When I’m really anxious, I find it difficult to remember that there are activities I can do that will make me feel better and help pass the time. I also find it difficult to remember what those activities are or pick one or two to do. I learned about stress boxes when I was participating in a group session at the hospital and I think its a good way to help with anxiety or other unpleasant emotions.
The concept is very simple: write down things you enjoy and put them in a box. When you’re stressed out, you can go into the box, pull out a random piece of paper and on it will be a suggestion for what you can do.
In my case, I wanted my box to look distinct and a little whimsical:
And inside are the ideas:
Here are the ideas I have in my stress box. Maybe you will find some of them useful:
– Write a letter,
– Read a book,
– Talk to someone,
– Cook something,
– Learn to draw,
– Motorcycle maintenance,
– Go for a walk,
– Learn something new,
– Watch a movie,
– Make bread,
– Look at stuff with microscope,
– Watch the lightning (if applicable),
– Sit outside,
– Practice grounding exercises,
– Write something – a story, blog post, poetry, anything,
– Listen to music,
– Play some bass guitar,
– Do some welding,
– Play a game,
– Fix something around the house,
– Go out, close eyes, and listen to the birds, and
– Clean something.
It’s really important to keep yourself occupied while dealing with mental illness. If you set up something like a stress box ahead of time, it can help out a lot when your mind is blank and you can’t think of anything to do.