Making Your Own Self-Care Kit
Image via Please Stop Being Sad
By: Taylor B.
First of all, good job! You’re thinking about making a self care kit and that’s a great first step. Self care is a vital part of being an activist, caring for others, dealing with trauma, or just generally being a well-rounded and happy person. Self-care can prevent burn out, help cope with a traumatic event, and really makes you more of a radical badass. Even if you aren’t experiencing a lot of stress at the moment, establishing good self-care habits now can help you deal with stress in the future.
So what is a self-care kit? A self-care kit is a tool that helps you maintain good self care. This can mean it’s a literal kit with things like bath salts and candles that help to ground you, a note on your phone of good activities, or even a mental list of things that make you feel good. Personally, I like a mix of all three. Creating a kit makes self-care easy and personalized to what you need.
Ready to make your own? Let’s get started!
What are your goals? Are you trying to reduce stress in your life or maintain your current level? Are you trying to decrease anxiety or panic attacks? Are you looking for something to help ground you when you are triggered? Think about what happens when you don’t maintain good self care and then think about the positive opposite of that.
Example: When I don’t take care of myself I tend toward isolation. A good self care goal for me is feeling engaged with the world.
What are your resources? Resources include time, money, and access to things/locations. Do you have a hour/day for self-care or 5 minutes? Do you have $10 to spend or none? Do you have a gym or park nearby? Be realistic. Your kit needs to be sustainable.
Example: I’m usually pretty broke and pretty busy. A good self-care resource for me is to make sure I spend a few minutes cuddling my cat before I get out of bed in the morning.
What are your responsibilities? Self-care is about finding balance and making sure you are at your best when you do other things. It’s important to choose self care activities that are nurturing and encouraging of the rest of your life. This doesn’t mean that every activity has to be actively healthy—glasses of wine, pints of ice cream, cigarettes, etc. can all have their place—but it means keeping a balance in mind. Self-care shouldn’t feel bad later.
Example: I get up really early for work. I love staying up late watching tv, but it makes me groggy and grumpy the next day. As a balance, I watch a short episode of my favorite show before bed but make sure to stop at just one.
What makes you happy? Think about what makes you smile. Think about what makes you feel good. Now, figure out how to incorporate that into your kit. Are you happiest when you’re drawing? Get some nice pens and paper! Do you like running? Keep your running clothes and shoes handy. Do you feel better when you’re well hydrated? Set a reminder alarm on your phone!
Example: I love epsom salt baths so I have epsom salt on hand all the time.
Ideas to get you started: Now that you know what to think about when putting together your self-care kit, here are some ideas of what to actually do and use!
- Meds (maybe set a reminder on your phone!)
- Foods that make you feel good
- Stuffed animal
- Essential oils
- Music/white noise
- Photo album
- Epsom salt
- Kid books/tv shows/movies
- Cozy blankets
- List things you like about yourself
- Compliments and nice notes from others
- Awards/achievements you’ve won
- Anything that makes you sweat
- Meet with a therapist
- Orgasms (definitely a personal decision but orgasming can have a lot of benefits)
- Spend time with a furbaby
- Make some comfort food
- Follow artists who inspire you
- Spend time outside
- Read about amazing people
- Think about what would be your best day ever
- Take photos of things you like
- Set a regular coffee date with a friend
- Volunteer with animals
- Do something nice for a coworker
- Get to know your neighbor
- Host a dinner party
- Record happy moments throughout the day
For further reading, try the follow resources: