' holiday in Portugal when an accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
His story highlights the strength we have as human beings to adapt and overcome, and his inspiring positive attitude shines through in all of his posts:
“My accident may look like it’s taken from me but it’s given me so much. A confidence I never had. A way of dealing with problems I struggled with before my accident. Happiness”.
More recently, Henry has become a mouth artist with an incredible portfolio which is regularly showcased on his platform. He’s often asked if he is brave, to which he responds that he isn’t, he feels he responded to the situation in the same way that any human would, as that is the strength of the human spirit.
Sam produces our regular #TRVSTLOVES where she seeks out inspiration, news, and ideas from across the globe that both highlight and celebrate how actions can make for social and environmental change.
Sam is passionate about seeking out small businesses that are implementing remarkable and exciting projects to tackle the climate crisis; she enjoys exploring how their innovation will help change the future of our world.
A degree in English Literature from the University of Southampton has given Sam the research expertise to share and contextualize stories around innovative projects, legislation, and changemakers.