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Sometimes when I’m out and about everything feels a little bit intense. I can’t concentrate and I feel like I can’t breath. Overwhelmed and starting to get upset, I always reach for My Everyday Self Care Kit.
Do you ever feel like this? Your whole body screaming at you to run home even though you could be hundreds of miles away. This feeling made me fearful of leaving the house. The furthest I got most days was the top of my garden. Probably about 10 steps out of the building. Then I started counselling. A half an hour car ride every week. I bet you can imagine how intense that felt. I would feel physically ill at the thought of going and I would start getting panicky and hysterical.
However, in a couple of weeks time I am going on a two week holiday to the south of France. A van life road-trip. No home comforts. But guess what? I’m not getting panicky and overwhelmed, I’m actually excited! To anyone that doesn’t struggle with mental illness that would sound stupid. Getting worried about going on holiday?!? But we all know what it feels like. How it can make you anxious over every situation.
Anyway, so back to my point. I’m excited for this amazing holiday because I have found a way to manage these overwhelmed and intense feelings. It’s not a cure but it is a coping mechanism, and a really good one at that. My everyday self care kit comes everywhere with me.When I first read about self care kit I thought ‘how is this meant to help me when I feel like I’m going to collapse?!?’ but believe me they do help!
So, whats in my everyday self care kit?
I will start by telling you what I actually keep my self care kit in. My tote bag! This bag was made for my grandads saddlery shop and I bought one as a little bit of promo for him. A tote bag is the perfect size for everything in my self care kit. I have a lot….
If you have read my previous post ‘Products For Your Mental Health’ then you will know how much I love essential oils. I carry around peppermint and lavender oil. They are both beautifully strong smells that make me feel grounded and relaxed. I put a few drops of the lavender oil on my wrists and the peppermint oil on my forehead. Now, here’s how it works. The smell is a big factor but… the peppermint oil creates a cooling, tingling sensation. This will sound weird and you’re probably thinking ‘jess wtf’ but hear me out. This helps because the tingling coolness acts as a distraction! Just please don’t get it on your hands and then rub your eyes, big mistake.
Rescue Remedy – Bach
Now for the love of my life, my lord and savior, Bach’s Rescue Remedy. That was maybe a little bit excessive but do love this stuff. This was also included in my ‘Products For Your Mental Health’ post (I swear I’m not copy writing myself). So, I use the comfort and reassure 20ml dropper. Couldn’t stand the taste at first, it felt like I was chugging whisky but now I’m used to it. If you have a high tolerance for alcoholic tastes, you’ll be fine. If not and you start using this, well, you’ll become more relaxed a better at taking shots. (Joking)
In all seriousness, Bach’s rescue remedy is amazing. They do more products than just the 20ml dropper so I would recommend checking them all out. With the dropper, you put four drops on your tongue and the blend of natural flower essences and grape alcohol relaxes you. It has brought me down from intense panic attacks and hysterically overwhelmed moments. If you already use Rescue Remedy or start trying it, let me know what you think and whether it works for you!
As a child, I was always that girl with her head stuck in a book. I would go to family parties, christenings and pull out my 700 page novel and stat reading in the corner. I wasn’t particularly quiet or shy, I just loved to read. That feeling of loosing yourself in another world, I loved it, and I still do now, but for different reasons. I’m currently getting through book after book because it is such an amazing distraction for really bad moments. I will be in the middle of town or a shop and whip out my book. The way I see it is if it is what helps me feel better then I will do it wherever and whenever.
I actually asked my counselor about this. I was worried that pushing my problems away by reading was more damaging than helpful. She reassured me that it was actually a really positive distraction. I remember her saying it gives you a hobbie as well as a distraction and if it keeps you from falling apart then it can’t be bad. She did add that you do eventually have to face the problems but not until you feel up to it. Until then, I will read, read and read. I have just finished ‘Three Dark Crowns‘ By Kendare Blake and it was bloody mind blowing. The squeal is to be released in the UK in a months time as well. I’m planning on doing some book reviews so if you think reading will help you from feeling overwhelmed then stay tuned!
Headphones + Music
I am a big believer in the positive power of music. I wake up to music, spend my day listening to music and drift off to sleep with a tune playing in my head. When I start feeling overwhelmed and I’m to anxious to pull out my book, essential oils or rescue remedy, I pick my favourite song for that week and play it on repeat while I get my breathing under control. Just like reading, its a way to switch off and just forget about everything got a moment. Because it is a little more discreet than pulling out a book for some vials, I would probably put it as my most important part of my everyday self care kit. Check out my calm down playlist here.
Notepad/ Journal + Pen
I’m sure you have heard how journaling can be beneficial for your mental health. If your looking to start journaling for your mental health check out my post. It helps me because I am able to let all of my emotions and thoughts go from my head and onto a piece of paper. When I turn my thoughts into something physical, they become easier to process.
Putting My Everyday Self Care Kit Into Action
So, your getting panicky and everything feelings a little intense. Your minds spinning, what do you do? Pull out your notepad, clear your head of all your thoughts. Put your head phones in and play some music while you cross out them thoughts and process them physically. Take some rescue remedy and apply the essential oil to your wrist and forehead. Finally, once your mind is clear and your feeling a little more relaxed, take out your headphones, put your notebook away and start reading. If you cannot possibly face writing down your thoughts and feelings, just read and loose yourself in another world. Come back to the journaling part later when the overwhelming feelings passed.
I really hope you can get some inspiration from my everyday self care kit (for emergency’s) to create your own. I hope it makes intense and overwhelming moments easier for you as they can feel really horrific. If you already have your own everyday self care kit for those emergency moments, comment below what you include and why.
Please share if you have found this post helpful. You might just help someone who really needed to read something like this. Thank you!
Jess – @walkwith_jess