If you struggle with mental illnesses, it can be hard. Anxiety especially, experiencing bouts of panic can be all too familiar – almost anything can trigger an anxiety attack at any time, from daily worries to disagreements, or something to do with school/work. Anxiety attacks often plunge both your body and mind into fight-or-flight mode, which then impairs your higher cognitive functions and disrupting your digestive system. You may feel irrational, physically sick or incapable of finding a solid ground to pull yourself out of this state. Once an anxiety attack starts, it can sometimes feel impossible to stop yourself from spiralling, so this is where a crisis kit can be invaluable to you – it is essentially a collection of comforting things which can help when you’re starting to feel a bit naff.
Headphones – I ALWAYS carry headphones with me, regardless of where I’m going or who I’m with, but it’s nice to be able to zone out and remove background noise whilst listening to something which makes you feel good, may it be music or a podcast.
Notepads – something that you can scribble in. I like to carry a little notepad with me and it can really help you calm down if you’re feeling anxious. You can even write down how you’re feeling at that moment or just doodle to keep your mind off things!
Backup medication – if you can, try and carry your medication with you, sometimes the thought of knowing you have it with you can calm you straight away. I always like to make sure I have my beta blockers in my bag incase I’m feeling particularly anxious, but usually try to refer to them as a last resort.
Essential Oils/Rescue Remedy – Oils are really good at calming, especially camomile or lavender. There are many ways you can use an oil.
Books – if you’re a reader, carry your book or kindle with you. This way you can easily escape the situation and just take 5 minutes for yourself.
A bottle of water – keeping hydrated is obviously important, but carrying water and taking small sips but often can help you concentrate on your breathing a lot more and therefore help you to calm down.
A paper bag – if you do find you’re experiencing an anxiety/panic attack, having a paper bag is always useful – this can sometimes help others who are with you to know they have tried to calm you down. Take deep breathes into the paper bag and let the attack pass, do not feel bad if people are staring at you, concentrate on how you are feeling and bring that heart rate back down to normal.
Everyone’s crisis kit will be adaptable to them, you may carry things that may seem bizarre to others but if it makes you feel more re-assured then carry what you need!