Dealing with life isn’t easy sometimes, whether it be exams week or just a regular day. Dealing with life can be even harder if you have a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. When life gets tough, we need to have a way to cope with it. A super easy way to do this is with a coping box. A coping box is exactly what it sounds like, a box or other container with things to help you cope. Some common things to find in a coping box are hard candies, journaling and/or coloring supplies, scented lotions, and fuzzy socks. Coping boxes can also be geared towards specific mental illnesses and various age groups. Below, I’ve outlined the steps in putting together a coping box, as well as some categories for coping boxes.
How to Make a Coping Box
Step 1; Select the Container
The container you use can depend on many factors, such as how many things you intend to include and where you plan to keep it. The box I have is a plastic tote bin that measures about 5”x12”x24”. It’s not huge but it happens to be the right size for me. Some people opt for bags rather than boxes; Having a coping bag increases portability. I’ve even seen coping bags designed to carry in purses and backpacks.
Step 2; Filling the Container
This is where the big variations are. Different coping items cater to different illnesses, as well as different age groups.
For example, if someone has a hard time with sensory overload, their coping box may contain things like:
- A sensory bottle
- Silly putty
- A fidget cube
- Fuzzy socks/gloves
- An iPod/MP3 player with calming music
Someone who deals with depression or anxiety may have things like:
- Photos of happy memories
- A small stuffed animal
- Journaling/Coloring supplies
- Scented lotion
A child’s coping box may contain things such as:
- A favorite toy
- A favorite snack/candy
- Various sensory items
- A favorite book
- Soothing music
Step 3; Deciding Where to Keep It
Many people choose to keep their coping box in their rooms, however, that’s not a steadfast rule. They can be kept in any room you want, or be floating boxes and travel from room to room. As mentioned before, some people even choose to keep a coping box that’s small enough to carry with them. These are generally kept in pencil cases or small bags and then placed in purses and backpacks.
So to recap, coping boxes can be extremely versatile. From depression to sensory overload, they can be used to tackle a wide variety of problems. Not only that but they’re super cheap to put together. Mine cost about $30 from the local Dollar Store, but many of the things in mine, including the bin, could’ve been found around the house. Add things into yours that you already know help. The lists I’ve given are not all inclusive by any means, so if you’re not sure, try it out.