Mental Fitness Tip Nineteen

Dec 15, 2021 | Blog, Mental Fitness Tips



Sometimes our day just sucks. 

⁣If we are already feeling low and vulnerable, days like this can make it really easy to slip up and return to our unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

⁣Mental health means planning for and coping with stressors. This is where the coping skills toolbox comes in handy. It is a box full of emotional regulation tools that you can turn to quickly to help you manage your strong emotion.


⁣To build your own coping skills toolbox:


  1. Grab a decent sized box — a shoe box, a tupperware container, a storage box. 
  2. Write down the reasons NOT to relapse on a piece of paper, and stick this on the inside of the lid (setbacks are a normal part of the healing journey and it’s best to plan and strategise for them. Our old stories and copy mechanisms developed over what can sometimes be a lifetime so it makes complete sense that they may take some time to ‘shake’ and may try to reassert themselves when you are going through further tough times).
  3. Fill the box with your favourite healthy tools, activities and items that help ground you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, distressed, flooded, anxious etc.
  4. (Optional) decorate and personalise the box.



⁣It is up to you what you add, but the items you include should cover your 5 senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. If you’re struggling to think of ideas, we have given some suggestions in the image above! 

⁣The aim is to use the box whenever you need to take 5 minutes to positively distract yourself so that you can ground, get safe and de-escalate.

It’s important that we always have our own back and have tools ready for FEELING, DEALING, and HEALING through tricky emotions and situations.

Note: There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for managing difficult thoughts and emotions. We are all unique, complex individuals so what works for one person in a particular situation, may not work for someone else. Therefore, we all must learn what will work for us! This can take time and a lot of trial and error.

Remember, healing is a journey, not a destination and so your box may be always-in-progress (like you). As you make your way through your wellbeing journey you may add and remove items as you gain more knowledge about what works for you and what doesn’t.


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