POINT 2 – STOP LIGHT ZONES
A tool for self-inventory and Regulation
Tool Introduction: This is the second point of the program. It is based on using a stop light for the self-regulation of our own state of well-being. The goal is to be in the green zone. This tool also provides actions to take when in the yellow or red zone to get back into the green zone. The third-point is the final tool; it is an action plan and a substitution for a developed suicide plan. It is the course of action for the red zone or a crisis situation when we are no longer in control of our thoughts and actions. These tools as they stand are meant for teens and adults. The action plan tool will be made more developmentally appropriate for elementary school students and again for middle school students. The self- regulation stop light will be made more developmentally appropriate for preschoolers but will not include the action plan.
The GREEN Zone – This is where we want to be as it is a
state of calm, happy contentment.
The Goal is to stay in this zone.
Think – What is YOUR GREEN ZONE?
WHERE are YOU, WHO is with YOU, and What activities
are you doing that bring YOU Feelings of Peace, Joy,
Well-Being, Calmness, Focus, Contentment, and Similar
Positive Feelings? Write these in the space below:
What are your thoughts in the green zone? Or when participating in the above activities? Write these HERE
What other feelings do associate with being “good to go”? Also, how do you feel physically when in the Green Zone? Write these here.
Keep adding to your list anytime you are “good to go” write down any new action, thought, or feeling you have while in this zone. This builds your toolbox and you will have more options available to you when you need them. Here’s Space to Write These
NOTE: Writing in a notebook or journal would be ideal as you will have more room for building and expanding your thoughts and tool box. The spaces I left are just to get you started.
The YELLOW Zone – WARNING!! NO LONGER in GREEN ZONE
The yellow zone means you are in a heightened state of alertness. You are still in complete control of your thoughts and actions. You might be feeling fear, anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, excitement, annoyance, or nervousness. It is anything but the happy, calm peacefulness of the green zone but still in complete control of yourself.
ACTIONS – Once you notice you are no longer in the green zone, take immediate action to get back to the green zone. Start with those thoughts and actions that you have when in the green zone. (You wrote them down.)
Additional Ideas: Walking/Exercising, Writing/ Journaling your feelings and why you have them and/ or what is causing them, mediating, deep breathing, Think of a place that you are the happiest describe it in great detail using all five senses and picture yourself being there, a warm bath, my favorite is staying in the here and now. When I start feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I take account of where I am using the 5 senses to guide me. So, wherever you are right now; look around and make a mental note of everything you see. Then make a mental note of everything you hear, smell, physically feel against you, and taste as you finish inventory one of the senses move on to the next. This is easy to do anywhere.
Be willing to share your coping strategies with others so we may all build our tool boxes with a huge collection of tools.
Also, remember that temporary environmental factors like a huge project due at work, arguments with and between friends and family, medical issues, and the like that are short term stressors- over in a few weeks or less- are going to keep you out of the green zone. It is important in these situations to recognize that if you are in control of your thoughts and actions then you are fine, and you will be back in the green zone once that situation ends or is resolved. It is also important to be extra kind to yourself during these times and indulge in favorite treats and activities. These situations are high stress so do everything you can to lower your stress level in other areas of your life. If it is a high stress family situation compensate for it by doing what you can to lower your stress at work. This could be a reduction in hours, projects, or giving yourself more breaks. Take a lunch break if you normally don’t. Don’t take on additionally responsibility if it can be avoided. Socially don’t commit yourself to more responsibility during these times say no if asked to run a PTA bake sale or any other type of additional social responsibility. If you have an annoying friend that you only hang out with because she is a part of you group or feel stress by social situations; then decline them and don’t feel guilty for it. It is okay to say No. We must take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. Do everything you can relieve some of your stress and stressors.
The RED ZONE– STOP EVERYTHING NOW!! CRISIS SITUATION!!-
Once you are no longer in control of your thoughts or actions you are in the RED zone!! Immediate action needs to be taken to prevent someone or something from being hurt.
REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SITUATION IMMEDIATELY and CALL the SUPPORT PEOPLE WITHIN YOUR PLAN. NOW IS THE TIME TO USE YOUR PLAN-CHOOSE to LIVE
DO THIS BECAUSE – YOU MATTER!!! I know this because without each other we cannot learn and grow. All of us have a purpose; we just don’t always recognize it or believe it.
Now You Need a PLAN: But You DON’T HAVE ONE?
CHOOSE DREAM to LIVE