Since I was in college I’ve had a personal first aid kit.
Back then I definitely didn’t refer to it as such (& lets just say its contents may not have been as healthy/positive self-care as they are now)–but I definitely possessed one.
(apparently my kit included a curling iron)
I’d redo my personal first aid kit every few years as my needs and wants changed.
The approach, however, always remained the same:
As I’d gather items to be tucked away in case of emergency I’d ask myself:
- In a moment where I feel the pull of old behaviors what might be a positive alternative option?
- In a moment where I feel sad what might make me smile?
- In a moment when I’m alone/feel like isolating what might provide me positive company?
- In a moment of anxiety how might I lick my forearms & self-soothe?
As a result, the kits Ive assembled over the years have all been unique, yet share a few things in common:
They’re tangible. They’re small. They’re fluid (I can add to them at any time). They’re portable (just in case. just in case.).
They have been traditional first aid kids for emotional boo-boos.
And they’ve rocked.
In all the craziness with my move back to Texas I’d entirely forgotten about creating a new one.
Her choice of the word toolkit made sparked this Mama to think:
And, because I’m good to me and roll sans-guilt, I moved on and planned an afternoon for us to create our New Austin Personal First Aid Kits.
First I explained the concept to the Child (“You know how mama has a first aid kit in the kitchen and in the car? This is like that except for feelings boo boos not body ones!).
She immediately grasped the concept (It’s what makes me feel nurtured) & listed 7 items she wanted in her box.
The problem was her items didn’t match my idea of what the items should be.
In my mind, the stuffs were tangible things we’d place in a box so they were ready & waiting for her to need them.
Her “box,” she insisted, would contain these things:
- An eye-mask to help her sleep
- Her stuffed monkey to calm her
- Nail polish to have fun
- Bubble bath so I could make her a bath
- Markers and paper so she could color
- The Chairman and me so we could make her feel safe.
I wont lie.
It was hard for me not to “correct” her.
It was a challenge for me not to say:
“No no. These need to be things you can keep in a bag like a regular first aid kit! They can’t be living things.”
Next she watched as I created my ‘kit.
I found a shoe box and filled it with items I knew I’d need in case of emergency:
- A brand new special notebook & fresh pen
- A fave thermal cup & tea bags
- A reminder I am loved
- One Diet Coke
- A spare special Gilmore Girls red cup
- Silly string to make me laugh
and potentially use to torment the Goldendoodle
After we finished I placed my box in a special spot and created/printed the photo collage of her “living first aid kit.”
Neither of us have needed ours yet—but knowing they’re ready & waiting has provided (at least me) comfort in a few recent times of frazzle.
Sometimes the knowledge we have a
safety net personal first aid kit is really all we need.
- If you created a ‘kit–what item(s) would you include?
- Would yours be tangible like mine or metaphorical like the Child’s?