When you’re feeling low, stressed, irritable, or just ‘off’, an emotional first aid kit can give you the tools to soothe your body. It will not resolve relationship conflict, social issues, or life challenges, but it might give you some renewed energy and mental space to be able to face those things again.
This is part II of Emotional First Aid Kit, see Building an Emotional First Aid Kit – Part I for the rest of the project and suggestions about sight, smell and taste.
Pay attention to textures. Start with your clothing. Note what you choose to wear when you want to relax and see if you can repeat those fabrics in clothing for other times, including work, etc.
- If sleep is a problem, check out the type of sheets you have and their content, for e.g. cotton/polyester percentages and thread count. You may want to try something else (higher thread count = smoother feeling sheets). Note where clothing is tight and loose and how comfortable this is.
- Experiment with different sensation (eg. a bowl of cool sand, a bowl of jello, hot or cold pads, blankets for sitting with, fluffy vs silky). A bath provides a different sensation, pay attention to temperature and additives (oily, bubbly, etc.) and how this feels.
- Consider adding a decorative item to your home with a unique texture for you to touch, once you know what textures you like.
Note environmental sounds, you may want to check YOUtube for soundscapes of various environments (cities, ocean, fields, forest, etc.) to see what you enjoy.
- Note the sounds around you. Are there pleasant sounds that you can re-create? (running water, sparrows, etc.).
- Make yourself some playlists of soundscapes and some of songs for various moods, ie. ‘pick me up’ playlist, or a ‘calm me down’ playlist. Have playlists available for when you need a new sensation to help with a mood.
- Try moving to the sound.
- Turn off all your lights, turn up the sound, lay down and just inhale it.
Once you’ve got a solid kit with resources for every sense. Pay attention to your emotions. Check out this Emotions wheel to be more accurate about the feeling that you are experiencing. After applying first aid, check to see if you’re feelings have changed. Seeing feelings change throughout the course of a day can remind you that no feelings last forever and that things can get better.
Having an awareness of what influences your mood on a body or somatic level will make you more aware of where various emotions might be coming from and help you to avoid blaming something or someone who might have nothing to do with your feelings.
I’d love to hear about your ideas for thing to add to an emotional first aid kit. Please comment!
For more about emotions see How to Make a First Aid Kit for Your Emotions – Part I
For connections/community see What do Adults do for Fun?
Also check out Mental Illness – A Relationship Story
You might also want to read Why go to counselling?