It goes along with the entries I've written here for coping skills but in a visual way.
And you don't have to call yours a toolbox either. Mine is a big 'ole bag of coping skills. Call it whatever you'd like...but...the importance of your toolbox is that whatever you put inside it...
the items will calm you emotionally...mentally...and physically.
Give thought to your five senses...what soothes you visually? put a picture of the beach or a favourite trip in the box...what soothes your sense of taste? put your favourite chocolate bar or candy in the box...what soothes your sense of touch? a soft fuzzy blanket? or your favourite stuffed animal that you can hug and touch too?
I'm sure you're getting the idea now...but whatever goes in that box...it needs to be soothing.
It will take practice when you start to use your toolbox learning what to use and when to use it...and that too is okay! Just breathe...relax and know that you can do this. Re-learning things in our lives takes time and it takes patience. DO NOT beat yourself up if it doesn't work one day or you have to turn to your box more often than you'd like in a day...THAT TOO IS OKAY!.
And one thing I'd also like to suggest is that you make some these items are portable so that when you are out and about you can still have access to your tool box even if it's not physically with you at the time. OH! and one other thing I'd like to ask you to bring along is your thoughts and the things you say to yourself when you're feeling triggered...make sure one thing you add are all the positives written in a list so that you can remind yourself of all you are instead of letting that moment shake you and take you into your rabbit hole. Put them on cue cards, write a list or even a note to yourself...have a visual you can focus on that will remind you of all the good that you are...strong, courageous, loved and loving...just to get you started.
The things you say to yourself when you're needing your toolbox are just as important as anything item you may put in it if not more so. If your thoughts are negative it will be harder for you to benefit from this exercise. Anything new takes time to master and this will too...but you're worth it! be patient with yourself and keep trying okay?
Pain may be a part of our lives now...and all that comes with it too...the anxiety, the depression, the stress...but we can learn how manage and minimize the impact these things have on our lives and on our physical, mental and emotional selves. We can learn how to manage. We can learn to cope.
Please...go build your toolbox and take good care of you okay?