ER Kit: Planning for Distress

Life can throw us unexpected events and crises that can trigger intense emotions. It’s important to be prepared to manage these strong feelings. Creating an emergency kit tailored to your emotional needs is a fun and effective way to prepare for such situations. This kit should contain easily accessible items that can help you feel more centered and grounded during times of distress.

Here are some tips on how to create an emergency kit to manage strong emotions:

Choose a container

Select a container that is portable, easy to carry, and has enough space to store all the items you need. It could be a backpack, a tote bag, or a small storage bin or decorative box.

Include comforting items

Add items that provide comfort, such as a soft blanket, a stuffed animal, or a scented candle. These items can help you feel more relaxed and safe.

Include grounding objects

Select objects that can help you feel more present in the moment. This could include a stress ball, a fidget spinner, or a set of worry stones.

Add sensory items

Include items that stimulate your senses, such as essential oils, a piece of gum, or a piece of chocolate. These items can help you focus on something positive and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.

Add distraction tools

Pack items that can distract you from your thoughts or emotions. This could include a coloring book, a crossword puzzle, or a book of Sudoku puzzles.

Include a list of coping strategies 

Write down a list of coping strategies that work well for you, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. Having a list of coping strategies can help you remember what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

Include emergency contacts 

Write down the names and phone numbers of people you can call in case of an emergency. This could include a therapist, a close friend, or a family member.

Final thoughts

Creating an emergency kit to manage strong emotions can be a helpful tool for anyone who struggles with strong feelings. It can provide a sense of comfort and security during difficult times and help you feel more prepared to handle unexpected events. Remember to update your kit regularly and add items that work best for you. By taking the time to create an emergency kit, you are investing in your mental health and well-being.

Contact me

If you’re interested in learning more about distress tolerance, please reach out to me, clinical psychologist, Dr. Christine E. Dickson through my website.

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