What I Keep in My On-the-Go Anxiety Kit 

By Emily Laptad

Picture this: You’re out and about, maybe you’re grabbing coffee with a group of pals or maybe you’re at the office getting ready for a meeting. Then out of nowhere, your heart rate goes up. You start to get a wee bit fidgety. Impending doom is suddenly all you can think about. 

There’s a name for that, it’s anxiety, and it loves to creep up at the most inconvenient moments—especially if you’re neurodivergent like I am (hi, I’m Emily!). That’s why I created an on-the-go anxiety kit that I carry with me everywhere. 

So, the minute I feel that little anxiety monster sneaking up on me, I know I’m covered. I just have to pull out the kit and use any of the sensory-based tools I’ve stocked to both prevent anxiety and panic attacks and to move me out of one after it’s started. 

I decided to make my anxiety kit after seeing a TikToker who did the same, and now I never leave the house without it. (Also proud to report that my therapist was 100% on board when I told her about it the following week).

If you decide to make one, think about sensory items that make you feel good—something that smells good, something you can fidget with, something you can feel, something you can taste, something you can see. Your anxiety kit is also a good place to stash any fast-acting anti-anxiety medications you need to carry. 

Having an on-the-go anxiety kit has helped me so much, and if you’ve ever experienced a panic attack I’m hoping it will help you too. Here are the items I keep in mind that help me ground myself:

Lavender Essential Oil

Research shows aromatherapy can help improve mood and lessen anxiety. Lavender is one of my favorite scents and it’s an oil often used for its soothing properties. I’ll rub the oil on my wrist so I can smell it when I need a minute to breathe in the calm. 

Push Pop Bubble Fidget

When anxiety strikes it’s helpful to have something to do with your hands. This push-pop fidget is small and lightweight, and it does just the trick. It’s just like popping bubble wrap—but less noisy. 

Jade Roller

I use this tool to reconnect with my body. I like to roll the cool jade over the palm of my hand or the back of my neck. A sensory tool like the roller helps me get centered and feel grounded, especially if there’s a lot going on around me.

War Heads

Sour and spicy foods are a great distraction to panic attacks. I suck on these extremely sour candies to help my mind reset and focus on something that’s not the anxiety. A spicy item like hot sauce could do the trick here too, but I prefer war heads. My favorite flavor is___

Alcohol Prep Pads

Sometimes I get nauseous when I’m anxious. There’s something about the smell of the alcohol wipe that eases nausea—I actually got this idea from my primary care physician, and it works. 

Feelings Wheel

I’ve learned I get anxious when I don’t know what I’m feeling. My therapist suggested using a feelings wheel to identify my emotions—sometimes that takes away the overwhelming power. I took her advice one step further and bought a metal feelings wheel to carry with me. 

A Coloring Book

I don’t always carry this with me, but sometimes I’ll grab an adult coloring book and colored pencils so I can take 10-15 minutes around prime times anxiety tends to hit to decompress and create something beautiful. 


Emily Laptad (she/her) is a Kansas City-based journalist, passionate about giving a voice to those who don’t always have one. From news to features to business-to-business reporting, she’s done it all. In her free time, you can find Emily reading (probably fantasy smut), playing board games with her partner, or cuddling up with her dogs and cat.

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