Let’s set the scene – its evening, you're nice and relaxed, you’re at home cooking yourself a tasty dinner, you're busy minding your own business, when all of a sudden you cut your finger. What do you do? It’s not bad enough to warrant a hospital visit - so if you're anything like me, you go and grab the first aid kit, get one of those stingy wipes (yes I know they’re antiseptic wipes) and a plaster and before you know it you’re all patched up.
Ok let’s try this one - its evening, you're nice and relaxed, you’re at home cooking yourself a tasty dinner, you're busy minding your own business, when all of a sudden your phone rings it’s your best friend. You get into an argument about something, you hang up the phone. You go back to your dinner when all of a sudden, your chest feels tight, you feel nauseous, you're trembling or shaking and your heart is racing. What do you do? It’s not bad enough to warrant a hospital visit (or is it? You’re not sure). You can’t just go and a plaster - that won’t work this time.
It seems we all know what to do when we have a physical emergency. But the real question is what do you do when you’re having an emotional emergency? They are just as serious. We experience emotional cuts and bruises probably more often than physical ones. The idea of a first aid kit is to have supplies that can act as the first line of defence against infections or to help protect wounds until the body can repair itself.
The best time to prepare for something is beforehand, not during, because we don’t always make the best decisions when there is added pressure.
So let’s start to make that emotional first aid kit – here are some ideas of what you could include:
- A list of ways to relax
- Colouring pages
- Sweets/chocolate/treats/something to eat
- Music – create a playlist of all your favourites through the ages
- Book – add favourite or something that inspires you
- Something that smells nice – smell is linked to memories
- Grounding activity
- Inspiring quote
- Something tactile that reminds you of a happy memory
- Tangles or fidget toy
- Dice or cube – with different exercise tasks
- Bouncy ball/stress ball
- Table tennis bat & ping pong ball
- Slime/gooey stuff
- Letter or collection of letters from people that love you
- Phone number of someone you can call to come over and talk
- Fave uplifting movie
- A list of productive things you can do as a distraction if needed
If you're looking for more inspiration, why not have a look at our wellbeing Pinterest board.
If you or someone you know needs an extra boost or pick me up how about sending them a Buddy box or something from The Box Of.
Want to discover more about emotional first aid? You can watch Dr Guy Winch's TED talk here, or his article in Psychology today here.
Phase is a charity which is dependent on donations. Text MAKE05 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 and help us provide support to young people