When it’s back-to-school time after the summer break, more students than ever struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
So, what can you do if you notice changes in your school friend? When someone looks tired, anxious or seems at edge more often than not? Maybe they start avoiding social activities or mention a lack of motivation or increased mood swings?
Dare To Start A Conversation 👋🏼
Many peers will just pretend like everything is ok or feel like they should not interfere in private matters. Not so Sophia. Just as she loves to observe nature, she’s very attentive to her peers’ mental wellbeing.
Sophia is a 17 year old student and mental health advocate. As an official Earkick Ambassador, she knows first hand that supporting peers who are struggling emotionally can make a huge difference in their daily life. Check out how she approaches peer support and what she learned from her own experience with overcoming the very common habit of finger picking 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽
A Few Simple Hacks 👌🏽
A lot of what happens during schooltime is anxiety-inducing. There’s pressure with grades and tests, having a lot on the plate or having drama with friends and relatives. While you may not be able to fix your peers’ problems, some of Sophia’s strategies are a great start – give them a try!
- Share deep breathing exercises: they lower down heart rate and can be done anyplace.
- Ask your peers out for a walk: Science shows that a moderate leisure activity, such as walking, is the best outdoor activity for improving mental health
- Signal: Give peers fist bumps or high fives ✋🏽 to show acknowledgement and signal “I see you”
- Show presence, let your peers know you enjoy being with them and that there’s always room for talking
- Introduce yourself, try to talk to everyone and be welcoming
- Be real and honest:
“People know I’m honest, so they can be honest in return”Sophia Zheng, Earkick Ambassador
Share Your Own Mental Health Story 📔
Sophia shares her own experience with uncertainty and anxiousness, especially during COVID. Years of online-schooling took a toll on her peers and herself. Yet, she succeeded in fading out a finger picking habit with replaceable habits such as using a doodle book or listening to music. Sophia makes sure to keep herself accountable by writing down her goals and breaking them down into achievable tasks – a proven strategy that can be accomplished easily by using the Earkick mood & anxiety tracker.
Sophia rewards herself for reaching her goals, practicing self-care and being kind to herself. One thing she wants her peers to know is that “a bad situation isn’t gonna stay a bad situation”
Encourage Hobbies 🎯
Sophia likes to take photographs of mars and the milky way. She also colors and draws animals and plants. Going outside and observing things from a different perspective gives her joy. That’s why she encourages her peers: “Find the things you enjoy and the niche you want to be involved in. It’s a great way to keep you fulfilled and engaged in the life you want to cultivate”.
Download the Earkick app for free on the Apple store today to make a positive step in your mental health journey.