In an earlier post about preparing for times of stress or mental unwellness, I suggested creating your own emotional first aid kit.  An emotional first aid kit works in a very similar way to a traditional first aid kit that you would keep in your home for treating minor injuries and physical health issues.  The idea is that you create a central place where you can store the kind of items that would help you through an emotional crisis or time of stress.

As this may seem a little bit of an unusual concept, I thought it may be helpful to write a separate post with details of how to create an emotional first aid kit for yourself or a loved one. 

Using Polyvore, I have created a kit with suggested items that you may want to include.  The list is by no means exhaustive and not every item is going to be helpful to everyone.  Make your kit as personal as possible and include items of significance to you.

Emotional First Aid Kit

Emotional First Aid Kit by woodledoodledandy featuring fake candles

First of all, get yourself a medium to large sized storage box or container to store your items in.  It could be a shoebox which you decorate yourself or you could buy a box especially for this purpose.

  • Writing paper, art materials, pens and pencils.
  • Inspirational postcards, photographs, notes or pictures of loved ones, magazine clippings or pictures you find cute or uplifting to look at.
  • Music - MP3 players are handy and you can wear them with headphones if you are having some troubling thoughts or experiencing auditory hallucinations, such as hearing voices.
  • Sweet treats, drinks, individual hot drink sachets and herbal teabags.
  • Aromatherapy oils, scented candles and lavender bags can help to create a soothing living space.  If you are worried about your concentration you could consider LED candles which are battery powered.  They provide a similar light to candles but don't have the worry of being a fire risk.
  • Special toiletries that will help to motivate you to keep on top of your personal care routines.
  • A hat, sunglasses and comfortable socks.  Wearing a hat or sunglasses can help if you are struggling with leaving the house and seeing people.  Hats are also handy for bad hair days.
  • Mints for keeping your breath fresh are especially useful for times when you have unexpected guests or appointments with professionals.  Peppermint is also good for soothing an upset stomach and stimulating the appetite.
  • Puzzles, books, games and jigsaw puzzles can all help to occupy the mind and fill time without being overly stressful.  Puzzles can also help develop problem solving skills, which can be helpful when dealing with stress and mental illness.
  • Soft toys can provide comfort and a reminder of happier times and loved ones.