What is an Emergency Self-Soothing Kit?
When we are feeling distressed, sad, scared or anxious we often forget to use the skills, tools and techniques that we have learned to help us – just when we need them the most!
Self-Soothing doesn’t always come naturally to everyone and requires thought and action. An Emergency Self-Soothing Kit is where you put your comforting, soothing and therapeutic things that help you to cope. It is your “tool kit” where you know you can find everything that you need in the moment.
Once you have it set up, make sure you keep it in a handy place so you can get to it quickly and easily to find something that will help you cope and feel better.
To help prevent overwhelming distress from happening you can use your Kit to incorporate soothing things into your everyday routine. You can also use it to ground yourself when you begin to feel upset, anxious or stressed.
Mindfulness is an important element of using your five senses to self-soothe. Focus your attention on each activity/item and the sensory experience. When the distressing thoughts or feelings arise, set them aside and refocus on your senses and the present moment.
How to make an Emergency Self-Soothing Kit
Take a box and decorate it any way you like. You can cover it with pretty paper, or paint it, use colours, images, words/phrases that help you feel safe and calm. A basket will work well too.
Collect items that are meaningful to you and that have helped you in the past. If you can’t put the actual item in the box put a reminder of the item to jog your memory e.g. a picture of your iPod to remind you to do a meditation.
Include items that will help to soothe all your senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch).
Here are some ideas for you to try out:
Photographs of people and places you love
Photographs of happy times
Pictures of animals or things that you love and bring you joy
Pictures of places you’d like to travel to in the future
Positive thoughts and affirmations. You can print them out from the computer or hand write them onto paper or cards. Read them to yourself or say them out loud to help you through the distress.
Notes-to-Self of tips and tricks that work for you
Print outs of therapeutic information or worksheets
A card with names and phone numbers of crisis support services e.g. Lifeline 13 11 14
A card with names and phone numbers of trusted friends or family members to call
A journal to write in
Pens, crayons, art supplies
A word search or puzzle book
Guided meditations – download an app to your phone such as Insight Timer
Soothing music – create a soothing playlist on your phone or computer
Nature sounds – download an app or create a playlist on YouTube
Your favourite CD’s or DVD’s
Put your headphones or ear buds in your box to remind you to listen
Bells, chimes, rattles, crystal bowls, drums, ukulele
Sage Smudge Spray to use as a room spray or spray above your head
Scented lotions to rub on your body
A small jar with dried herbs or spices – e.g. lavender, cinnamon sticks, cloves, rosemary
Tea bags – to make yourself a cup of tea
Hot chocolate sachets
Mints, chocolate, lollipops or other sweet treat
A crunchy or salty snack
Herbal or Liquid Crystal remedies
Stress Ball or Fidget Ball
Hot water bottle or wheat bag
A teddy bear or other soft toy to cuddle
Crystals, worry stone or inspiration stone
A ball to bounce on the ground or throw with another person
A soft blanket or a weighted blanket
A small square of fuzzy, furry or soft material
Clay, playdough or putty
Bubble blowing wands
Hand or foot lotion to give yourself a massage
Nail file and nail polish
Rubber band to snap on wrist or stretch
Ice pack – keep one in the fridge freezer and put a reminder of it in your Kit
You may choose to make a “travel kit” that you can take out with you and carry in your purse or backpack.
Sometimes during your healing journey something that was particularly useful ceases to be so beneficial. Similarly, you may discover something new that you find helpful. It’s okay to reorganise your Emergency Self-Soothing Kit by adding and removing items as you feel you’d like to.
When in-session with my clients, we work together step-by-step to set up your Kit by making a plan during our session and then you put it together at home, trying out different things to see what works best for you.
Judy Glover is an Integrative Therapist, utilising the synergy of conventional “talk-therapy” Counselling methods along with Inner Child work and Energy Therapy modalities. She is a qualified Counsellor, Certified Crystal Healer (Hibiscus Moon method), The Liquid Crystals Advanced Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner (Usui & Seichim) and has been initiated into the 9 rites of the Munay Ki. Each session with Judy is tailored just for you. With her holistic approach she collaborates with you, guides and supports you on your journey of Self-Awareness through to Self-Love.