Friday, 14 May 2010

Comfort Bag Against Panic Attacks

Yet something else I found at JTF (Journey Towards Freedom). It's such a wealth of info & ideas!
I carry a large enough bag, so I can fit a smaller one with a few things in it, into it.I don't suffer from panic attacks anymore (thank god!) but I could do with something to distract my mind when I'm feeling low &/or stressed.....

How do you prepare yourself for panic attacks while away from home? Reach into your comfort bag for security, distraction or relaxation. Prepare yourself for anxiety and panic attacks by taking along comfort in a bag.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required:Varies
Here's How:

  1. Choose a bag.
    Decide what kind of bag is appropriate for your needs. If you drive a lot, you can take more in the car. If you carry a purse, maybe a large one is in order. A backpack is an option for anyone.
  2. Brainstorm.
    Now it's time to brainstorm. Sit down with pen and paper, and write down anything that comes to mind that has helped relieve your anxiety in the past. Add to it anything that you'd like to try.
  3. Pick the portable items from your list.
    After your list is complete, decide what is portable and put together your comfort bag.

    Below are a number of suggestions to help you complete your list.
  4. Relaxation
    • Index cards with relaxation and breathing exercises
    • Lavender oil
    • Hand cream (for hand massage)
    • Music and portable player
    • Relaxation tapes
    • Herbal tea
  5. Comfort
    • Photos
    • Cards/letters from loved ones
    • Teddy bear
    • Religious or spiritual items
    • Index cards with poems, quotes and calming reminders
  6. Stimulation
    • Rubber bands (can put on your wrist)
    • Mints or tart candy
    • Cold water
    • Mentholated cream (to smell)
    • Upbeat music
  7. Distraction
    • Puzzle books
    • Magazines
    • Portable computer games
    • Journal
    • Small children's toys
    • Coloring books
    • Books on tape
    • Pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons
  8. Emergencies
    • Cell phone
    • Extra clothes (including something warm)
    • Blanket
    • Extra medication
    • Small phonebook with all important numbers
    • Change for phone
    • Money
    • Toilet paper and Kleenex
    • Maps
  1. Have a list people you can call if you're stuck somewhere. They would be people who could come get you or talk to you until you feel calm again (make sure they've agreed ahead of time).
  2. Forgetfulness is a common symptom during anxiety and panic. When you put together lists, like phone numbers, be sure to include even the most obvious (such as your mom) because you may forget the most obvious when you're anxious.
  3. Remember that anxiety can make easy tasks more difficult, so be sure to bring distractions for an anxious mind (i.e., maybe a children's puzzle book rather than an adult's).
  4. Don't be embarrassed about bringing what soothes you. If bringing that childhood teddy bear will help you take a few more recovery steps, then it's worth it!

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