A) Describe how you feel and act when your mental health is thriving in the Green Zone.
When I am thriving in the green zone I feel good about myself and confident in what I am doing. Sometimes even getting to thriving in the green zone you have to cope with something bad that is happening. In a good state of mental health I am productive doing activities, having healthy relationships, and I also feel like I can deal with change. I feel more grounded. The difference between green and red is just the way you can cope and use strategies (like breathing exercises) to help yourself calm down in some situations. I found a really good quote in my one note lesson 4 article, “If you add this coping strategy to your stress “releasing” activity you will be much more likely to succeed and that is a sign of good mental health.” I am not sure who wrote this article. When I am thriving in the green zone I feel happy and mentally healthy.
B) Describe the tech habits and strategies you use to keep you in the Green Zone.
To keep me in the green zone regarding technology I simply dodge anything I think looks too real to be true. During our teenage years our brains constantly grow and adapt to new things which makes it easy to get caught up in social media. Social media has actually proven to please your brain so you just want more and more. Another bad thing we find ourselves doing is wishing we could be more “perfect”. Don’t worry! There are many ways to deal with this. I recommend first setting an allotted amount of screen time for social media apps/all apps. This will help you deal with how long you are on your phone and possibly help you get a better sleep. If you are still unable to sleep I recommend taking melatonin, it’s a natural supplement you can take to help you relax and have a better sleep. No one is perfect! But if you find yourself excessively looking at other people it can be depressing, so try not to get caught up in your head on what is classified as perfect. It is most likely fake. I also recommend a private account on social media platforms.
Part B: You are going to write a Mental Health ‘How To Guide’ for 6th Graders who are new to tech use. For some, it’s the first time they get a smart phone. For others, it’s their first laptop. You may also write this for “Future You” if you currently don’t use much tech, but may start in the future.
1. What do they need to be mindful of with regards to gaming and/or social media use? What advice can you give about popular apps (like WeChat) or certain ‘addictive’ games? (Use what you know about the positives and negatives of gaming/social media use and how they can affect the brain and mental health)
Social media has its ways of sucking you into a portal, but also has some ways of helping, such as talking to friends. Things you should be mindful of, especially on social media, try not to look at other people and be like “oh wow they are so perfect”. No one is perfect so try not to classify it that way. By doing this you could get sucked into things like disliking your body or wishing you were more “perfect”. It is also important to support your friends who also living online. Some people feel left out or under peer pressure if they see a post they are not in. It is possible that you even unknowingly make people feel pressured. For example, if you are the star pitcher and say, “That was such a bad pitch” and others on your team are not starting it can make them feel bad about themselves. Social media can be addicting. It becomes addicting because our brain loves it and sees it as a “treat”, and for the simple reason that humans have FOMO (fear of missing out). You will want to be mindful of time spent on social media. Don’t worry, your friends can catch you up if you missed anything. There are also good sides to social media/gaming such as communicating with friends and developing online skills. Online you develop new ways of talking to your friends and it can be fun to find new styles you like or call your friends. Social media is great as long as you are aware of what it can do.
2. What are some good tech habits to stay in the thriving Green Zone of mental health?
To stay thriving in the Green Zone there are a few healthy tech habits you can adopt. Try to have equal amounts of face to face interaction with your family and the time you spend online. Do not get caught up in things such as how many followers you have vs Kim K. A really good habit is to support your friends online and help them if they are struggling. Before posting something think about the reaction it may have on others. Have a sense of what you think is right and wrong. You also want to be able to get good sleep, so turn your devices onto night shift and set a screen time for when they turn off. Sometimes even having your phone not in the room will help you get better sleep.
3. Describe some strategies they could use if their mental health becomes unsettled or they start to struggle in Yellow or Orange Zone? Explain how or why these strategies can help them get back to the Green Zone.
If you are starting to shift more into unsettled territory the first thing you should do is tell someone. By telling someone you are more able to get help. Sometimes therapy may be the answer and this will get you back into the green zone. Also, sometimes even talking to a friend about your situation is very helpful. Try to think positively. It’s kind of like if you fake a smile it will eventually turn into a real one. Thinking positively will improve your thoughts if you are going through some type of bad time. Having happy thoughts will change your whole mindset and can change you back to being happy and green. Depending on how serious the situation is you can go see a doctor and get special medication for your condition. Sometimes even knowing that some type of medication is like magic can help your mindset change, getting you back into the green zone. Stay happy and be able to notice what your body is telling you!
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