A depression coping box (similar to a distraction box) is a fabulous aid you can use in times of low mood. There are days when for me, even getting out of bed is a chore. During these times I feel like I want to be left alone – not easy when you have 4 kids! The depression coping box allows me to take out 5 minutes for myself to explore my homemade hamper. I came across it recently, although it’s not a novel idea, and had the inspiration to make my own. It works by aiming to give you something to distract yourself with or for me, to boost my self-worth up when I feel stressed. For anxiety sufferers, it offers them ways to stay grounded and connected to something physical.
Incorporating your 5 senses:
You compile resources in a box. A depression coping box is a fabulous aid, incorporating your 5 senses, you compile resources that comfort you in times of stress and anxiety. You can also add items that distract you and items that help to reframe your negative thoughts/ mindset. Then when you’re having a depressive episode you go to this box as a coping strategy. What you put in the box is completely up to you; there’s no right or wrong. I added whatever I happened to have lying around the house. For me, having something personal that I know I love and cherish meant more than investing in a subscription deal for a care/crisis package.
Apple strudel green tea (love apple strudel!), Chi Gong balls (used for meditation), white musk oil (antioxidant properties) Cola bottle sweets (my favourite!) scent chips, a book a friend gave me and photos that have sentimental value. I also have a head massager.
This is a separate jar I have with positive affirmations or “compliments”. I also have CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) worksheets, an inspirational book on happiness with helpful quotes, and a self-love letter where I express how much I value myself.
Other things you could add include a soft blanket you can snuggle up in, feel-good movies that cheer you up, a CD of relaxing sounds, and scents such as Jasmine or Lavender that are soothing. Food is great to have like granola bars and I like the idea of bubbles as well because it’s a great distraction. You can also make a virtual depression coping box. You can create playlists and have podcasts to help you. One advantage of a virtual box over physical is you can download apps that can benefit you such as Wysa. If you’re a member of any support groups on social media sites they can aid you too. Finally, there are many amazing blogs and websites that offer support and great advice that you can add to your depression chopping box.
Fortunately, I haven’t needed to use my depression coping box yet. But if and when I do, I’m confident I’ll have all the tools and resources I need to see me through.
Misbah Akhtar is a mum to 4 beautiful children, one of whom is just a baby. Being a mum is tough, Mumspiration is her journey, of self-transformation into a happier, healthier and more positive Misbah. She wants other mums to take encouragement from her resolve and drive to change herself for the better. Her aim is to help others transform their lives and achieve their maximum potential through gratitude and positivity. She is following her dreams to make herself happy and wants to help you be happy too.