In this time of huge change and uncertainty, it can be quite unsettling to work out how to do life differently. For much of the time you might feel able to tap into fresh reservoirs of strength and inspiration, but just now and then, you feel you’re struggling. It might be that for much the time you feel you’re in danger of being overwhelmed with the not – knowing. Or maybe, you feel you’re somewhere in between.
We’ve prepared an emergency kit with a list of things you might have around you to draw on at times when you feel low, anxious or panicky. Some will appeal, others may not – but we hope you find something that is helpful for you.
· A note to yourself to tackle one day at a time, to use your resources, to try and notice the good things every day.
· A guided meditation, noticing things in your environment and reflecting on them in a mindful way, clouds, flowers, trees any interesting object. The app Headspace has lots of great content and has added new stuff.
· A playlist that reminds you of happy times, or that soothes or energises you. Make a playlist for someone else, ask them to make a playlist for you.
· A journal to scribble in or to write about your feelings, or a sketch book to draw or doodle. Or a colouring book, maybe a mindfulness one, and nice new coloured pencils
· A craft kit like cross stitch, paint by numbers, crochet, knitting
· Something soft, a fluffy blanket or a silky cloth or a cuddly toy to stroke, touch or squeeze. Pets can be helpful here too.
· A fidget toy, stress ball, glitter jar or lava lamp, play doh can also relieve tension.
· Calming oils, an oil burner or just a cotton ball dipped in your favourite soothing smell
· Playing cards to shuffle or deal, play simple card games alone, like patience, or with someone else.
· Photos of happy times and important people. Now might be the time to make an album, maybe using an online photo service or printing out photos and putting them in a scrapbook. Or you could use them to make a card for someone you’re thinking of.
· A list of things you’d like to experience or accomplish or even revisit in the future.
· A letter to yourself, written compassionately, reminding yourself that you are strong and loved and worthy, telling yourself all the things you have already managed to overcome, progress you have made towards psychological goals. Compliments others have given, things you’re proud of. Remind yourself all difficult situations will pass or improve, and pain eases over time.
· A hot water bottle/cold pack to use, depending on what’s happening in your body. Cold flannels on your wrists can help to ease panicky feelings as can breathing exercises
· A note of those you that it would help to seek out and what you would like to say to that person. Have their telephone numbers to hand. Processing verbally by talking to someone often helps. This could be your GP, a counsellor, or the Samaritans on 116123. You can self- refer to talking-therapies, although this won’t be immediate.
· Some gentle at home exercise will boost your endorphins - free online classes like Joe Wicks for all abilities or Lottie Murphy’s restful Night’s Sleep Pilates Routine.
· Go out for a walk, run or cycle in the fresh air.
· Seeds, bulbs or plants to plant pots, window boxes or garden borders.
· Jigsaw puzzles