A mental health selfie challenge has gone viral, inspiring social media users to get in touch with their inner child.
The challenge, which is trending under the hashtag #5YearOldSelfie, was initiated by the UK mental health organization Young Minds. According to the organization’s mission statement, they seek to “make sure all young people get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s challenges.”
To take part in the selfie challenge, find a photo of your younger self, write three things you’d tell that child, use the hashtag #5YearOldSelfie, and then tag three friends who ideally will continue the chain.
Take part in #5YearOldSelfie!
1) Find a photo of your younger self
2) Write 3 things you’d tell that child
3) Use #5YearOldSelfie
4) Tag 3 friends to help spread the love
— YoungMinds (@YoungMindsUK) August 8, 2019
“When we feel good about ourselves, it’s easier to deal with life’s challenges. When we feel negatively about ourselves it can be hard to think positively,” Young Minds stated in a video. “You can start to feel that you don’t matter, that you’re not good enough, that you don’t deserve help, but none of these things are true.”
The #5YearOldSelfie challenge resonated with social media users. The post currently has 4.2k likes and 1.3k retweets. Tons of people shared images of themselves as children with funny, sad, poignant, hopeful, inspirational, and kind words to the little ones they used to be.
i literally peaked age five
∙ cute, poised, sassy
∙ infectious happiness
∙ big imagination and an open heart pic.twitter.com/MH0aN5NXjf
— Daniel Howell (@danielhowell) August 8, 2019
Some specifically spoke to mental health challenges and emotional struggles they faced growing up and offered supportive words for their younger selves. “You might change someone’s life by being brave enough to talk about your feelings,” said one user.
The guy holding you will never let go.
This feeling does pass and things do get better.
— Doug Leddin (@dougleddin) August 10, 2019
“1) I’m sorry you’re so sad,” another user said. “2) Life gets better. 3) You’re gonna be fine.”
1) I’m sorry you’re so sad.
2) Life gets better.
3) You’re gonna be fine.
BONUS) See a therapist. It’s cool. pic.twitter.com/BQNfyn82ga
— AE Stueve (@AEStueve) August 8, 2019
1. ADHD is NOT a lie. You are visible and strong and don’t listen to those who tell you you don’t try hard enough.
2. You grow through what you go through.
3. Love fearlessly and truthfully. #fiveyearoldselfie pic.twitter.com/jWd3KfVh1N
— mir (@xo_miriam) August 9, 2019
Others offered advice and spoke kindly of their young selves.
as a child, i was
• actually super smart
• creative as hell!
• kind and friendly
i would tell my younger self not to let the world make you bitter, but stand up to people a little more and be true to yourself.❤️ pic.twitter.com/MUF8zur6YJ
— emily ? (@catraclaws) August 8, 2019
-There is no one in the world like you, fearlessly embrace your unique essence.
-The world can be cold, but never let it rob you of your infectious smile.
-Remain the happy, imaginative intellectual with the impeccable style. pic.twitter.com/6L6KkXiaoi
— Rosanesha (@Rosanesha_) August 8, 2019
“1. ‘Bossy’ is just the first of many words men will use to try to silence you – don’t let them.”
To my younger self:
1. Talk about how you feel!
2. Don’t try to deal with everything by yourself.
3. Don’t eat so many damned sweets every day, because you’ll end up terrified of the dentist.@YoungMindsUK #5YearOldSelfie pic.twitter.com/jKiLQzAhsj
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) August 8, 2019
Mental health awareness and advocacy is crucial for folks of all ages. But it’s not often we get the opportunity to stop and take a moment to really engage with our younger selves and share those insights. Hopefully, as a result of this challenge, people will be inspired to treat each other and themselves with more kindness and compassion.