In my last post about Stress Boxes, I talked about a box that’s full of ideas for activities you can do when you’re feeling anxious or down. I have another kind of stress box that is very useful for other situations. If I’m having a lot of anxiety or am feeling very down and grounding methods aren’t helping all that much, I turn to this box. Inside of it are items that have different feels, smells, or interesting behaviours that help drag me back to the here and now.
Here’s my Stress Box:
And here’s what’s in it, and what each item does for me:
– A set of magnets (curiosity),
– A prism (curiosity),
– A Ziploc bag of cotton balls infused with peppermint oil (strong smell),
– A little rubber character whose eyes bug out when you squeeze him (touch and amusing),
– A plastic sheet that shows magnetic field lines (curiosity),
– Two fabric stress bags full of buckwheat (touch),
– Two oversized old-style keys with beads strung through them (touch and sound),
– A stress squeeze ball (touch),
– A plastic toy that you can arrange into different shapes (touch, curiosity),
– A wooden toy that you can arrange into different shapes (touch, curiosity),
– A little toy catapult with tiny plastic cats as ammunition (touch), and
– A bookmark from J that says, “Life is tough my darling, but so are you” (touch, message).
I find that this kind of stress box is much more useful for sudden attacks or when I can feel myself starting to whirl out of control. I just pop it open, open up the peppermint bag, and grab something to play with. There are times that peppermint smell and a stress ball don’t help, but most of the time this kind of stress box can help me when I’m on my way to a panic attack or feeling really down.