work in progress: emergency stress kit

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.


  1. I've never made one of these but have thought about it in the past (my psych may have suggested it once, too, I'm not sure). I'm with you on the inspirational quotes. They always end up making me feel worse! But this box looks very cute indeed. Hope this helps you in some way!

    (I've never used one but a fidget cube might do clicky things?)

    Also have you seen that site that's basically just a bunch of questions to go through and grounding exercises? I keep forgetting about it but it was helpful. (Not for a box, obviously, but your index cards idea reminded me of it).

    1. I think I did see that site at some point, but it's been a while! Maybe I'll Google around. :) If you ever made a similar box I'd love to know what kinds of things you'd have in yours! (No pressure, obviously!!!)

  2. This is a weird one but have you tried ASMR? I used to have serious anxiety and insomnia, and ASMR videos were recommended to me. They have helped me to de-stress so much. I also find Bob Ross very soothing, so I thought you might likewise enjoy ASMR. Just a thought.
    As for something clicky, I second the Fidget Gidget. I work with children with ADHD and Autism, so we have lots of sensory/regulation/anxiety preventing type tools around. The fidget cube is really nice- very clicky and relaxing.

    1. Hey Liss! Yes, I have tried some ASMR videos! I've only tingled once but it was pretty cool. I'm not sure what brand of ASMR videos would work for me in terms of relaxation; I don't need the tingle aspect, more like I don't know how to stop paying a ton of attention rather than relax. Do you have any faves?

      (I do like for relaxation while I try to sleep.)

      I'm off to research Fidget Gidgets right now!!

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. This is such an excellent idea - and your decoration is so lovely! These cheery patterns are soothing on their own.

  4. I totally understand the need to switch off. I would recommend game controller sound videos, as strange as that seems- they're some of my favourites! Very soft, clicky sounds. I just totally zone out.

    'ASMR controller sounds' by fastASMR on Youtube is a good example. I also really like 'Futuristic Tingles' by ParisASMR- lots of hypnotic sounds!
    Also, if you do a general search for sound assortments, you usually find videos with some nice relaxing sounds :) Hope that helps!

    - Liss