I recently came across a blog post by Damzel In This Dress where she described putting a self-care box together after feeling “more tired than usual and a little bit down in the dumps”.
Can you relate?
I know I can.
So, naturally, I loved the idea of putting a self-care kit together.
It’s not the first time I’ve thought about what I need to give myself when I’m in need of some TLC but it may be the first time I’ve actually put it down on paper.
My Self-Care Kit:
I don’t think a day goes by when I’m not listening to music.
In the car, going for a walk, washing the dishes, soaking in the bath.
I almost always have music playing.
My taste in music varies from RnB, neo soul, hip hop, Motown, to name just a few genres.
However, when I’m not feeling great – whether that’s feeling exhausted or emotional – there are some artists that I always turn to:
The Floacist, Erykah Badu, Ibeyi, Ms. Lauryn Hill, one of the Marley men (Bob, Damian or Stephen) and a new addition, A Seat At The Table by Solange.
Oddly enough, there are times I also need to hear J Cole.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason, listening to him gives me hope when I feel like my life is going nowhere and I’m feeling sorry for myself.
Also, since I started learning Spanish, I’ve discovered the artist Buika who I sometimes turn to when I need something to soothe my soul.
Anyone that you recommend I add to my go-to list?
When we’re feeling exhausted, it’s normally because we’re doing too much and trying to be all things to all people.
We don’t have any time to ourselves and it can feel overwhelming.
And, we often end up out of alignment with our own needs and values.
When I find myself feeling emotional or struggling with life, I reach for my journal and write it all out.
If it’s been a while since I’ve journaled, I write until my hand aches, take a break and come back to it.
There are so many benefits of writing a journal and for me, it’s like therapy.
So, it’s an absolute must-have in my self-care kit.
I’ve always been a hot chocolate girl but over the years I’ve moved from drinking chocolate to cocoa and now I drink cacao.
There is something so soothing and calming about sitting down with a warm drink.
Even in Tenerife, when the evenings are sometimes in the low 20s, I still have my cup of hot cacao.
Of course, for many of us ladies, chocolate is a must when we’re not feeling our best.
But for the same reasons why I moved away from drinking chocolate, I also moved away from regular chocolate – to avoid the sugar.
But there are times when I just need chocolate.
When that’s the case, I opt for either a cacao chocolate bar or a 75% or more dark chocolate bar.
To be honest, candles are lit in my home pretty much every day, but there’s something calming about a dark room with nothing but the flicker of a candle.
Especially while soaking in a nice hot bath.
Or while snuggling up on the sofa with a good book.
(Side note – if you want a good, cheap scented candle that actually has a scent, check out Primark’s large candle tins. Seriously, they smell divine.)
5. Hot Bath
I used to be a bath girl.
I loved nothing more than my evening soak in the bath.
But over time, when I started freelancing and life became busier, I moved away from my evening baths to showers.
As I’m a water baby, I do love the shower too, but I know the importance and health benefits of a relaxing bath.
When I’m feeling stressed and my mind is racing, a hot bath with Epsom salts is the perfect antidote.
It completely rids my body of any tension and makes me feel so relaxed that I sleep like a baby.
(Side note – be careful when using Epsom salts and do your research before you start using them.)
I spent most of my childhood reading and at the cinema.
I was an only child until I was 14 so reading was something that you could easily do on your own.
My nan and dad worked at a cinema for years so I spent most weekends and every school holiday watching films for free (free popcorn and ice-cream too).
So when I’m feeling out of sorts, getting lost in a fictional story – either in book or film format – helps my brain to switch off, or a least slow down and take my focus away from whatever I’m stressing over.
What’s interesting is that after making the list above, it occurred to me that I now incorporate most things on a daily basis.
Which is why I’ve called mine a self-care kit rather than a box, as I’m not actually putting a physical box together.
But I do think that if self-care is new to you or you struggle to make yourself a priority, putting an actual box together is a fab idea.
We forget that self-care doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture such a spa day or weekend away.
It can be a simple act such as allowing yourself to soak in the bath, rather than opting for a quick shower.
Or giving yourself a couple of minutes to really enjoy and savor the taste of your favourite hot drink.
And a self-care box acts a physical reminder to regularly take that time out for yourself.
In years gone by, I hardly featured on my own To-Do list so self-care was pretty much non-existent.
Creating a self-care kit helps you to become present to what makes you feel good and the things you can do for yourself when you’re in need of some TLC.
Additionally, over time, having (and using) a self-care kit can help you to incorporate self-care into your every daily life.
What things help you to feel like you again when you’re feeling down or exhausted?
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