Weekly resource post #4: Self care map

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve launched the SelfCare Backpack shop https://buff.ly/3ecOGMd! There are a pack of resources there for pay what you want (use the code scb2020 to get the digital only ones for FREE and the physical copies for half price). Each week I’m going to do to a bit of an intro to one of the resources to give you a sneak peak of what to expect 🙂

My very very first resource! The self care map first appeared in 2018, I had my Mental Health First Aid Training, and as part of that I got a folded leaflet (like a Z-Card) with a cheat sheet of how to help people and some resources that they might find helpful.

I really like it, and I’m glad to have it, but it made me realise that something like this might be useful for anyone, regardless of training status.


Pages 1 and 8 – Front and back page.

The front page of the Self Care Map. It says: Self Care Map. A small guide to self-care

I wanted these to be as plain and simple as possible. I wanted it not to be entirely obvious that it was a mental health resource, because not everyone feels comfortable sharing these details in public. I wanted people to feel able to use these anywhere they needed to and not be worried about disclosing anything about their mental health.

Page 1 – emergency lines

Call 999 or 111 for medical help
Call 116 123 free to talk to the Samaritans

Page 2 – a grounding exercise for panic or dissociation

For Panic
Look around you. Find:-
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste

Page 3 – someone you can call if you feel you need to, or if you’re feeling you need support from someone who knows you.

Who you gonna call?
Write the name and contact details of someone you can talk to

It can be hard to reach out, I wanted this to be a page for two reasons.

Firstly as a reminder that reaching out for help is a valid thing to do.

Secondly as a reminder that you can reach out to this person/these people. ‘Reach out’ as advice is vague at best, especially if you’re anxious, or your brain is whispering that no one wants to hear from you, especially when you’re like this, that you’re a terrible person that no one likes, etc. This is a concrete reminder that there are people you can talk to about these things.

Page 4 – a reminder to make sure you treat yourself regularly.

Treat yo’self
Write down somethings you do to cheer yourself up. Make time for them regularly

Managing a mental health condition can be exhausting, especially if you have a bunch of other things to manage.

A lot of people I know who manage conditions have a routine of things they do to keep themselves on an even keel. But while these things make people feel better or good, they’re not really a treat. I think as self care becomes a regular part of life, it can be easy to forget that you need treats on top of self care. This is a little reminder.

Page 5 – resources! These are UK resources that people might find useful

Other resources
Living life to the full: http://www.llttf.com/
CALM: https://www.thecalmzone.net/
The Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/

Page 6 – reminders.

Have you:
• Taken your meds?
• Drank water recently?
• Eaten recently?
• Checked your posture or moved?
• Said hi to someone?

My routine occasionally goes out the window, sometimes for no conceivable reason. Reminders for taking meds and brushing my teeth are really useful for me.

I also have a habit of putting off food and drink when I’m really anxious until I have a dehydration headache on top of everything. If you’re feeling a bit grim, and you’re not sure why, try some of these if you haven’t for a while.

They probably won’t solve your issue, but they might lighten the load a little.

Other iterations

This is probably iteration 3 or 4 of this resource. The first one was very basic. Then I added some more resources and ideas. Then I got some design help from Velvet (https://twitter.com/niceotherwise) over on twitter, as design isn’t my forte.

I’ve since done some blank maps so people can use the template themselves, and some maps with a blank space for resources that they may find helpful (or geographically more relevant) to them).

I have future plans for developing this further. I envision an order and print service for these, where people can customise them online and order them printed. I feel this will be a really good way to expand these and make them useful for people.