I know lots of us post on here when we're feeling triggered so maybe this could help. An uh-oh box is a collection of things to help push the triggers away. Here's how to make one!
1.) Pick a place to keep your box. Think about where you usually are when you feel triggered. School, work, or your bedroom might be some good places. You can keep it in your closet, on your bedroom floor, under your bed, in a dresser drawer, a school locker, a locker at work, a cubbie, a desk drawer, your car, wherever you need it.
2.) Pick a "box." It could be a crayon box, shoebox, gift box, small plastic storage bin, a jewelry or memory/keepsake box, a box from some electronic device you bought (the box your cell phone, radio, or camera came in), or another small cardboard box, but it doesn't really have to be a box at all! You could use anything you have. A duffel bag, a pillow case you don't use, a backpack/book bag, or purse dedicated just to this purpose, a food storage container (tuperware, gladware, etc.), a basket, a crate, or even a paper or plastic bag (although they aren't very durable). You could even use a spare drawer. Some people like to make books instead and they fill the pages with random happy things, kind of like a smash book! You could use any notebook, journal, sketchbook, scrapbook, or even a photo album if you prefer a book.
3.) Pick things to put inside! You might want to do this step before decorating your uh-oh box. You wouldn't want to have a beautiful box and then find out the things you want in it wont fit inside! You might want to have a little extra space as well to add more things later. Things in the box should either distract you from being triggered or encourage healthy coping methods. It's a place for anything that encourages you and gives you hope, calms you down, builds up your confidence, helps you express yourself, takes your mind off the bad things and makes you smile! Here's a big list of examples of things you could put inside:
Arts and Craft Supplies: Crayons, colored pencils, scrap paper, blank or lined paper, construction paper, pencils and pens, gen pens, stick-on rhinestones, stamps and ink pads, ribbon, paint, paintbrushes, chalk, tape, glue, washable markers, buttons, sequins, glitter, pompoms, googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, fabric scraps, permanent markers, small craft kit, magazine clippings of phrases/words or things that make you smile, coloring books or pages, scrapbooking supplies, beads, string, friendship bracelet making instructions, origami paper and instructions, scoobie strings to braid, a book or list of craft ideas, yarn and crochet/knitting needles, a camera, some people like to include red pens, markers, paint, or food coloring to use on their body or tracings of body parts as an SI alternative.
Things that inspire or motivate you: A list of friends and their phone numbers, contact information and leaflets from helpful organizations, encouraging quotes, operationbeautiful notes, printed PMs from members here on RYL =], funny or encouraging pictures, pictures of friends, family, or pets, a list of at least ten reasons of either why you are important, things non-physical you like about yourself, or why you want to stop self injury, a bucket list or a list of things you want to learn how to do, poems, inspirational stories, notes, cards, or emails from people you care about, little things family or friends have made for you, something religious if you are religious (like a cross or some favorite bible verses if you are Christian, for example), positive messages written to your "bad feeling" self from your "good feeling" self (how great it feels to be x days free, how good/proud you feel about yourself about something, how loved you feel by people, why you feel hopeful, etc.), lucky stars, a flash drive/usb/memory stick with special things saved on it, a list of your accomplishments, ribbons/certificates/awards you have won, a scrapbook/smash book or memorabilia from good times (like concert tickets, wristbands, pins, postcards, invitations, key chains, etc.)
Things to pamper yourself or help you relax: A CD of songs that either make you happy or calm you down (try to stay away from those sad and angry songs), nail polish, pictures and instructions for nail designs you want to try, bubble bath soap, a squishy stress ball, a little bottle of bubbles, bubble wrap, a tangle, small stuffed animal, a small blanket, slippers or fuzzy socks, magazines or a book, mohdoh/play-doh/moon dough/silly putty, things that smell nice like candles, incense (careful about burning triggers), perfume, lotion, pillow spray, or oils, a journal or notebook, a picture list of yoga positions, you might want to include tissues too in case you've been crying.
Other fun distractions: cupcake baking papers, a handheld game, a little puzzle, stickers or sticky notes, a favorite (positive!) DVD or CD or maybe one you've never watched or listened to before, distraction lists, slips of paper with activities written on them to pull out randomly and do until you feel better, jewelry to dress up in, fun makeup, pictures and instructions of hairstyles and makeup looks you want to try, balloons, a little black light, 20 questions!, book of puzzles or thinking games, little toys (like the ones you might get in a happy meal), Wreck This Journal, video games, a yo-yo, a slinky, legos, I-Spy books, temporary tattoos, things that light up or sparkle or are shiny/colorful, and nice to look at, and anything else special that makes you smile.
***A couple other things I thought of were a small food treat or money but remember eating or shopping too much to feel better are not healthy coping methods. If you feel you have a problem with either, then keeping a lot of money or food in your uh-oh box is probably not a good idea. Otherwise keeping a small amount of money (like $5 or less) or something small to eat in your box should be okay. You might use the money to get something from a vending machine or a trinket at the store, or maybe even invite a friend to go out for ice cream or coffee/tea. Ideas for food might a little candy, a chocolate or candy bar, or granola bar, or little plastic bags of cereal or chips/crisps, fruit, vegetables, crackers, etc. Make sure you don't leave food to get old and yucky in your box! Gum or mints might be a good idea too, or maybe even a packet of hot chocolate mix, drink mix, tea bags or special coffee. I sometimes keep a bar of what I consider "good" chocolate for uh-oh days, that I normally wouldn't buy or eat all the time, as it's a bit more pricey but delicious :P.
4.) Decorate your box! Don't have art supplies? Be creative! Use anything and everything, from crayons, markers, stickers, pictures, and quotes, to feathers, beads, wrapping paper, tissue paper, or glitter and sequins! You could even cut out the pattern on your paper towels and stick it on! If you use a bag, you could use iron-on patches, pins, fabric paint, or tie fabric scraps or ribbons and key chains to the handles and zippers. Express yourself. =]
If you guys have any other ideas for making an an uh-oh box let me know, and I'll add it above.
And if you make one, I'd love to see it or hear about it! Post your pictures HERE, so everyone can see!!
Last edited by forever_lost : 22-05-2015 at 12:32 AM.
Reason: added and organized some things
Giving up doesn't always mean you're weak.
Sometimes it just means you're strong enough to let go.