Lately, my therapist gave me a homework assignment to make an "emergency stress kit."
Sorry, I will talk a little about anxiety in this post!
As you might imagine, the purpose of this box is to aid in coping with stress. The idea is that if I find myself overwhelmed with stress or anxiety (and I am overwhelmed with both a lot), I can go to this box, and the things inside will help me in some way.
While I was at a loss as to what I could possibly put in such a box, I knew I could at least make the box cute. If I'm gonna do this thing, I'm going to do it up Jane-style, you know?? And indeed, I covered an Amazon box with scrapbook paper and washi tape. I reinforced a lot of places with clear packing tape, too. Now the Amazon box is an anti-stress box.
I've been really into washi tape lately. I mean, I have a lot of it because I've always been into it, but I've been using it for things like this as of late. I did this honeycomb wall decal with washi tape not too long ago!
Ironically, I don't like pineapple. But this box is covered with pineapple scrapbook paper and even pineapple washi tape. Pineapple is so cute and summery, though!
Some of the washi tape I have came in a package of several tapes, and say stuff like "DREAM" or "OH HAPPY DAY" or "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL," and I have found no occasion to use them before making this box. One tape says "I survived today," amongst other things, which I think goes along with the whole idea of the box.
As for the contents... I have precious little to put in this kit.
Because I have been in therapy for a long time now (10+ years, on and off), I have actually come a long way from where I started with my anxiety. I have developed coping mechanisms and self-soothing habits. Also, I know myself incredibly well. I know what works for me and what doesn't.
Much like inspirational washi tape, I know I'm going to get nothing out of loading the box full of "reminders," or things that are meant to represent concepts. I may enjoy playing the guitar, but putting a guitar pick in this box won't help me if I am actually stressed or panicky. Actually, I can see myself getting really angry at a box full of useless junk in that situation. I know I am too practical -- and even too jaded -- to get anything out of inspirational quotes. I know I will want to actually be able to use the items in the box.
So, for me personally, the items in this box so far include:
- strawberry gum
- vegan lip balm
I know, right?? Not much! But I do have a couple of ideas for other things.
- scented candle
- index cards with breathing exercises on them
- a list of relaxing Bob Ross quotes (not inspirational~ ones, just soothing ones; watching The Joy of Painting is something I do when anxious)
- something quietly clicky that I can mess with... not sure what!
Hopefully I'll either update this post or make another post when I have more contents gathered.