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Self-care should be a daily practice. It’s also easier said than done. There, I said it. But since self-care IS so important, it’s a good idea to have a self-care kit ready and waiting for the crazy days, the stressful days, the blah days. It’s not always easy to come up with a good recovery plan to get you back to a level state of mind when you’re already feeling stressed or overwhelmed. So I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to build your own self-care kit to keep on hand for the crazy days when you need it. Or, ideally, to incorporate into your daily self-care routine!
Why do you need a self-care kit?
A daily self-care routine is best (you can read more about that here), but even if you’re already a pro at taking time to nurture yourself, there are times when you may find that you need something just a little extra. Days when you’re emotional, unusually stressed, or flat-out overstimulated. Having a kit that you can break out, exactly when you need it, makes it just a little bit more of a special event, which is super helpful when you feel you need some extra care.
So, how do decide what to include in your self-care kit?
First, ask yourself a few questions and give the answers some thought, maybe even write them down if that helps you in this process. (It definitely helps me!)
What are a few things that always calm you down?
What makes you feel a little bit like a cat stretching in the sunshine?
What comforts you?
What inspires you?
I also think that a good self-care kit should include items for multiple aspects of self-care. I would recommend including the following:
Something for your body
Something for your mind
Something for comfort
Something just a little bit luxurious
Something to set the mood
Something for pampering yourself
Need a few more ideas to get you started?
Here are a few self-care kit ideas I’ve come up with. Each one is designed for a different self-care need, so pick whichever fits YOUR needs best or mix and match! I’ve included Amazon links for everything, just to make it super simple, but I bet you already have some of these items!
Kit #1 – The Comfort Kit
This kit is perfect for sad days or days when you’re feeling a bit emotional; days when you just need to give yourself a hug.
Lavender candle – Lavender scents are soothing and can help to relieve stress
Some cozy PJs – I have specific PJs just for days like this…something just a little bit more cozy and special than normal
Good chocolate – Chocolate solves problems! Okay, maybe not literally, but it definitely helps.
Herbal tea – A nice warm drink is always comforting. Look for an herbal tea (no caffeine), preferably a calming or stress-reducing blend. There are LOTS of options when it comes to tea.
Journal & pens – It can be VERY helpful to write your thoughts down! Get them onto paper and out of your head. Don’t edit or censor yourself when you’re writing, don’t try to plan it out, just write whatever is in your head and heart.
Weighted blanket – I LOVE my weighted blanket. Not only for sleep, but during sad or stressful times too. The extra weight is like being hugged. Be sure to pick the correct weight for you – 10% of your body weight is a good rule of thumb.
Eye mask – If you’ve had a good cry and your eyes are feeling puffy, a cool gel eye mask will feel like heaven!
Fuzzy socks – Not your everyday socks, but a nice, squishy, fuzzy pair
Headphones – Need to block out the world a little while you process? Grab some headphones and turn on some soft music. Instrumental or classical music is perfect!
Kit #2 – Zone-out kit
Fellow introverts, this one is for you! This kit is for the days when you’re overstimulated and just need a break. The days when you’re just DONE and need to block out the world for a little bit.
Slippers – Take off your shoes and slip on some very comfortable slippers! Since I live in a colder climate, shearling slippers are my go-to, but adjust this to whatever makes you feel comfortable.
PJs – Put on your comfiest PJs, even if that means the oldest, most ratty pajamas you own. (We all know those are the most comfortable anyway, right?)
Good chocolate – Again, chocolate solves problems, right?
Hot chocolate – Or coffee or tea. Something warm to drink will perk your overstimulated self right up.
Coloring book & markers – I’ve mentioned it before in this article, but coloring is a fantastic way to zone out for a little bit. Don’t rush, don’t watch the clock, just pick some colors you find pretty and fill in the spaces. You’ll be surprised at how calm it makes you feel.
Cozy blanket – If you’re feeling overstimulated and need to block out the world, wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket definitely works. Hide your head if you need to!
Fairy lights – Fairy lights are one of my new favorite things. They do wonders for creating a peaceful environment (and peaceful is exactly what we’re going for, right?) Turn the normal lights down or off and turn on those fairy lights!
Headphones – Silence is always good, but if your home isn’t always quiet – parents and pet-parents, I’m talking to you here – some noise-canceling headphones are a great option. Turn on some soft music, some fun music, a podcast, or even just use them to block out the ambient noise around you.
Kit #3 – The Spa Kit
I know, I know…”Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and spa days.” I agree, it’s not. But they DO have a place in the self-care world, so don’t be afraid to use them! If you’re worn down and in need of a little pampering, this kit is for you.
Candles – Candles will help to set the right mood. Light one scented candle or lots of unscented, whatever you prefer!
Bath bombs or bubble bath – I DO NOT like baths. Not at all. But I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority on that one. If a good soak is your thing, be sure to include some good bubble bath or bath bombs in your self-care kit.
Lotion – A good quality body lotion can be SO luxurious. Pick one that you love, then save it just for these occasions to make it feel a little more special.
Essential oil & diffuser – If you’re not a fan of scented candles, try diffusing a good essential oil.
Silky robe – Or a plush spa robe, if you prefer. But find something cozy to wrap yourself in after that bubble bath.
Nail polish – Give your nails a fresh coat of paint! Not only will it look nice, but it will also give you the benefit of drying time – time to just be still and relax.
Eye mask – Not only do eye masks feel wonderful, but you also get to close your eyes and relax for a little while – blissful!
Facial mask – Keep a couple of single-use face masks in your kit.
Find a nice box or basket, like this one, to keep your self-care kit items in! When you need that self-care kit, you won’t have to hunt around the house trying to gather what you need…it will all be right there waiting for you!
Time saver / Gift idea:
If you don’t feel like building your own kit, try something premade like this kit from La Pixie Wellness. It also makes a great, thoughtful gift!
Put together those self-care kits and use them as often as needed! It’s completely okay to take some time out and rebalance yourself.