I vividly remember how itchy and lonely I was during my first bout of depression. Nothing appealed to me. I didn't want to be awake but I didn't want to go to bed. I felt isolated but I didn't want to talk to anyone. Work both distracted and frustrated me.
It was a struggle to remember things I liked, and for the life of me, I couldn't think of anyone who would be willing to spend time with me. Feeling good seemed like a distant, unattainable memory.
Emotional emergencies like depression, grief, and exhaustion can temporarily erase our wisdom and energy for taking loving care of ourselves. Know that things will get easier. But until then, it helps to be prepared.
These days, when I hear the rumble of overwhelm in the distance, I quickly pull out what I call my Self Care Emergency Kit.
A Self Care Emergency Kit is simple, handwritten guidance for tending to the heart in dark times.
My kit includes things like:
Nurturing food: Green smoothies, avocados, fresh bread, and chocolate.
Comforts: Hot baths, lattes, and a list of loving people to call when I'm feeling low.
Feel-good movement: Gentle yoga and walking outdoors.
Reflection: Journaling and brief, guided meditations.
Fun things to plan: Visiting a friend and getting tickets for an upcoming show.
Mantras: "May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering."
Every day that I feel low, even if I don't feel like it, I play at least 2 items from my emergency kit. I let it flow with my energy, even if that means just a few minutes of meditation and a quick phone call to a friend. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of the little stuff to feel much braver and warmer. The kit is surprisingly powerful!