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Having a bad day? Feeling stressed out? Getting hangry? Not sure what to do with all these feelings?
How about creating your own self care toolkit?
When you are feeling down and out, whether from burnout, stress, or just overwhelmed with life, a self care toolkit is a great respite that you can reach for and feel safe and get comfort.
How does all this work and what should you put in one? In this post, you will learn more about this resource and get a bunch of self care toolkit ideas too.
What Is Self Care?
Self care is a way of life. It’s a way to practice mindfulness, compassion, and self-love, so that you can have more peace in your life.
It’s about being present in the moment and feeling good about who you are.
In a nutshell, it encompasses all aspects of life including eating right, sleeping well, and exercising, where you take time out of your busy schedule to relax and do things that you enjoy.
Learn more about self love exercises.
What Is the Importance of Self Care?
Self care is important to your health, your happiness, and your well-being for many reasons.
It can help you avoid burnout and stress, keeping anxiety and depression at bay, both of which can lead to negative thinking patterns that make it harder for you to feel good about yourself or even function at all in your day-to-day life.
But how do we take the time for self care when there are so many other things vying for our attention? How do we find the space in our busy lives for self care when life keeps throwing curveballs at us?
And not forgetting, a self-care toolkit is a great tool that is easy to access when you need a break.
What Is a Self Care Toolkit?
A self care toolkit is a collection of tools and resources you can use to take care of yourself.
It’s something where you can find things that help you relax, recharge, or just feel happier (it is great for a glow up too!)
We live in a world that’s constantly telling us we need to do more and be more productive.
We go to work and come home and try to do everything we can to make our lives better.
But sometimes that pressure gets too much and we end up feeling exhausted, stressed out, or even depressed.
A self care toolkit helps us deal with this pressure by giving us an opportunity to take some time out for ourselves each day.
We can use the tools in our kit whenever we need them – whether it’s after work when we get home from work or just before bedtime so we can have a relaxing evening before going to sleep at night!
Perfect to add to your self care night checklist!
Where to Begin With a Self Care Toolkit?
If you’re new to the world of self-care and wellness, it’s important to start with the basics. Understanding the types of self care is a good start.
As you get to know this subject better and experience more of it yourself, you will naturally be more aware of what you want in your toolkit.
For now, you can start by using the list below as a reference and make adjustments along the way.
Why Is a Self Care Toolkit Important?
Self care is a vital part of our everyday lives, but it’s often hard to find the time to do it.
My toolkit is a place for me to keep all my favorite self care items organized, so I can easily find them when I need them most.
It has become a physical tool that I turn to in order to enhance my practice of self care, turning my days at home into a time that I really look forward to being with myself.
Sometimes, it can be hard to use your mental capacities to get in tune with yourself, so a physical toolkit is a really practical and useful way to easily exercise self care.
When to Use Your Self Care Toolkit?
We’ve all got bad days, and sometimes we just need something to help us get through them.
Our world these days is so demanding and stressful, so it’s important to know when and how to use your self-care toolkit.
When you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or are feeling overwhelmed by life events, it can be difficult to make good decisions.
The following are some examples of times when using your self care toolkit may be helpful:
- You’ve had a really bad day at work, school or with family/friends and feel like you need time alone to clear your head
- You’re trying to figure out what’s going on with your mental health (for example depression, anxiety)
- You’ve been having problems for months but don’t know where else to turn for help
What to put in your self care toolkit?
Your self care toolkit is a personal collection of items that you can use to take care of yourself.
Tools can range from activities like meditation, yoga, and exercise to objects like aromatherapy candles and relaxing music.
They can also include items such as herbal teas, bath salts, and essential oils that help create an atmosphere conducive to relaxation.
I think it’s really important to make your toolkit as beautiful and extravagant as possible (within your budget, of course) since this is the thing you turn to when you want to feel good.
Start with a storage box with a nice design and one that is big enough to accommodate all your items.
I would categorize the items into the following:
- Get enough sleep
- Have some ME-time
- Eat and drink well
- Meditate or pray
- Exercise your body
- Connect with nature
- Smile often
I won’t be able to provide a complete description and review of all the items here, so do yourself a favor, at least click through and save the pages on your phone/computer for later use.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important yet so often overlooked, and it is not just clocking in the hours. The quality is equally if not more important.
Here are some suggestions on what you can add to your self care toolbox:
- Weighted blanket – alright, you might not fit this into your box, but it will have a place on your bed. If you have never tried one, this has to be the best thing to invest in for your bedding situation
- Silk sleep mask – These lovely masks aid in reducing light that can keep you awake or prevent you from going asleep, and it protects skin and hair from friction damage.
- Liquid melatonin – A popular natural sleep aid, melatonin is safe for the majority of people to use and has few adverse effects. It is the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, so this is going to help you sleep well through the night.
- Sleep spray – Use this before bedtime to lessen sleep anxiety and enhance the quality of your sleep. All you need to do is spray your pillow and that’s it! Enjoy the pleasant smell from the essential oils that will aid your sleep.
2. Have some ME-time
Having time for yourself is important to catch up with how you are feeling and indulge in little things that you enjoy doing. It’s all about you during this period, so be sure to pack it with things you love to do.
- Reading book – There are millions of books out there, and you probably have your favorites. I’ll throw in one more here: “Wherever you go, there you are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a book about practicing mindfulness.
- Listen to music – I enjoy my music, but I really don’t fancy the sound quality on my phone. That led me to discover the Tribit bluetooth speaker. It’s small and portable and it’s a great little device to bring on my travels. The quality is superb for its tiny price tag.
- Journaling – By tracking your day-to-day mood, journaling can help you better understand your triggers and learn how to manage your symptoms. This presents a chance for constructive self-talk and identifying bad attitudes and actions.
- Self massage – Using a foam roller is one of the best ways to hit all the right spots, and you can easily find one that is small enough to fit nicely into your box, not to mention bring it anywhere with you.
- Take a soothing bath – A nice hot bath can help to relieve muscle sores and aches, make you feel more awake, and boost your mood. Add in your favorite bath fizzers or turn it into a milk bath!
3. Eat and drink well
- Herbal tea – A cup of tea is always good for the soul. This calming lavender tea helps relieve everyday stress, fatigue, frustration, and tension-related headaches.
- Dark chocolate – Chocolate has been proven to reduce stress levels. These ones are small enough to fit into your box and extremely tasty to boot!
- Brazil nuts (brain food!) – Powerhouses in terms of nutrition, including good fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Selenium, a mineral with powerful antioxidant effects, is particularly abundant in them.
4. Meditate or pray
There are so many benefits to meditation such as reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, and becoming more focused. Ever since I started this practice myself, my life has really improved, allowing me to become much more in tune and present.
- Headspace – My journey might not have been so successful without using the Headspace app, which is why you will see me mention it numerous times across this site. It is a simple app with powerful features, such as guided meditation, daily mindfulness reminders, and a wake-up module that makes me feel so happy each morning.
- Positive affirmation cards – You can create them yourself, download them from our site (sign up below), or simply purchase them. These cards are affirmations that you can use to remind yourself each day of your goals and beliefs, keeping you motivated and focused.
5. Exercise your body
Keeping your body moving throughout the day has great benefits for you, and can prevent unnecessary injuries, especially as you get older. Some of us might not want to or are able to spend 2 hours in the gym, so having so sort of small equipment handy can be a life-saver.
- Resistance bands – You will be surprised at how useful and versatile resistance bands are. There are so many exercises you can do with them, and mind you, they can really give you a good, solid workout. Watch one here.
- Yoga mat – This might not fit into your box, but it can surely sit on top of it, or right under your bed. Having a yoga mat does not necessarily mean that you need to practice yoga moves. I place it beside my bed so that I can lie on it and do simple stretching exercises while reading my book. There are tons of options on Amazon, but seriously, get this instead. A tad expensive but well worth the money for its comfort and durability.
6. Connect with nature
Getting outside and enjoying a place in nature is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental well-being. However, not all of us have ready access, which means we need to be creative about it.
- Wallpaper – Switch up your wallpaper on your devices. Having a different one across your phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop lets you enjoy a unique scenery each time you use one. There are lots of free images you can grab here.
- Shells and rocks – Add a small collection of shells and beautiful rocks to your toolkit to bring nature into your home. There is an ongoing debate about whether we harm the ecosystem by picking empty shells, but I think one or two should be fine. And make sure they are empty!
- Listen to nature – There are so many of these awesome videos on YouTube! Choose from the sound of thunder rumbling, rain dropping, or the sound of the forest. I love this!
7. Smile often
Smiling is something you should do often, whether you have a toolkit or not. When you smile, your brain actually starts to release chemicals that fight stress!
- Watch something funny – I don’t know about you but I love comedies, and I often watch reruns (don’t tell anyone my secret!). No other reason except that they are funny and make me laugh out loud. I’ll take that any day. Here’s a list to get you started.
- Gift yourself a self-care subscription box – I only recently started doing this and I’m so happy I did! Each month you get something new that you can use for self care, such as scrubs, gels, headbands, nail wraps, serums, notebooks, and more! Check out my TheraBox review too!
In Conclusion: Self Care Toolkit Ideas
I hope that this post helps you with the creation of your own self-care toolkit and in turn, helps you to take better care of yourself.
It’s important that we all invest in our own well-being because it is only then that we can be truly present with others.
As you build up your own toolkit, it should also give you very good ideas on what to include if you organize your own self care party!
And by sharing this post with others, you’re helping them as well!