Bad Day Emergency Kit

You know how most people have an emergency kit in their car’s trunk or glove compartment?

A kit like this usually has a blanket, some flares, a water bottle, a “help, call police!” sign, or other odds and ends you might need if your car breaks down.

I’m not much of a survivalist, so I’m doomed if my car ever breaks down. This just adds to my fear of being eaten by bears.

Anyhoo, what are you supposed to do if your entire DAY breaks down?

  • Your roommate eats the leftovers even after you told her you were saving them for your lunch.
  • You leave your wallet on the seat as you rush to get out of a taxi.
  • You spill coffee on your blouse right before you’re about to meet a client.
  • You’ve got the biggest zit popping out of your chin and you just ran into your ex…and his new girlfriend.
  • Your parents are taking your little sister to Walt Disney World and you’re not invited because “You’re an adult now, sweetie.”

Whew! We’ve all had days like that.

While you might feel like crawling into bed and hiding under the covers until next month, I’ve got a better idea.

You need a Bad Day Emergency Kit!

Fill your Bad Day Emergency Kit with things to make you feel better and to help you look on the bright side of life.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

A Fabulous Snack

Why am I encouraging you to sooth yourself with food? Isn’t that promoting some kind of emotional dependence on food? Am I trying to make everyone fat and crazy?

Look, I don’t recommend eating to numb your emotions, but everyone understands how a little treat can make you feel wonderful (think of birthday cake). Please note that I said “little” treat. You’re not having a bad day every day, so a little pick-me-up is fine. (If you ARE having a bad day every day, then you’ve got problems bigger than a box of goodies can fix.)

Pick something crunchy/chewy so you get the added stress relief from chomping down on something. I guess carrots sticks would work too, you know, if you’re into healthy stuff. It should come as no surprise that there are Twizzlers in my kit.

Music to Flip Your Mood

As usual, I’m encouraging you to listen to uplifting music. It’s impossible to stay in a bad mood when you’re singing about how great life is. C’mon, I know you know all the words to this one:

A Fantasy to Lose Yourself In

This could be either a book or a movie or even a video game. But let me stress (again) that it should be happy (or romantic or funny). There should be few deaths (if any), and none of the characters should get blown to bits or impaled on anything. Seriously, we’re trying to lighten the mood, not make you paranoid that there’s a serial killer hiding in the closet.

My choice: the Drew Barrymore Cinderella-with-a-twist film, Ever After. Ah, this takes me back to high school…and the days when I use to wear roll-on glitter. Classy. 🙂 I also like The Wizard of Oz.

Inspiration to Take Action

OK, so we can’t mope around eating snacks and watching movies all day. Those things will give us some peace when we’re still reeling from the bad situations, but we eventually need to dust ourselves off and get on with our lives.

Taking action to repair a bad day will give you the most bang for your buck. If you lost your wallet, get on the phone and start canceling your credit cards (a few unwanted purchases isn’t going to improve your day). If you spilled coffee on yourself or ripped your pants, perhaps the universe is telling you to slow down. Take 10 minutes to meditate and focus on your breathing.

Here are some things to add to your kit that can inspire you to take action: a jump rope or fitness DVD, your gratitude journal, a video camera, a vision board, your old Thank You Jar.

As you’ve probably guessed, there are a few things that don’t belong in your Bad Day Emergency Kit.

What should NEVER be in your kit

  • Your credit card
  • Your ex’s phone number (seriously, no)
  • Your ex’s best friend’s phone number (I mean it. Don’t make me come over there and smack some sense into you.)
  • An entire cake with ooey gooey frosting
  • A voodoo doll of your boss
  • A mix tape of bad emo music
  • A bottle of vodka
  • A new puppy

Once you’ve created your kit, consider making one for a friend who might be going through a hard time.

What’s in your Bad Day Emergency Kit?

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  1. Eryn Morgan on August 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I was listening, well reading, and shaking my head. "She gets me," I'm thinking, "She gets me." Then I read the final addition to the "What should never be in the your kit" list… A new puppy… and decided that you've been spying on my life. I've made a whole Pinterest board of puppies, simply to help keep myself from going out and getting my very own bundle of fluff. Seriously… you rock sister.

  2. Anna on April 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

    This is a really good idea, Sage! I’ve just located a pretty knickknack box, which will promptly turn into a bad day first aid kit. I swear to you, I shall blog about it, showing the world my box (with ample appropriate credit, of course).

    The one thing I absolutely won’t have in the box: my credit card. Spending your way to a temporary high is a no no (and it’s great that you’ve recognized it too and wrote about it).

    I *really* <3 you blog some days.

    • Sage on April 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Awesome! I can’t wait to see your bad day kit! I’ve learned my lesson about spending money to get out of a bad mood–horrible idea! I end up buying weird clothes I’ll never wear or books that don’t even interest me.

      Thank you so much for the nice compliment. You just made my day. 🙂

  3. Bianca-Vegan Crunk on April 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Aw, man. A bottle of vodka IS my bad day kit … like the entire thing!! 😉

    • Sage on April 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Haha! OK, you can have 1 drink, but not the whole bottle! A hangover will just lead to more bad days.

  4. Brittany on April 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    That roommate eating your leftovers thing is the WORST! I hate when that happens!

    • Sage on April 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Thankfully, I don’t have roommates anymore (just my husband). When I used to work in a corporate office, some people would steal food out of people’s lunches in the shared fridge. So rude (and kinda gross)!

  5. Callie - Coffee and Cardigans on April 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Aw, this is such a great idea! I think I’ll start putting my box together ASAP, because this sounds exactly like the type of thing I need to perk me up after a bad day. A little chocolate, some old favorite photos, maybe a good book… Love the idea, Sage!

  6. Molly on April 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    What a great way to empower yourself and take control of a bad day! I love this, Sage. You’re a genius! I agree that it’s the little things that can make all the difference.

    • Sage on April 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Aw, thanks for the compliment, Molly. I really appreciate you reading and commenting all the time. 🙂

  7. Megan Gann on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I definitely need a box like this. Great idea!

  8. Jennifer Delle Fave on April 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Omaagosh! I love this idea!!! It’s so proactive! I think I’d put in a yoga DVD and a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I would love to make this for my kids one day too….especially if they’re off to college etc. What a great message. It’s ok to have bad days, but how you deal with them is so important. 🙂 Hopefully you wont have to open it too often. Have a great day miss Sage!

    • Sage on April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Thanks, Jenn! That’s a great idea to make these bad day kits for kids…maybe for when they’re away at summer camp too.

      I don’t have very many bad days, but Twizzlers make any day better. 🙂

  9. Cara on April 10, 2012 at 7:55 am

    This is such a fun idea, and what a great gift it would make to a loved one/friend! Sound of Music is one of my happy movies, so is the Cutting Edge, toepick! Ice cream would definitely be in my Bad Day box, as would some 90’s pop music.

    You got me with the roll on glitter…I had forgotten that dark moment in my less-fashionable life 🙂

    • Sage on April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Toepick! Oh my gosh, The Cutting Edge is a great movie. 🙂

      I’ve had so many unfashionable moments: roll-on glitter, baggy skater pants, Spice Girls platform shoes, novelty T shirts, etc.

  10. xvavaveganx on April 10, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I saw the title of this post in my blogroll and I knew I was going to love this post before I even clicked it! This is such a brilliant idea and your kit is so cute! I have always loved making “stress relief kits,” I’ve given countless kits as gifts 🙂 I don’t know why I never made my own. I’ll have to get on that soon and obviously I’ll show you when I do.

    Thanks for a perfect idea!

    • Sage on April 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Yes, you gotta make one for yourself! We need to take care of our needs too. I like $5 gift cards for iTunes or Starbucks too, and little notebooks, stickers, and pens.

      I’d love to see your finished kit. It doesn’t have to be a box either…maybe a fun bag or travel case.

  11. Shybiker on April 10, 2012 at 6:39 am

    This is so smart! I’ve never treated myself to anything like this and I see my error. We need to tend to our needs, especially when things are going rough. Often, work puts me in a very dark place and I should have a box like this available. Thanks, Sage!

    • Sage on April 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I forget to treat myself to little pleasures too. We’re better employees/friends/family members when we take care of ourselves.

      I like to look at pictures of happy times too. A kit like this could be full of fun photos. Even catching up on your favorite blogs (like yours!) is a good way to fix a bad day.