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Viral ‘Five-Year-Old Selfie’ Challenge Has People Sharing Mental Health Advice To Their Younger Selves

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.

“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.

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.

“1) I’m sorry you’re so sad,” another user said. “2) Life gets better. 3) You’re gonna be fine.”

Others offered advice and spoke kindly of their young selves.

“1. ‘Bossy’ is just the first of many words men will use to try to silence you – don’t let them.”

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.