My friend talked with me a few weeks ago about putting together a box of feel-good items for when I have down days. They have bipolar II disorder and were offering strategies for coping. So I collected a few items (with their suggestion) and decorated an old storage box for the purpose. There was something therapeutic in even just putting the box together, feeling like I am doing something so I guess in that way, being proactive in my recovery and care.
When I was getting the items together I tried to diversify as much as possible, to engage all my senses. I find that in high and low times more than one of my senses are particularly affected and so having a range of options is important to try and relieve the stress on those elements.
The funny thing is that I used to have a box similar in concept when I was a teen. I think I would have got the idea from the Dolly or Girlfriend magazines. The idea was the same in regards to having somewhere to go on down days, and ironically the items that I collected back then were similar in nature to what I have now! I am sure that if I wanted to scour my diaries that I would find something that collates all the items, but I’m not that obsessed with it.
I find that my go-to strategy at the moment is coffee. I seem to start each day pretty cloudy and thoughts creeping in of all the things that I should be doing and accompanying feelings of panic which lead to non-progression. I find the coffee takes away the thoughts and instead I just go straight in to action as my cloudy head clears. I have to be careful about the timing though so as not to have a restless night. This box will give me alternatives and also help on the days when the cloudy is stubborn and hangs around like the mist in Jackson’s Thriller trailer.