What comes to mind when you read the words, tools and toolbox? Perhaps images of hammers, wrenches, stud finders and other construction related equipment? What I am referring to when I mention tools are skills to aid you in times of stress or other emotional difficulty.
None of us are issued a toolbox full of tools when we enter this life but have the opportunity to gain and learn how to use them as we grow. We gain our initial toolset from our family. They could have a highly developed set of tools and therefore pass those on to you…kind of like a super computer. They may have antiquated tools that no longer serve you well…kind of like an abacus. It was highly sophisticated instrument when it was first developed but if you need to solve a difficult problem, using the abacus will keep you in the dark ages.
Some tools are literal, like planner/organizer, pens, paper, laptop, iPad, and cell phone. Other tools are more abstract like prayer and meditation, choosing to love unconditionally, nonjudgmental listening, seeking to understand so you can then be understood, being intentional, looking for the positive perspective, making the next right decision…the list goes on and on.
The tangible tools I keep in my “Go Bag” to help me get unstuck can vary but the consistent items are my bible, a pencil bag filled with various pens, pencils, highlighters, page flags, washi tape, and scissors, at least one planner (usually my goal planner to help me focus on what’s important), an iPad or laptop, a protein bar, an essential oil or fragrance that is relaxing to me, CBD oil & lotion, TENS unit, list of self-care strategies, and Altoids…you’d be surprised at how centering it can be to take a moment and enjoy a peppermint!
The intangible items are always with me. It takes intention to focus on and use them but the more I do, the more readily available they are to me. Using them, refining them, and replacing when I find a new one that serves me better, helps me to reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm and allows me to focus on implementing the techniques to help me get unstuck.
This list is no by means exhaustive, as the items do change from time to time, but this is a very representative list of what I like to keep on hand when I need to change my scenery and get a fresh persepective. I hope they have given you insight into some “tools” you can gather for your Go Bag.