Weekly advice column, Hosted by Sofia Sperling.
Sofia is a psychology student, and self love & women’s rights advocate. She has been sharing her own struggles with depression and anxiety openly on her platforms for years in order to remind people that they are not alone, and to fight stigmas of mental illness.
I have been in university for almost a year now but still only have one close friend. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I can't seem to go past small talk with any of them.
Just want you to know how much I relate to this before I go on my way to give you my advice. I just transferred to a new school and haven't made real friends yet, and at my school prior, I only had a few! I found it uncomfortable in the beginning when everyone was overly friendly and nice because everyone was trying to make friends.
Firstly, don’t define yourself by the amount of friends you have. I would recommend keeping those casual conversations flowing when you see your “acquaintances” in class or in the halls. The first step to any relationship is getting to know each other and through these little conversations, that can happen. Maybe ask for their number and study together! You just have to put yourself out there more (something I didn’t do). The more you try and talk to these people the more you’ll get to know them, and maybe they’ll even invite you over or out to something!
Also, you don’t always have to get deep with someone to be real friends. It’s good to learn to have different types of friends; some for emotional stuff and others just for light-hearted fun! Intimate relationships are beautiful and meaningful but not all relationships have to be intimate to be good. Finally, while having lots of friends is nice, you don’t have to have a million friends if that doesn’t seem nice to you. I constantly feel pressured to be social and go out, but that’s really not what makes me happy. Just find what works for you, don't feel pressured to meet a certain standard.
My grandmother passed away recently and the funeral is in a couple of days. She was the person I was closest to, she raised me. I love her so much and I have been struggling so much with the pain of grief I have started to fall back into old bad habits such as emotional eating and neglecting myself. I wanted to ask how to feel and experience the pain fully and wholly instead of repressing it with food, alcohol, and drugs.
You need to let yourself grieve. Overeat a little, cry a lot. Let yourself feel and accept it.
Death is a sad but inevitable part of life. It will be hard but she will always live on through the imprint she made on you and others. Releasing your emotions are important so give yourself some time to cry and let it all out. You can grieve without overconsumption. Everything is fine in moderation and you are in a tough spot. Don’t restrict yourself if it will help you for the night but also don’t succumb to these unhealthy behaviors. It’s okay to overeat, oversleep, get high or drink every once and awhile.
Make sure you also find productive ways to cope. Spend time with friends and family and anyone who loves you and comforts you. Do things that make you happy or at least content. Go outside, take a walk. Pet some dogs and treat yourself to some (vegan) ice cream. Write about your feelings, talk about them with your friends or see a therapist. Really focus on finding happiness in the little things. Being grateful for the past and excited for the future.
Hello Sofia!! I hope you're doing well . I really love your weekly advice column and something has been on my mind for quite some time. I know how everyone's advice is to be your true self but lately I've been feeling quite lost as to who that is. I feel like I don't really know who I am. I just wanted to ask what are some things that could maybe help?
Hey!! Wow I really excited to answer this because it resonates with me greatly. I am feeling quite lost and unaware of my true self at the moment, but I realized that that is what life's all about. What growth is all about. We go through life and are affected by our environments and begin to change. It’s so beautiful and natural but people find it scary to not be able to identify themselves. To me, however, all these labels make me feel pressured into putting myself in a box but I don’t know what box(es) I fit in yet. And that’s okay.
I am currently working on a zine/workbook about just that, finding yourself! Here are some tips from it:
Spend lots of time alone because the only person that can figure you out is yourself (a therapist is also really helpful). Learn about yourself. What makes you tick, what makes you laugh, what makes you want to squeal. Reflect, reflect on everything. Reflect on these feelings and all the moments that pass you by. Reflect on your favorite and least favorite qualities of yourself, who you are in this very moment, and who you want to be. Ask yourself a million questions. Write em out. What makes you feel stressed? What makes you happy? Who is your ideal self? And be honest and true and realistic. What matters most to you in life? What are your greatest qualities and weaknesses? Get to know yourself. Try new things. Explore. Talk to yourself.
You are an ever-changing, evolving being. You will always be on the journey to find yourself. Find comfort in that.
Here's a thread I wrote on twitter about this:
These past few months have been really stressful: I've finished high school and next year I'll be living in a big city for college, by my self, which means that I wont see my family or friends. I can notice that I'm changing, and maybe I'm being more mature but I don't know if I'm going to be able to make that big change in my life. I'm scared.
I'd be really helpful if you could tell me some tips on moving away from home, being by myself and saying goodbye to what has been my whole life for almost 18 years.
Heyy!! I totally feel the stress. You’re about to make big changes in your life and that’s scary. A new place, with new people. It can seem very intimidating especially after being home with your family for so long but it’ll be so good for you. This big move will help you figure out what type of people you like and if you are a big city gal. Even if you don’t like it, trying it out will propel your growth.
I went away to college as well and ended up not liking it. It was hard for a little but I transferred to a university in my home city and live at home now. Even though I struggled in the new place, it made me so much more aware of what I need in my environment.
Change is beautiful. It is scary but it is beautiful. Let yourself go. Take the big step and do it. You will not regret it. Take a deep breath and imagine the new beautiful life you get to create. You may be saying goodbye but it’s not for forever. Your friends and family will always be there. Love sees no distance. And this opportunity will help to see that. Break free from your comfort zone and go find what works for you.
Do you have any advice on how to stop overeating or eating out of boredom?
I eat out of boredom all the time, as well as due to munchies but I’ve found some ways to minimize it. Firstly, try to have healthy snacks around so if you do overeat it’s not gonna be too bad. You should practice mindful eating, it will help you become more in cue with your body and satiety level. Start becoming more away of everything you put in your body and how it affects you. Really focus on it. Never restrict yourself but know your limits.
Eating out of boredom can be solved simply. Stop being bored! Push yourself to do more. Of course it’s okay to sit on the couch every once in awhile and binge on food and Netflix. But that’s not healthy if it’s your everyday life. Take a walk, read a book, call a friend. Redecorate your room, have a little dance party, or simply draw a picture.
Try not to focus on staying “fit” and try to work on being healthy. Eat well, and exercise. You will feel so much better in so many ways!
***You have compete anonymity when sending questions to sofia, but if we hear that you are planing on hurting yourself or someone else, we are mandatory reporters. Please note that this advice column is not a substitute for professional help. If you are facing serious family, personal, or mental issues, seek direct help***
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