Sometimes, caring for yourself means recognizing that there are others in the world who are also there to help you.
That realization is the cornerstone of a Doodle created by Sophie Araque-Liu, a high school student from Florida. Google featured her art, titled Not Alone, as Tuesday's Doodle after she won the 2022 Doodle for Google competition, an annual contest open to school kids across the US. This year's theme was "I care for myself by..."
Araque-Liu said her inspiration for the Doodle was her relationship with her mother, who gave her support, comfort and encouragement that helped see her through the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic.
Along with artwork, contestants were asked to submit a brief description of their theme in their own words. The Florida high school student explained how she cares for herself:
"I care for myself by accepting others' care for me. Often, I struggle to shoulder a burden on my own, and forget that I have so many people, like my mom, who care about me and want to help me. Opening up and letting others support me not only relieves my stress -- it also lets me tackle things I could never do on my own."
Google said Sophie's message of leaning on one's support system resonated with the contest's judges and felt it would resonate with others who have been through tough times.
Certainly, stress is a normal part of life, but it's different for everyone, even for kids. A support system of friends and family can help reduce stress, especially during transitional life.
Experts say the key for parents is to ensure their children feel comfortable expressing their feelings and getting help when they need it. Mental health is a crucial part of overall health and should be regularly discussed in all homes.
For almost as long as Google has been around, it's livened up its bare-bones search page with artwork that draws attention to notable people, events, holidays and anniversaries. Along the way, it's also honored heroes of personal health, including those who pioneered vaccines for and , , , and .
In addition to her Doodle being featured on Google's home page for a day, Sophie will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, as well as a $50,000 technology award for her school.
Her Doodle is also included in a gallery of artwork for all the state winners chosen from submissions made by K-12 students in the US, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.