How I Avoid Getting Overwhelmed? I Set.

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


To me and a lot of other people I know, extracurricular activities seem to be like potato chips: you can never have just one. When I was in high school, I was involved in a lot of different clubs, a sport, and honor society at my school. During my first semester of college, I did the same thing. I quickly involved myself with four clubs, became a pledge in a co-ed fraternity, took a volunteer opportunity and signed up to do this, along with my fifteen credit course load. Although I was happy to be involved on campus, I soon realized I was getting worn out by my busy schedule. I also couldn’t fully commit myself to some of the activities. The last straw was when I got sick and had to miss a day of class. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and risk my health, or my grades so I set up rules for myself so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. Continue reading How I Avoid Getting Overwhelmed? I Set.

Managing Homework Stress

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


Going back to school or college after a long summer vacation can be tough, but September is often an easy month. It’s exciting to get new school supplies, start new classes, and see friends again while the workload remains relatively easy. By October or November, stress and anxiety start to rear their ugly heads as students’ to-do lists grow longer and the days slip away. Continue reading Managing Homework Stress

Tackling Appointment Anxiety

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


If you’re like me, any kind of doctor’s appointment comes with a lot of anxiety. Having mental health problems along with chronic illness requires a lot of appointments for me to try and cope with. While I know its important to keep the appointments, I’ve found myself canceling them in the past due to anxiety. Here are some ways I’ve found to cope with appointment-related anxiety. Continue reading Tackling Appointment Anxiety

Get Your ZZZZ’s!

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


You have heard this before and I know, getting enough sleep is easier said than done…you only have 3 more episodes of that show on Netflix or you’re busy scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. I am unfortunately also guilty of staying up way later than I should because…just one more episode then I’ll go to bed. I have a bad habit of doing this despite knowing how I will feel the next morning. I just find it hard to put my phone down sometimes or turn off the show. But, you need your sleep! Continue reading Get Your ZZZZ’s!

Hanging onto Depression and Anxiety

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


This week, I went to see my therapist, which I do bi-weekly. Before I left, she asked a very interesting question that I took time to ponder, although in the moment, I didn’t think.

The questions goes as followed: are you hanging on to your depression and anxiety? Is it acting as a comfort for you? Continue reading Hanging onto Depression and Anxiety

In a Dark Place

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


I really want to write something inspirational, but I am not feeling very inspirational right now. In my previous post I talked about my struggle with anxiety, but I kind of need to touch on depression.

Since I was a child, I would often feel a deep sadness for seemingly no reason. It was part of why I did not really have friends when I was younger. I would also cry and not know why I was crying, which looking back may have been odd behavior for a child. Although I struggled with this since I was very young, I never actually sought help until I was 18. I wish I would have sooner. There was so much I didn’t understand and still don’t understand. Continue reading In a Dark Place

Seasonal Changes

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


As the weather cools, the sky darkens, and the color of the leaves change, so do our behaviors and attitudes. The term often used is “seasonal affective disorder.” Our energies begin to compare with the depleting elements in our environment. Our circadian rhythms are thrown off when it begins to get darker earlier in the day, and/or daylight savings. This reduced sunlight can also cause a drop in our serotonin levels, as well as imbalances in melatonin levels. Continue reading Seasonal Changes

Oranges for Anxiety

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


The past few weeks have been particularly rough for me in regards to my anxiety. I’ve been experiencing a range of slight nervousness to full on panic attacks. You probably have had similar experiences. In the middle of a panic attack, it’s difficult to stay grounded and rationalize your behavior. It can be extremely difficult to become aware of your emotions and control them.

You may have heard of the “5, 4, 3, 2, 1“ technique. This technique encourages sufferers of anxiety to become more aware of their surroundings. The technique is as follows:

Step 1: Identify 5 things you can see. Look around and pick things you can see. Take a moment to focus on the detail of these things.

Step 2: Identify 4 things you can hear. This can be your foot tapping on the ground, an air conditioning unit, etc.

Step 3: Identify 3 things you can feel. The texture of your shirt, your feet against your shoes, etc.

Step 4: Identify 2 things you can smell. This can be the smell of the room, the smell of your clothes, or even your deodorant if you’ve run out of options!

Step 5: Identify 1 thing you can taste. This one can be tricky…

During an appointment with a counselor this week, my counselor recommended carrying oranges or clementines to assist with this technique.

“Oranges?” you say. Yes, oranges. Oranges can help with identifying several of the things listed above. You can SEE its bright, orange color. You can scratch the skin and HEAR it. You can FEEL it. You can certainly SMELL it. Lastly, it’s something portable that you can TASTE.

In the event that you don’t like oranges, you can alternatively use something like a stick of gum.

If you suffer from anxiety, give this a try! Even if you don’t have an anxiety symptoms, you’ll at least have a healthy snack!


What coping mechanisms have you shared with your child? Would you introduce them to this method?

Staying Clean with Coping Skills

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.


It is not uncommon for people who once used self-harm as an unhealthy coping skill to deal with urges and thoughts of relapse. It becomes especially hard to combat those urges when faced with a triggering situation. As someone who is two years clean from self-harming, I have a lot of coping skills that I use to combat thoughts of relapse. I would like to share four of my top coping skills: Continue reading Staying Clean with Coping Skills