DIY Self-Care Kit For Your Mental Health Needs
“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give, and nobody will care for you.” – Karl Lagerfeld
Self-care is an important part of your overall mental wellness. Stress and anxiety can take over your mind and health and leave you feeling frustrated and grumpy. This is something I have experienced time and again. After a while, I realized that the root of my frustrations was my lack of care toward myself. I was focused on making others happy and taking care of others that I forgot to make my health my priority.
Self-care isn’t about being aware of yourself and your physical needs. It’s also about practicing and actively taking care of your mental health needs. A couple of years ago, I suffered an anxiety attack in the middle of a crowded mall. At that moment, I realized how much a self-care kit could have helped me.
Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. So if we have an emergency medical kit handy in case of physical injuries, why don’t we have a self-care kit in case of a mental health emergency?
There are many ways a person can escape situations where they know their mental peace is being disturbed but what if you can’t find an escape? When I suffered an anxiety attack in the mall, I went looking for something that could help me calm down. It took me half an hour to find my escape. In such a case, a self-care kit would’ve come in handy.
In this article, I’ll help you prepare a self-care kit for your mental health needs. This is very easy to make and it can also make you feel safe and productive. All you need for this activity is a box and some positive vibes to help you get this box together.
What Is A Self-Care Kit & Why Do You Need It?
A self-care kit is simply a collection of items that make you smile and boost your emotions all the while keeping you calm and relaxed. Unfortunately, practicing self-care regularly can’t be easy and practical but with the help of a self-care kit, it can be possible and convenient.
As to why you need a self-care kit – the answer’s pretty simple. Like you need to tend to your physical needs, you need to tend to your mental needs as well. You need a self-care kit to make sure your anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts don’t overpower your well-being.
Your Self-Care Kit
Let’s get started! To make your self-care kit, first, you need a box to store your things in. After you’ve secured a box, you need to ask yourself; what is it that you like? Something that is personal to you and something that helps you feel calm. Your self-care kit should have items that help you connect with your sense of:
The sense of smell connects us with our mind hence impacting our emotions. A pleasant aroma can help you relax and be present in the moment. Aromatherapy is a great example of this. In your box, add an item that promotes the sense of smell like an aromatic candle, or a bottle of your favorite essential oil. Lavender oil or lavender-scented candle is highly recommended as lavender is known to have soothing effects on the mind and help control our emotions. You can also use rosemary or chamomile oil/candle.
The sense of touch can help you feel grounded and bring you back to the present. Add, to your box, an object that you can hold in your hands when you feel anxious. An object that also holds sentimental value and good memories. It could be anything that you can touch like a stress ball, a fidget spinner, or even a soft toy. Something that helps you ground back to your reality.
Sometimes just looking at something that makes us smile can help. The next item you need to add to your self-care kit is something you can relate to your sense of sight. The point of a self-care kit is to collect items that help you boost your emotions and reduce stress. You can add postcards, pictures of your loved ones or pets, positive affirmation cards, or even your favorite book. In my self-care kit, I have some positive affirmations from myself, notes from my friends, and my favorite book to help me reduce my anxiety.
When we are stressed and anxious we crave something sugary, right? I know I do. So, the next item in your self-care kit is something edible. Something you can eat or drink to make yourself feel better. A comfort food item, so to speak. Dark chocolate, a popcorn packet, or something that makes you happy after eating or drinking it. In my self-care kit, I have a couple of packets of chamomile tea bags and a brick of dark chocolate. Keep in your kit something that helps you connect with your tastebuds.
Music can heal a wounded soul and evoke emotions. Listening to music helps us feel calm and relaxed. In your box, add a CD or keep a playlist of your favorite songs on your phone in case of need. Listen to a sound that takes you to your happy place. Me, I like listening to the sounds of rain when I’m feeling anxious. Pick your favorite sound – it can be anything that connects you with your sense of hearing. Something that puts a smile on your face just by listening to it. It could be a voice note from your favorite person, your favorite song, or your favorite podcast.
On A Personal Note
Your mental health self-care kit isn’t necessarily a physical thing. It isn’t a box or a kit you need to carry with you wherever you go. The point of a self-care kit is to help you connect with your five senses to remind you to stay in the present moment and not ruminate on your negative thoughts and experiences. This kit aims to keep you distracted and away from your stressors.
Apart from the above-mentioned things you can also participate in activities such as:
- Writing in a journal
- Doodling or coloring
- List things that you’re grateful for
- Watch a guided meditation video
- Do some gardening
- Go on a hike
- Bake or cook
These are just some examples. You can do what makes you happy and calm when you’re stressed and anxious. That is the whole point of this activity; to perform an activity that makes you feel relaxed.
It is important to remember that it’s okay to slow down sometimes. What makes you feel good? A nice bubble bath? Listening to music? Watching your favorite movie? What does your self-care mean to you? You need to focus on that.
If you do decide to make a self-care kit for your mental health needs then you need to keep some things in mind:
- Don’t overdo your box. Keep only a few items.
- You don’t need to use all the items at once. Take your pick.
- Take your time. Assess your needs and pick the item that best fits your needs. Don’t rush in your selection.
- Give yourself time to heal. Healing takes time. It’s okay to go slow.
If you liked this idea, then make your DIY self-care kit and share it with us in the comments.
Until then, stay safe, and be kind to yourself!