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Paul Abraham: Returning to the “Emergency Box”

By Paul Abraham of

In April of last year when we had all been placed in “Lockdown” I wrote an article explaining how to create your own “Emergency Box” for the times when your mental health is really struggling.  

Since the article appeared I have had a great number of people and organisations contact me to say how such a simple idea had made such a difference to themselves and people they know.

While a great number of the restrictions and fears have lifted, we now hear the renewed warnings of Covid and also winter flu and the possible return to some forms of restrictions. 

Winter can be a tough time for many people with mental health issues and with this in mind I decided to remind everyone of how they can create their own personal “Emergency Box”.  

Remember the box is personal and individual to you, so can contain anything that brings a smile to your face and gives you happy and inspiring feelings.

This could be favourite photographs of family and friends, a favourite CD or DVD, a list of motivating quotes, a miniature bottle of your favourite tipple or a small box of your favourite chocolates or sweets.

A little bottle of aromatherapy oil which, when smelt, triggers a wonderful memory of someone or somewhere special can also be included.

After the restrictions had been eased you may have been out for a walk or visited somewhere different or special then you may have taken a photograph of a certain statue you touched or flower you smelt there and so you can add that picture to your box and when you look at it you can then close your eyes and be transported back to that particular moment.  

A piece of cloth or material you had used to make an Easter costume or special event outfit for your children can also be a trigger of happy times.  A programme from a local show or festival can also bring back good memories and also give you something to look forward to after the winter has been replaced by spring.

Remember to keep the box safe and only use it when you really need a big lift.

After you have used it then replenish it with other favourite things in case you need to go to it again in the future.


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