Emergency or Soothe Box
First Aid Kit for Distress.
When we are very distressed, it is difficult to think rationally and to decide how to help ourselves. We can therefore resort to using self-destructive behaviours which may help at that moment, but can cause other problems later and in the long-term. It can be useful to keep an `Emergency` or `Soothe` bag or box, in a prominent and handy place, so that when you feel overwhelmingly distressed, you can go to your bag or box and find something that will help you cope and/or feel better.
You can use any bag or box or other container, and decorate it as you wish.
Collect together items that are
meaningful, or those you know will be helpful. If you cannot put the item in the
bag or box, then perhaps use a reminder of the item, for example, a picture of
an iPod, mp3 player, computer or games machine. Include items that will help
soothe all your senses:
Look around you and notice what you see (colours, shapes, light or shadow, movement), what you hear (nature sounds, sounds in the room, near and far), what you smell or taste (including from the environment around you), and what you can touch, right now, wherever you are as well as items from your emergency bag/box.
When you're feeling better and
write yourself a letter to keep in the box/bag to read at those distressing
times (or include a comforting or inspiring letter or email from someone else).
You might also imagine writing to yourself from a future time when you have
overcome your problems, offering encouragement and advice to use when you feel
Include a copy of your safety plan (if you have one) , and include your "soothe/emergency" bag or box in your safety plan. www.get.gg/docs/SafetyPlan.pdf
Create a music playlist
for different emotions. Use
wisely as it can affect your mood powerfully.
You will know how particular pieces of music affects you. Create a
gradually uplifting playlist for when your mood is low, and a calming playlist
for when you feel anxious or angry for instance.
If you have an unhelpful coping strategy or habit where you keep your habit items (self harm kit, alcohol, drugs and so on) in a particular place, then you might keep your Emergency or Soothe Box in that place, and move your unhelpful items somewhere out of sight and less accessible.