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9 soothing Instagram accounts to calm a frazzled brain

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With posts ranging from step-by-step painting videos to dream-like photographs, these Instagram accounts are the home of aesthetically pleasing, relaxing content.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ll have heard all the warnings about how bad social media can be for your mental health. From the dangers of doomscrolling to the perils of blue light exposure before bed, most self-care guides will include some kind of tech-related tip, such as cutting down your screen time or deleting the social media apps from your phone. 

But what if social media wasn’t always bad for you? What if, alongside cutting down on your screen time, there was a way to boost your wellbeing through social media? To use it in a way which makes it a less stressful, more relaxing experience?

Welcome, dear reader, to Instagram’s wholesome side. Across the social media platform, there are creators aplenty producing satisfying, aesthetically pleasing and soothing content. And while they don’t sell themselves as relaxation aides, scrolling through their feeds is slowly becoming one of our favourite ways to switch off when we’re feeling frazzled. 

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We’re not saying these accounts are going to magically rid you of all your anxiety or help you get to sleep, but they might provide some light relief from the stress of your day-to-day routine – something we’re all in need of at the moment. 

So without further ado, here are some of our favourite soothing accounts to help you inject some calm into your Instagram feed.

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  • Yuki Kawae (@yukikawae)

    Yuki Kawae’s account is a treasure trove of soothing videos, which show him using sand and a rake to create mesmerising patterns and designs.

    The sound of the sand scratching against the rake paired with the occasional gong strike gives the videos a meditative quality which is seriously relaxing. 

  • Coffee Bae (@coffeebae97)

    If you find watching milk swirl into a cup of coffee mesmerising, you’ll enjoy Coffee Bae’s close-up videos, which show them putting together a series of different drinks with a calming soundtrack in the background.

    With drinks ranging from creamy milkshakes to iced coffee, each video brings a new surprise – we love this one inspired by the pastel hues of Bridgerton

  • Mairi Stone (@mairi_stone)

    Mairi Stone is a ceramicist from Ireland who uses intricate, swirling patterns to create her eye-catching designs.

    Not only is her feed beautiful to look at, but the videos she posts of her creating each of her pieces are an absolutely mesmerising watch.

  • Simplicity Archives (@simplicityarchives)

    Treat your eyes to an aesthetic feast by adding this account to your follow list.

    Simplicity Archives’ compilation of eye-catching photos and videos may not be as traditionally soothing as some of the content on this list, but it’s still well worth a scroll.

  • Maso Eden Llama and Alpaca Farm (@maso_edenalpaca)

    An account dedicated to llamas and alpacas may not sound the most exciting thing in the world, but stay with us.

    Dedicated to documenting the lives of the llamas and alpacas who live on the Maso Eden farm in the Italian countryside, this account will not only make your feed 100x more adorable, but its easily digestible nature makes it surprisingly soothing, too.   

  • Alexandra Velichko (@alexandravelichko)

    Alexandra Velichko’s incredibly beautiful oil paintings aren’t the only reason why her account has made this list.

    Click onto one of her videos and you’ll see what we’re talking about – the combination of the blue tones she uses in her art and the classical music which plays in the background is ultra-calming.

  • Oumi Janta (oumi_janta)

    If you’re looking for soothing content that’s a bit more upbeat, Oumi Janta’s rollerskating videos are a must-watch.

    Not only is she bloody talented (how does she make those moves look so effortless?), but the music which plays in the background of her videos adds to Janta’s joyful, carefree vibe – perfect for watching when you need a pick-me-up at the end of the day.

  • Frederikke Wærens (@frederikkewaerens)

    You might want to avoid watching Frederikke Wærens’s mesmerising food videos when you’re hungry, but otherwise, feel free to dive right in.

    Just make sure to have your audio on as you watch – trust us, it’s a real treat for the senses.

  • Philip Boelter (@boelterdesignco)

    There’s something incredibly mesmerising about the bright colours and bold brushstrokes Philip Boelter uses to create his gouache designs.

    If you’re looking for something to take your mind off of everything going on right now, then try watching one of his speed lapse painting videos – you won’t regret it. 

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INSTAGRAM

5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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