[Mental Health]: Calm Kit. 

When reading about how people manage their mental health or how to cope with the general stresses of life I began to contemplate my own methods. When adopting these coping mechanisms I seemingly chose them subconsciously without neccassarily pondering why I did so; which I suppose is a good aspect a it means I didn’t have to overthink the situation and was able to distract myself from negative thoughts. A few months ago when I opened up about my depression I mentioned how I had decided to restrain from antidepressants: overall that hasn’t worked out too badly for me and I know I can progress further into self-management. 

To recap, for those who weren’t reading my blog in October/November of last year, I weaned myself from Citalopram which I had only been taking for 4 or 5 months. Reason being I didn’t feel myself. I just felt numb and dumb. My short-term memory was affected because I wasn’t in full awareness of what I had been up too during my days at work so I couldn’t even recall having certain conversations with people. The serotonin inhibitors did their job as most days I was less often depressed which I was thankful for, but I would rather be less dependant on medication if I would discover other ways of relief. 

In sharing my experiences without disclosing too much personal information, I aim to help others who may be experiencing similar mental discomfort. Before I proceed to the main topic of this post, I want to highlight that some food items are a recurring theme in my ‘calm kit’. I know that comfort eating is suggestively a bad habit, but I think as long as you are healthy, have a balanced diet and your food portions are reasonable then there is nothing wrong with using food and non-alcoholic drinks to your advantage. 

What is in my ‘calm kit’? 

  • Tea – I live on herbal and fruit infused tea. Living in two countries with big tea cultures, UK and Korea, has promoted this habit well with all it variations. I drink green tea like an elephant draining and guzzling water from a river: I drink it all day long in replacement of flavourless water and overly stimulating coffee. Aside from Green tea being most recognisable for it’s detoxing qualities it also helps with stress relief. Other calming Teas that I like to keep at hand are peppermint tea, chamomile tea, passion flower tea and lemon balm tea. My favourite is peach iced tea although that’s not a relaxant; I consider it to be an occasional sweet treat. If my depression or random anxiety (which I am experiencing rarely as I have aged) inflicts insomnia or a headache, I drink lavender tea one hour before sleeping. The best ‘sleep tea’ I have come across is Clipper Snore & Peace
  • Hot ChocolateLiterally any warmed chocolate drink will do wonders. When I can I tend to buy Options Salted Caramel, Cadbury Wispa, Options Mint Madness, Bournville or Aero.
  • A funny book – I find that reading a book by a comedian is best reserved for when you are feeling blue. I keep returning to the biographies of British comedians David Walliams and Miranda Hart. I’m sure purchasing one of Alan Carr’s paperbacks will send me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
  • Books from my childhoodI saved some of my Jacqueline Wilson books for teenagers, as well as some earlier story books incase I ever have a child. I want them to have the pleasure of engaging in entertaining books just as I did when growing up. Reading helped me alot through the social issues I had in both primary and secondary school. Due to the emotional connection with the books I just simply couldn’t donate all of them to charity when moving out of my parent’s house; because of this I sometimes like to flick through my childhood story books to feel like that happy innocent child again captivated in my imagination. It may seem pathetic and unadult to do such as thing, just don’t knock it until you try it. Reading children’s books has the same positive effects as colouring books. Did anyone else read Angelina Ballerina and the Brambly Hedge series?
  • Colouring books and pencils I haven’t added this to my kit yet, and infact the female relatives in my family have inspired me to take up colouring for relaxation rather than this current acceptable half ‘trend’ to colour designs. I remember preferring the scenic colouring books for adults to colouring pages aimed at children when I was younger. I would like to buy Cat Therapy, Secret Garden, Classic colouring: Jane Austen and Secret Japan.  
  • Snacks – I like to keep a mixture of healthy and full on ‘treat yourself’ snacks. My favourites being: Crazy hot Popchips, Banana cream chocopies, Whitworth’s fruit and seed shots, dried apricots, Ocean Spray Craisins, Innocent smoothies, Seasame snaps, Cool Doritos, Lindt 80% dark chocolate, Nougat and Haribo, peanut brittle, grapes and lychees.   
  • Photographs – Even if you aren’t having a good day in that moment it’s important to reflect on the good times, that not everyday is riddled with negativity. Regardless if people featured in the photographs are no longer with you it’s nice to remember those occasions. 

Please share in the comments what things help you cope or manage in times of being blue. Sharing suggestions can help anyone who reads this. 

9 thoughts on “[Mental Health]: Calm Kit. 

  1. Tea is one of my go tos to calm down or help with things like my anxiety. However, I warn that drinking tea all day especially green tea has been found to have possible dangerous long term effects. It depends how much you drink but my aunt drank like 4-5 huge cups of green tea everyday until her doctor said it was causing some huge health problem and to cut back to 1-2 cups a day. I forget what the health problem was though as it was quite a few years ago. I don’t think it is deadly, just not recommended to overdulge on tea, but is a better alternative than too much caffeine for sure.
    Music is always my number one go to and if I didn’t listen to my ear phones, ipod or other music devices so much it would go into my calm kit I really want to make for myself. However, it is impossible as I am always listening to music. lol. Hot shower or bath with bubbles/music/candles etc is another great way I like to relax. But also doesnt fit in a calm kit. haha well the candles and stuff do I guess. xD
    Great post I have been thinking a lot lately to start my own calm kit and other kinds of kits to help me health wise etc, so I am always looking for ideas. Thanks for the great post and I am glad you have some comforts in your life that helps with your mental health etc.
    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wanted to mention bubble baths and showering too, but you realised the issue with that 😁

      I heard about the issue of too much green tea consumption, but thank for warning me just incase; I know many are unaware of it.

      I wish you all the best too. If you make any sort of kit for promoting a positive mental health or simply for organisation purposes, I’d be interested to hear what you include ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha Glad we both agree that baths are too big to fit in a kit.

        Ah, well that’s good you are aware. I still think it is a lot healthier than other habits regardless, at least?

        Thank you, and I will share it on here if I make my own calm kit or any other related ideas. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed that read. It’s admirable that you’re juggling life in two countries let alone depressionm. Glad you mentioned having a balanced diet as I think that’s an understated contribution towards better mental health, not only do certain foods have ingredients that help with relaxation and mood but also it reassures a person that they’re looking aftet themselves properly and not neglecting their own well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you understood my point of view, and prehaps I should write in more detail about foods that contribute to relaxation and just feeling well in general. Thank you for commenting.

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  3. Your calm kit sounds so lovely!
    I really badly struggle with stress and anxiety so posts like this are always an incredibly helpful read to me. Similar to you, I’m a big fan of photographs and a cup of hot chocolate when I’m feeling low.
    It also sounds cliche but exercising really helps me. Going for a run can change my mood a lot, even when I’m really down, even if it doesn’t solve the feeling completely. I also think writing things down helps massively x
    https://all-about-the-experience.com/

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    1. I would like to find an exercise that works as stess relief, even if like you said it only partly helps. Right now I do short amounts of exercise and they can be strenuous. I’ll seek to find an alternative x

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