With 391,000 Instagram followers, yoga instructor Jessica Olie's life looks pretty perfect from the outside. She describes herself as a "smoothie-drinking, Nutella-eating yogi trying to find her balance in the world," and her feed is populated with photos of her kitten, her husband, and some seriously impressive yoga poses.
But dig a little deeper, and Olie's feed tells a different story. In a recent post, she admitted to suffering from anxiety attacks as a result of health problems her father has been having recently.
"I'm aware that my posts haven't been 'normal' or 'uplifting' the last few months," she wrote in the caption of a video of herself mid yoga flow, adding that she knows her followers might not love the less-than-upbeat captions she's been writing but knows some of her followers can relate to it. "Yesterday I didn't leave my bed until 5 p.m. I didn't open the curtains or check my emails. I didn't change my clothes. My day was spent trying to breathe through anxiety attacks and quiet my mind that had found itself in a dark place. This is not me, but it's a part of me, a side of me that I've had to confront a lot over the last few months since my dad got diagnosed, and every day, every hour, every minute is so different."
Olie's confessional post is proof that things are never quite as picture-perfect as they seem on social media, and she's hardly the only influencer to get real about her mental health issues. In Vogue's April cover story, Selena Gomez—the most followed person on Instagram—admitted that depression and anxiety due to intense social media scrutiny caused her to cancel the final three months of her Revival tour last summer. "I sort of freaked out," she said. "It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit."
Dealing with your own anxiety issues? Here are five poses that can help alleviate anxiety.