The Toolkit (Part 1)

29 Jan 2022

I have to admit my DIY skills are very limited. So my toolkit is very basic; just a few screwdrivers, hammers, screws etc.

I would much rather discuss a Mental Health (MH) toolkit. My therapist and I have mentioned it a few times and I think the idea is worth considering for anyone with MH issues.

The basic idea is to have a few things you can go to when the going gets really tough. I think it is best to have these listed because when you feel very low you need to select one asap.

Everybody will have a different toolkit but to get things started I will list what is currently in mine.

- A loving pillow

- Negative Thought Sheet

- Music

- Writing

- Nature

- My own sacred space

What I would like to do is to describe in detail to you how each of these help me.


This pillow is one of my most treasured possessions. What makes it special is that on one side is a picture of my wife. She had it made for me using a recent photograph.

In my lowest times I can sit quietly and hug it. This is rare but did happen once a few days into this year. Everything seemed to overwhelm me, I felt sad and tearful. The softness of the pillow against my face for about 20 minutes was sufficient to manage this “crisis”.


I have mentioned it on this blog a few times. During the last 16 months I have used it regularly. Really it is based on the mantra (and this is especially for Lex! ) “Don’t believe everything you think”. It is particularly useful when you have an unhelpful/negative thought (UNT) that you cannot clear from your mind.

The link to this sheet is:

The sheet has 7 columns and you complete column by column from left to right. You should finish with a more rational helpful thought in column 6 that replaces the UNT in column 3.


I am in love with 60’s music, although not to the exclusion of all other eras. The music I listen to on my own falls into 2 distinct types. Firstly there are the slow melodious vocals that I can drift away with such as:

- Make you feel my love, Elkie Brooks

- One moment in time, Dana Winner

- If we hold on together, Diana Ross

Then there are more upbeat numbers that I can move about to for example:

- I drove all night, Roy Orbison

- You may be right, Billy Joel

- Dancing in the dark, Bruce Springstein

I become totally absorbed in all the music I listen to; it affects my emotions and I am carried away to another world.

So that is the end of part one. Part 2 continues next week.


A Moodscope member.

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