This guest post is from Rachel Green, Director of Gender & Well Being at BGCA.
Everyone experiences a wide range of emotions every single day.
However, sometimes youth have a hard time explaining or understanding their current mood.
The Mood Meter is a very useful tool to help youth label how they are feeling, build emotional awareness, and understand how emotions influence their thinking and actions.
To use the Mood Meter, answer the following questions:
- How are you feeling today? How pleasant? How much energy? Where would you plot yourself on this Mood Meter?
- What caused you to feel this way?
- What word best describes where you plotted yourself?
- Is this how you want to feel? If not, what will you do?
The blue quadrant is for both low pleasantness and low energy feelings such as sad, lonely, or depressed.
The green quadrant is for feelings that are still low energy, but higher in pleasantness such as calm, secure, and carefree.
The yellow quadrant is for feelings that are high in pleasantness, but now also high energy such as happy, excited, or inspired.
The red quadrant is for feelings that are low in pleasantness, but still high energy such as angry, anxious, or worried.
The Mood Meter can be used as a check-in as youth enter the Club, at the start of a program, or during a Keystone meeting. Get creative! Try to incorporate a Mood Meter check-in to your daily routine at the Club – below are some ideas:
- Put 4 boxes representing the different emotional quadrants near the entrance to the Club – every day when you enter they Club, toss a bean bag or other object into the box to represents how you are feeling that day.
- Draw a Mood Meter on a whiteboard in your regular meeting space – have everyone write their initials in the quadrant that they are feeling that day.
- Create a Mood Meter on a piece of poster board, a magnetic board, or a bulletin board – have everyone stick a pin, magnet, or sticker in the quadrant that they are feeling that day.
The Mood Meter can also help staff understand how their members are feeling, and how to harness those feelings in a productive way. Watch the video below for tips on what types of learning strategies and activities are best for each area of the Mood Meter.
Ultimately, it’s important for youth to know that it is OK to feel how they are feeling – everyone experiences a range of emotions every single day. It’s normal to feel sad, excited, angry, calm, or nervous every day, multiple times a day. What matters is how youth cope with these feelings.
For more information on using the Mood Meter in your Club, check out BGCA’s Social Emotional Development Guide. Please note: You will need a BGCA.net login to access this site.
Rachel has been in the Movement for 3 years. Prior to coming to BGCA, she was a high school teacher in Atlanta Public Schools.