Monday, 18 January 2016

The Little Box Of Distractions

I have suffered with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life, and over the years I've developed a few coping mechanisms. One of those being distraction. Oh yes, I've become well versed in the art of distraction. Bad thoughts swirling around my head? Lose myself in a book. Can't stand the sight of my own reflection? Pamper myself, and make myself feel good. And on, and on. So when I found out about The Little Box of Distractions, I wanted to learn more.

The Little Box of Distractions is a relatively new project, started in October 2015 by Kerry. Kerry knows how hard it can be to distract yourself when you are in an unhealthy frame of mind. She hopes that this box will take the burden from you, so all you'll have to do when you're feeling low, or anxious, or on edge, is reach for the box. I can't help but think what a great idea this is, as sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to pick up a book, or draw yourself a bath. Sometimes you can't even come up with the ideas, you're so mentally drained. 

So, what's in the box? 

Colouring book and crayons - Colouring is a great distraction tool, as evidenced by the latest adult colouring book craze! 

Fun Snaps - For when you need to vent your anger; throw some of these on the ground and let it all out. Scream if you need to! 

Nail Varnish and Soap - Pampering yourself can put you in a better frame of mind, and if it doesn't? At least you've distracted yourself for a little while! 

Vanity Kit - For correcting, or removing, your nail polish. 

Elastic Bands - For when you want to feel the pain of self-harming, put an elastic band on your wrist and ping it so you can feel the pain but be safe.

Loom Bands - I'm sure you know all about the Loom Bands craze. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you make something really cool with these!

Red Marker - Use the red marker to draw on your skin as an alternative to self-harm. Drawing scars on yourself can be therapeutic, and is safer than actively harming. 

Candle - A lovely scent, enjoy the smell as it burns while you soak in a bath, or relax on the sofa.

Bath Salts - A long, hot soak in the tub is a great way to distract yourself, and help you relax! 

Hot Chocolate - Hot drinks help you get off to sleep, so are perfect if you're struggling with catching some zzz's!

Stress Toy - For squeezing, shaping, and stretching to keep your idle hands busy! Practice mindfulness whilst using this toy; concentrate on how it feels, and think of words to describe it. 

Party Toys - Small torch, rubber ball, yo-yo, silly putty, spinning top. These are just fun fillers; roll them, shake them, stretch them. Do whatever you like! 

The contents come in a letterbox sized cardboard box, and it's up to you to put together the little box and pop your distractions inside. Which is great, because you don't have to worry about missing the delivery. It'll just be waiting for you when you get home! 

There are two types of boxes. I'm reviewing the free box, but there's also a premium option, which you can choose for a £5 (or more, if you like!) donation. You can read about the premium box here.

So, what did I think was really great about this box? 

The distractions were really great, and it's clear that Kerry has put a lot of thought into what she can include that 
a) doesn't cost the earth (bear in mind, this project relies on donations; the rest is funded out of her own back pocket) 
b) will provide a good distraction to the person using it.
Kerry also includes a list of phone numbers, such as the Samaritans and Sane, for those times when distraction just doesn't cut it. 

What, if anything, didn't I like about this box? 

The Fun Snaps, I felt, could be a trigger to some people. I know people who suffer from PTSD and various other disorders who find loud noises distress them. But, that being said, if you were one of those people, you could just as easily not use the Fun Snaps. And I certainly don't think they let the box down. 

I loved this box, I think it's a really novel, practical idea; one that, I think, will help many. And I think Kerry deserves a shout-out for thinking up, and financing, this project in the first place! 

If you'd like to order a box for yourself you can find out how, and more information, here. Alternatively, if you'd like to donate to the project, you can do so here.

I hope you'll support this project, as I will. There are so few projects like this out there; the only other comparable one I can think of is The Buddy Box, which I reviewed here

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