App of the month: Happify
Self-harm is an unhealthy coping mechanism. If you, or someone you know, struggles with self harm, there is help available. You can see your family doctor who will refer you to the appropriate services. There are also helplines, websites and apps that can help. Lifeline has some very useful information about self-harm - you can find it at https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/information-and-support/self-harm/
Beyond Now is a suicide safety planning app by Beyond Blue. If you struggle with suicidal thoughts you can use this app to plan things to do and people to contact to help you cope. It can help you to:
You may feel overwhelmed and that there is no way out but there is help out there. If you, or someone you know, is feeling suicidal contact one of the following help lines:
Call 000 if it is urgent
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
Hugh van Cuylenburg spent a few months living and volunteering in India in 2008. Despite the fact that the villagers didn't have very much the were very happy. When Hugh got back to Australia he continued his studies and worked out that the key to the villager's happiness was gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. He wrote a book called The Resilience Project and now there is an app. It is only $4.49 and is available on android and iTunes. You can find out more about it in the video below.
June is Mindful Month at Smiling Mind. You can sign up for free at https://www.smilingmind.com.au. All you have to do is complete a short survey (2 questions). According to the Smiling Mind website, some of the benefits of mindfulness include:
Awesome Apps: Calm Harm
Tik Tok Tips
This app has been in the news a lot lately so I thought I'd check it out. While I was scrolling through Tik Tok I saw a lot of teen guys and girls who know they're hot showing off, some bad lip-syncing, some good dancing, some average dancing, some dangerous challenges, some illegal street racing, some rich kids showing off their bedrooms and homes, a lot of swearing and a really cool pool shot.
My verdict: While there is nothing wrong with the idea of the app, sharing 15 second videos, there are some issues with how it is being used. When you sign up the privacy setting is set to public. If you change it to private you will avoid 40 year old men sending inappropriate comments. You can also turn off the comments facility, otherwise it's just another avenue for trolls to do what they do. Any platform that is used by young people attracts pedophiles. One scantily clad girl had the message on her screen, "I'm fifteen, if you're over 18 and tell me I'm hot, that's creepy." You can't actually delete your account - you have to provide your phone number to the app so they can send you a code to delete your account. Finally, you can waste a lot of time on Tik Tok so maybe set a timer.
2019 Ethical Fashion Guide
It was Fashion Revolution Week last week which highlights injustice in the clothing industry. Many workers are not paid enough to live on and work in appalling conditions. Download the app and see if your favourite brands are ethically produced. You can find the website here.
Clue Period Tracker App
The Clue period tracker allows you to enter details about your cycle so that you can easily see when your next period is due. It is free on Android and IOS. Unlike many of the other period tracker apps it is not bright pink, nor does it look like a kindergarten game. Clue also has a website with many articles and videos, some of them specifically for pre-teens and teens. I particularly enjoyed Erica Avey's article, Advice to my 13 Year Old Self.
Many people are addicted to their smartphones. If you want to keep track of how many times you check your phone each day consider downloading the Checky app which will let you know. Perhaps you can reward yourself if you reduce the number of times you check it each day.