What is a self soothing kit?
Suppose you look up the definition of self-soothing. You will likely get an article on infants or toddlers learning to calm themselves when dysregulated. It's more common to discuss self-soothing in infants; is that because we stop needing to self-soothe as we grow up? Babies and toddlers are expected to melt down when annoyed, tired, bored, mad, sad, pretty much when any minor inconvenience comes. As adults, we are expected to keep it together all day, every day. No matter what we're going through physically, emotionally, or mentally, we are supposed to be calm, relaxed, and collected. That's where self-soothing comes in. Self-soothing is a way to regulate your system when you're out of your window of tolerance.
Why should I make a self soothing kit?
You can do a quick Google search for ways to reregulate your system and find a million different suggestions; however, regulating your nervous system is a task that is unique to you. Something that may work for someone else might not work for you. That's why building your self-soothing kit is so important. When you're dysregulated, it isn't easy to search your memories and find ways to soothe yourself. Having an actual list or kit you can turn to in moments of regulation makes self-soothing exponentially easier.
What should go into your self soothing kit?
One way to calm your nervous system is to engage your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Include items that stimulate your senses within your self-soothing kit. Creating a personalized "Oh Shit Kit" can be as simple as gathering a few of your favorite things. Here are a few examples of things you can add to your kit that cover the five senses.
Favorite photo of your pet, your kids, your favorite vacation spot, etc.
Links to online websites that bring you joy i.e. pinterest, a meditation app
Your favorite funny video
Search and find book
Your favorite music
Noise canceling headphones
Your favorite food
A soft or weighted blanket
Hot or cold water
Get a hug
A list of coping skills in your self-soothing kit will also be very beneficial when you can't remember your favorite acronyms, breathing techniques, or soothing mantras. Some examples include:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Challenging irrational thoughts
Creating your self-soothing kit can be as simple or complex as you want. Include things you know help you, things you want to try, and things that seem silly but are worth a shot. Everything about it is up to you!