Written by Sienna Pagett
Looking for an easy and fun way to help address your anxiety? Consider making your very own sensory box!
So you found yourself paralyzed by anxiety and don’t know how to move forward with a task? Maybe you often find yourself watching Netflix or scrolling on Instagram when you know you have work that needs to be done. Or maybe you keep taking naps to avoid your work.
Either way, approaching your task is posing too difficult to manage right now and you need a way to lower your anxiety levels and properly regroup. Take a break and reach inside a sensory toolkit to find a tool that can help calm and distract your nervous system.
Our senses provide our nervous system important information about how we are doing. When we soothe with our senses, we can feel more calm, relaxed, and prepared to focus and learn. So the next time you are feeling out of control or over/underwhelmed, try using a sensory box! Here are a few ideas of how to get your very own sensory toolkit started.
What you’ll need to consider are the five senses and which ones you are most sensitive to.
Think of which senses may be the most powerful for you, or use all five. Then brainstorm what items you could collect to activate those senses. Below you will find an example list of items that might work for your sensory box. Some items may seem more interesting to you than others, and we encourage you to choose items that feel right for you!
First you will need a box or bag of some sort to store your sensory items in. Next, it’s time to curate your collection of items.
One last category to think about is activities, preferably ones that take up your attention without being stressful. Here are a few examples:
- Coloring books
- Word searches
Remember that your sensory toolkit should be something that you are able to reach into. No matter what you grab, you’ll find something that can help you calm down when your anxiety starts to escalate.
Sensory Kit on the Go
Going out somewhere and can’t bring your sensory toolkit with you? No worries! Here are some ways that you can address anxiety in discrete ways while out in public.
Please remember that a sensory box can be made from things at home, a dollar store, etc. This post is meant to provide ideas of accessible ways that people can help reduce their own anxiety whether or not they have access to ample resources.
Sienna Pagett is a graduating psychology and economics double major at UCLA. Her goals for the future are to support the safety, health, and rights of children through her career, volunteering, and/or philanthropy.