Cards for Calm was borne out of depression.
I lived with the condition for around 18 months before I finally sought help. It then took 6 months of treatment before I was in remission. It’s a long road that must be walked with small steps.
Depression is a distorting lens that alters your understanding of reality. With that lens removed, I realized there wasn’t one thing that caused my illness. It was a thousand tiny incidents that I didn’t address. A thousand tiny downward spiral that, together, formed the hurricane that had consumed me.
In therapy I learned ways to deal with these negative spirals individually and, with a simple twist, turn them into upward spirals. I continue to use these techniques after therapy and wanted to find a way to share them with others.
I began adapting them into a card game, documenting different types of challenges we face in our daily lives and developing visualizations that would help someone change how they approach them. I created a Kickstarter to see if it was something people would like and, 100 backers later, Cards for Calm was born.
The Kickstarter led to a few decks being sold on Amazon. Then a few more. Then thousands more. And it wasn’t just individuals who were buying them to help manage their stress and anxiety. Therapists, counsellors, addiction centers, schools, and social workers were also buying them to use with patients, clients and children.
Cards for Calm is also available in Canada, UK, and Australia. With so much interest from educators, we’ve created a second version of the game designed for kids aged 7+. Imaginhero takes the same mindfulness and visualization techniques and encourages players to imagine they have superpowers to help them overcome the source of their anxiety.