Featured Image: Icon images of support and soothe tools – from left to right (top): a hand squeezing a stress ball, a bottle of lotion (bottom), a piece of wrapped candy, a bucket of water indicating its 30°.

Living with the effects of brain injury can amplify stressful situations, such as needing to attend a difficult appointment, court appearance, or challenging social interaction. This is particularly so when dealing with symptoms such as noise and light sensivity, cognitive fatigue and / or mental health challenges.

The list below are items that you can buy from the dollar store which can help you cope during stressful moments. These support and soothe tools were created by Alexander Jordan Mongkonrob and are seen on BIST’s www.abijustice.org website – the first and only online resource in Ontario aimed reduce barriers people living with brain injury face when dealing with the criminal justice system.

There is a printer friendly version of this list, HERE.

Breath Mints

These minty treats can be used to ground yourself by focusing on the taste and coolness of the mint.

Hand Lotion

Hand lotions can also be used to ground yourself if you focus on how it feels when you rub it on your hands. Depending on the individual, scented lotions can either calm or trigger the person, so choose according to your preferences.

Stress Ball

Rolling the ball across your body or squishing it between your hands can help reduce your nervousness. Try a variety of stress balls with different textures and weights.

Coil Bracelets and Rubber Bands

If you are easily distracted, wearing these on your wrist will help you focus. Snapping them on your wrist will help detour unwanted thoughts and anxiety, along with regaining focus.

Cold Water & Ice Pack

When someone is overwhelmed, agitated, stressed, they will be warm. A drink of cold water or an ice pack will help decrease your temperature along with your emotional stress level.


Use simple tactile items to help you focus, relieve muscle tension and stress.


Blowing bubbles can help with mindfulness and breath.


Wear sunglasses indoors to deal with sensitivity to harsh lighting.

Watch Alex explain how to use these tools and techniques in the video below: