WHAT’S UP? – Weekly Stand #35

Sometimes simple actions can make the biggest difference. Each day this week, email or text a different friend a supportive message. You can try starting with friends who look down or who you know are struggling, but then branch out. You can text something like, “Hey, ___. I know you might just be tired and stressed from school (I know I am), but I noticed you looked kind of down today. Just a little reminder that I’m on your team and you’ve totally got this,” or “___! We haven’t talked in a couple months, but I was just thinking about how much fun we had at my birthday party last year. You’re such a good friend and I miss you! Let’s catch up soon.” Don’t worry if you can’t get the message just right. What matters most is the gesture.

A Single Word.

I’M SORRY – Weekly Stand #34

Apologies are powerful and beneficial, not just to those receiving them, but also to those giving them. This week, think of someone you want to apologize
to and do it, whether it’s someone you feel you wronged yesterday, or even last year. You can start with, “Hey, I just wanted to reach out and apologize
for the way I treated you,” or “I’ve been thinking about what happened and I really want to say that I’m sorry.” If you can’t think of someone to apologize to, put yourself in the shoes of your parent or guardian and think about your recent behavior from their perspective. Chances are you can apologize for something.


WEEK OF MINDFULNESS – Weekly Stand #33

Mindfulness means creating a greater moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and surrounding environment. This week, we want you
to do a mindfulness exercise by keeping a tally of all the little things you either take responsibility for or ignore. Literally, write them down! They can be household chores like washing the dishes, or harder things like letting someone who is getting bullied know you care. Just taking note of when you act and when you ignore can help you become more mindful and remember to act more frequently.


MUSICAL CHAIRS – Weekly Stand #32

Have you ever heard a teacher say, “If you sit in the same place every day during class, moss will start to grow on you”? No? Well, let’s fight the moss effect anyway! According to one study, changing your seat can actually boost your creativity. So why not try it? Sit in a different seat in your class each day this week. See who you meet and what new things you experience!


WITHDRAW SUPPORT – Weekly Stand #31

Don’t know how to help with a bullying situation you are witnessing? You can start by not laughing or joining in. People who bully often get power from
the approval of others. Try at least one time this week to withdraw your support from a bullying situation by walking away or, when it feels comfortable, saying, “This isn’t cool,” or “That’s not funny.” Your reaction can influence others to step away too. Make sure later to figure out a way to give support to the person who was bullied. It may seem hard, but each time you do it, it’ll get easier.

UP HIGH – Weekly Stand #30

We all know everyone feels a boost after a high-five. And you never know who needs one. Give at least one person a random high-five each day this week. The best thing about high-fives is you can do them anywhere: in the hallway between classes, during recess, in the cafeteria…so what are you waiting for?  A countdown? Okay: 1, 2, 3, 4…5! (Technically that was a “count-up” but you get the idea. Go give some fives!)

BREAK THE CYCLE – Weekly Stand #29

You might not always see it, but even people who bully need care and compassion. People sometimes bully others as a reaction to their own problems, such as abuse or feelings of isolation or rejection. Being confrontational or attacking someone who bullies is rarely, if ever, the most effective response. Take that into consideration this week and say something kind to someone who maybe isn’t always so nice to others. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. You can start with something simple like, “Hey, I really like your sweatshirt.” Your kind comment can show them how kindness beats bullying, any day of the week.

Be the one.

OFFER SYMPATHY – Weekly Stand #28

Even if you can’t interrupt bullying in the moment, you can offer sympathy to someone who has been bullied, after the fact. This week, tell someone who has been bullied recently that you saw what happened and feel bad about it. You can say, “You didn’t deserve that. How are you feeling?” or “I saw what happened, and it wasn’t right.” Even if the bullying happened a long time ago, you can still reach out. Late is better than never.

FLIP THE SCRIPT – Weekly Stand #27

Everyone knows that being the odd person out is hard, but it can be easy to forget when that person isn’t you. That’s why this week, when you’re picking teams for a game or partners for a group project in class, choose the new kid or the person who is always picked last, first. They may never forget it

YOU’RE AWESOME – Weekly Stand #26

According to one study in the UK, nearly one-third of students who have been bullied have gone on to self-harm.¹⁸ Many forms of self-destructive behavior come from an individual’s belief that they aren’t worthy of love and support. If you notice any of your friends putting themselves down, take one moment this week to tell them some of the reasons why you love and support them. They don’t have to be big things! You can start with, “You’re so awesome and you always make me laugh,” or “No one understands me the way you do—thank you.” Take note of their reaction. You’d be surprised how quickly you can brighten someone’s day.