What to put in your Mental Health First Aid Kit

Everyone should have an Emergency First Aid kit ready in their homes and offices, but not so often people think about having a Mental Health First Aid Kit as well. If you cut yourself or have an injury you know what to reach for, but what about when you’re feeling overwhelmed and under the weather? 

It is important to see our mental health just as important as our physical health. Our guide sets out everything you might need in a Mental First Aid Kit but you can adapt and make it flexible to suit your mental health needs. 

  • Smartphone 

Not talking about the Facebook or LinkedIn mobile apps here, but more about meditation apps such as Calm, Insight, Buddhify or Headspace. As our smartphone is more or less an extension of our body, it is easy to reach for it for a couple minutes of mindfulness or meditation to keep you on top of your day. 

Having some soothing playlists in there as well could prove useful for days which feel rough. Recording yourself and keeping voice notes for when you’re anxious or stressed and listening to them is often a good method of keeping yourself leveled. Add some headphones into the mix to become completely immersed in your sound curation.  

An album of pictures that make you happy and remember good times is another way of finding some calm in stormy days. 

  • Notebook and pen

If you prefer the feeling pen on paper instead of the smartphone keyboard, this is for you. Writing what you’re feeling can validate your feelings and put things in perspective. It is a great idea for separating yourself from your thoughts and approaching them in a more productive and positive manner. 

You can try daily journaling, affirmations, or just putting down your worries when needed. It is a relieving experience, helping you take the weight off your shoulders and put it on paper, where you can deal with your thoughts on your own terms.

  • Running shoes

Exercise improves your concentration, planning, coordination and helps with overthinking and intrusive thoughts. Grab a pair of comfortable shoes and take them out for a run or have a home workout session to destress and empty your mind. 

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of more intense activity. This breaks down to 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week which could improve your mental health, mood and keep your body in shape. 

  • Items focused on the senses

These are some affordable and easy to find items which focus on your senses in times of need:

  • Touch: slime, putty, stress ball, fidget toys, etc. 
  • Taste: sour candy, mints, gum, etc.
  • Smell: scented hand cream, body spray or fragrance, etc. 
  • Sight: fairy lights, bubbles, pictures, etc. 

Joyful Living understands the importance of mental health first aid and wellbeing in the workplace. We offer 3 types of courses in Mental Health Training. For more information about our services, head over to our dedicated page and choose the course that fits your company best. Contact us if you have any questions as our team is happy to help. 

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