A few years ago, I came across a blog post where the writer 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.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of self care.
So, naturally, I loved the idea of putting a self care kit together.
A self care kit is a simple way to regularly take care of our mental health.
Here are 6 things in 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, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Solange, Jhene Aiko, Mereba or one of the Marley men (Bob, Damian or Stephen).
There are times I also need to hear J Cole or Nas.
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’m finding life challenging, 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.
Of course, for many of us ladies, chocolate is a must when we’re not feeling our best.
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 a 75% or more dark chocolate bar – or a dark chocolate digestive biscuit (I keep mine in the fridge).
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 when I’m not feeling my best.
Especially while soaking in a nice hot bath.
Or while snuggling up on the sofa with a good book.
5. Hot Bath
I love nothing more than an evening soak in the bath.
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 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 the only child living in my home until I was 14 so reading was something that I could easily do on my 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.
It’s the simple things
What’s interesting is that after making the list above, it occurred to me that I incorporate most things on a daily basis.
This 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 as 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 savour the taste of your favourite hot drink.
And a self care box acts as 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 conscious of 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 daily life.