Soothing Sunday: Make a kit

In most households, if we cut ourselves, we have a first aid kit. We clean the cut, perhaps use an antibiotic ointment, and put on a bandaid.

If we find a loose nail we can go to the tool kit and get a hammer.

Even for those who enjoy wearing makeup or styling their hair, there’s a kit.

Having one for self-soothing is a fantastic way to help combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Assembling a self-soothing kit is simple, and can be fairly unnoticeable to others. I used to have one for work because my day job can get quite stressful. What goes into such a kit?

You’ll choose things that engage all five senses. Sight, Touch, Sound, Smell, and Taste.

Here are some examples of things I’ve used in my kits in the past.

Sight: A picture that brings me a sense of peace, a photo of my family, printouts of my book covers

Touch: A small, squishy toy made of velvety fabric, a bead bracelet I can play with like prayer beads

Sound: I keep this option handy by having a playlist of soothing music. Stressful day at work? When it’s break time the headphones go in and I hear nothing else.

Smell: A small bottle of hand lotion, a favorite scented oil. **Remember to choose something that won’t aggravate people around you. As an asthma sufferer, I have paid dearly for many perfumed lotions and sprayed perfumes worn by others.**

Taste: A small piece of candy or gum, a bag of my favorite tea blend, even an occasional can of soda in a flavor I like but don’t usually drink.

I don’t carry these around in a little box, obviously, which makes them even less obtrusive. None of these things on their own would raise any eyebrows if kept in the workplace.

Other things I’ve used that look perfectly normal to the rest of the world include a large water bottle filled with ice and only half filled with water. That one is a favorite because it can address multiple senses. Sight, the water and ice make interesting patterns in the light. Touch, it’s very cold, and if I use one of the single-wall bottles, there’s condensation. Sound, I can swirl it around and hear it. Taste, I don’t use flavoring in water but many people do.

So make yourself a kit. Heck, make a few dozen, and keep them in the places you tend to need them. I promise, no one else will know unless you tell them.

 

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