This guidance shows you how to put together a personalised comfort kit of items that can be comforting, calming and relaxing. The comfort kit can be used at any time as a useful tool for emotional wellbeing.
What you need
- A container such as a cardboard or plastic box, a bag, wheelchair bag, pillowcase, backpack, jewellery box, shoebox or bin.
- Chosen items that are comforting and may help the person feel calmer, more relaxed and safe
Check that all items are safe for the person to explore, especially if they tend to explore with their mouth.
Guidance and instructions
Choose a container, involving the person as much as possible and decide if and how to decorate it.
Explore with the person what items they would like to have in their comfort kit, which could include:
- Favourite objects
- Items that remind the person of people, events or places
- Sensory items that feel nice
- Fidget toys
- Soft toys
- Calming or comforting pictures e.g. of nature
- A note of the person’s favourite and calming songs and music – to remind you to see if they would like to listen to them.
- Poems, rhymes or stories for you to read, that the person finds calming
Consider where to keep the comfort kit, ideally somewhere that the person can access it themselves or indicate to you when they would like to have it.
Offer the comfort kit to the person at any time, not just when you notice that they may be anxious or distressed so that the comfort kit is used as a proactive emotional wellbeing strategy, not just a reactive one.
Think about the way that you interact and support the person to use the comfort kit. Do they want to interact with you and for you to join in, do they want you to be there but not to join in, or would they rather be alone?
What to observe, assess and record
- How does the person respond to the process of putting the comfort kit together?
- Do they seek out the comfort kit and if so when?
- How do they react when the comfort kit is offered?
- Are there any items that are particularly calming and could this suggest areas to explore and offer more?
- Notice what styles and approaches to interaction work best.
© Julie Calveley, PhD, BSc(Hons) Psychology, BSc(Hons) Nursing, Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities, NAC Director
Email: [email protected]
Created October 2020