The Emotional First Aid Kit: Why ‘self soothing’ tools are all-important

Updated: Aug 31




Most of us will have a first aid box in our cupboards, containing all manner of supplies to administer in the event of an injury.


What is less common, is to have a box of kit that we can call upon should our emotional health somehow happen to become unstuck.


It can often happen that something, somewhere, will trip up our thinking, triggering a downward spiral that no amount of plasters or antiseptic cream can remedy the fallout of.


These are the days, when knowing the first aid technique of ‘self soothing’ - and having the tools to help administer it - can prove all important.

.

Self-soothing is not necessarily always easy, especially when you’re caught in loop of intense emotions or overwhelm. However, learning how to recognise the signs, and respond appropriately, is all important.


One idea that was developed by @themindhealthspot, is to have a ‘calming kit’ that can be called up in these times of stress, overwhelm or anxiety.


The kit should include personal items that ideally help soothe the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. They could include photographs of loved ones, boiled sweets, sentimental objects, aromatherapy, a stress ball, spices for smelling, and a journal for offloading ‘mind clutter’.


All of these are ways of re-anchoring yourself to the present, lessening the weight and power of worries and stresses, and most importantly regaining control over emotions and thoughts.


The mental health first aid box will look different for everyone, and much of the beauty of the idea lies in this flexibility, and scope for personalisation.


Our box (pictured) contains a few token extras we felt might be useful, including a facial massage tool, a charm necklace (that sound!!! 😴 ) and - last but not least - a 30 year old Sylvanian...because nothing resets the stresses of the day like a fuzzy return ticket to your seven year old, care-free self.