I’ve written about self-care before. As somebody who deals with their mental health daily, without some form of self-care, I’d be more of a mess than I already am. Self-care can take a variety of forms and it is not one size fits all. We are all different in our needs and what makes us feel our best self. However, there are some general items that are a great basis for a self-care kit, bag, box, or space. And you don’t have to have just one. I have two. One that I keep at the house and one that I keep in my car for those times when I’m on the go and need something self-care-ish.
First, you’ll need something to hold your items in. This could range from a backpack to a storage box with a lid to a paper sack from your local grocery store. The size will also range depending on what all you’re putting in it. When you choose something, make sure it is big enough to hold your items, but not so big that you can’t easily store or make room for it.
Next, you must fill it. Your self-care kit should be designed to include items that help you relax, calm down, or feel at ease when those moments of panic, anxiety, or depression arise. Here are my top 5 suggestions for items to include:
Journal and pens/pencils:
Journal sizes can range from small to big and can be a $1 notebook to something that costs significantly more. It can even be several pages of loose-leaf paper tucked in a fold or stapled together. The point is to have something that you can use to jot down feelings, impressions, or troubles that are going through your mind. Pens or pencils can give you a flair of color or simplicity as desired.
Lotion, Essential Oils, or Scent Beads:
Scents can have a calming effect. I love fresh and clean smells. I have a small pack of laundry sheets in my bag for the car. Having something that you can rub into your skin can help two-fold. First, your favorite scent can aide you towards a place of grounding or calmer water. Second, it gives your hands something to by diverting the focus from what might be racing through your head to a more soothing task.
Coloring book and art supplies:
I love to color. I use coloring as a form of self-care often. Adult coloring books have become a big business, but you can also find pages on the Internet to print off for free. Art supplies can be anything from crayons, color pencils, or markers. When packing your art supplies, keep in mind where you’ll be storing your kit when not in use. You don’t want the crayons melting in a hot car, for example.
Include something crunchy or sweet or both. You’ll want to make sure any food you put in your self-care kit is checked periodically for expiration and freshness.
Stuffed animal and/or blanket:
I feel that snuggling with my favorite stuffie and blankie can help me weather most storms. A travel size blanket and a small stuffed animal or doll can fit in most kits.
Regardless of what you put in your kit, use it! Self-care is important.