I was pondering vlogging a mental health crisis kit & bag tour so I ran a poll on Twitter and 88% of people wanted me to to do so, so I did…in June…and then I edited and uploaded it in September…but here’s the accompanying blog post!
My crisis kit/self care kit is designed for me, based on what I find helps with what I struggle with. If you decide to create your own it’s worth spending a little time thinking about what issues you have and what has helped in the past or what you think could help. There is no one-size-fits-all in mental health or recovery.
Crisis Kit essentials
That said, I do think there are some essentials that are useful for most people when they are struggling so if you’re not sure where to start I would recommend:
- Water bottle/drink
- Everything Is Awful printout
But what’s in my kit?
My phone is a part of my mental health crisis kit because it has several apps on it that I find useful for my mental illness. I mentioned some of my favourite apps in my post about mental health & smartphones.
My iPod & some earbuds are also a part of it because I find music really helpful. In fact, there are songs to listen to in my self care jar because I find it so therapeutic! Of course you could always load an mp3 player with guided meditations or white noise too, if that’s your jam. I know a lot of people swear by noise cancelling headphones both with and without music, so that could be an option.
Self soothe: senses
My most recent addition is an avocado stone which I like because it’s got like a nice weight to it and it feels good to roll about in my hands.
I have a teeny weeny Beanie Baby because I was looking for something tactile but soft because my fidget pad is all hard plastic and, while it’s great, sometimes I need soft. The Beanie Baby I opted for, after much stroking of the various options, was a giraffe and I chose it because the body is soft but the underbelly is a different texture, like a harder soft texture and it also has a little quiff of hair which is obscenely soft. I went for a small one because it’s more portable and fits easily into my crisis kit bag too.
I’ve also popped a multicoloured ring in because it’s pretty colours and it’s cold. Obviously it doesn’t stay cold forever but it’s a nice mild shock to the senses.
I also have a notebook of inspirational quotes. On the front it says “do not abandon yourself” because that is one of my favourite quotes ever now and I think it was said/coined by Kelly-Ann Maddox one Self Love September, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
Inside I’ve decorated and put some of my favourite quotes in it. I’m planning to add comments from friends and things too in the future.
The notebook also double as a place to write out my feelings or make notes as I carry a pen too.
I carry deodorant wipes because my anxiety likes to manifest in sweat, and lots of it. Although I will say that the hyperhidrosis antiperspirant I found in Spain has changed my life in that regard.
Chapstick because anxiety also makes my lips go dry. Super dry.
Snacks because I am 100% a hangry person! I am not going to be in the head space to deal with anything if I’m hungry so I carry some snacks with me to make sure hunger isn’t playing into my emotional issues.
I also carry a copy of the Everything is Awful printout from Eponis Sinope on Tumblr which reminds me to check I’ve been completing basic self care which tends to be the first thing to go when I start struggling.
The vlog version
I hope something in here has inspired you or given you an idea of how to support your mental health when you are out and about. If you’d like the badly lit vlog version of this blog post, here it is!