By Nancy Virden (c)2022
I heard about mental health bags (or kits) and thought it was an extreme idea. Later, experiences taught me that managing my mental health thoughtfully included preparation for difficult moments.
My book How the Difference-Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts is loaded with exercises and strategies for such preparation. Mental health bags is one of them. Presently I am teaching a class based on that book. Last night we made our bags.
Ideas for a bag are basically limitless as long as we remember to fill it with items that actually work for us in difficult moments. If crossword puzzles cause you anxiety, then probably your bag would not have crossword puzzles in it. Someone else may find that activity relaxing.
These items were offered to my class yesterday:
Fidgets: Mesh-encased marbles; zippers (other fidget gadgets or a Rubik’s cube could work)
Scents: incense; cedar flowers (perfume, lotion, a new car air freshener might be best for you)
Taste: tea bags; lifesavers (anything you like!)
Breathing: bubble bottles with wands; a page of instructions on deep breathing
Art/positive journaling: small notebooks; small sketchbooks; pencils (could include coloring)
Sound: Christmas carol lyrics; worship song lyrics for singing (can be any source of sound)
Distraction: Crossword puzzles; word searches (some people enjoy memorizing or math problems)
Spiritual encouragement: scripture cards; prayer guides (the Psalms and Book of John are helpful too)
I did not offer these, however, I like tactile items such as feathers, leather, or tree bark. Anything of comfort is probably okay as long as it is not harmful. It is always a good idea to have support and emergency lines’ names and phone numbers available.
Today’s Helpful Word
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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