Put all your soothing go-to's in one place for when you need a time out. If you're not sure what to include in a self-care kit, here are 9 ideas to get started!
We all need to get away and focus on ourselves now and then. Self-care is a great remedy for the stress that comes with the hustle-and-bustle of daily life.
Still, it can be really hard to decide what to do for yourself when you need it the most. Decision fatigue is real!
That’s not an excuse to skip critical me-time, so don’t start avoiding self-care just because decisions are involved. Instead, take those last-minute choices out of the equation by making ‘em ahead of time—a gift from Current You to Future You!
The best way to do that is by creating a self-care kit. It’s a box that you put together with all the things that make you feel nurtured, warm, and safe—you name the feel-good adjective!
What to include in a self-care kit
Worried that you won’t know what Future You will want? That's fine; you really can't fail at building a resource. All you need to do is pick items and activities that make you feel good. There are no wrong answers when deciding what to include in a self-care kit!
Still don’t know where to start? Don’t sweat it, just check out this list and borrow any ideas that sound comforting:
#1: A fresh journal and pen to process thoughts
Many people find writing cathartic, so pick out a journal cover that makes your heart sing and a pen that feels good in your hand. When you’re having trouble letting go of your problems, you can grab your self-care kit and start writing.
It doesn’t matter if it’s stream-of-consciousness, essay format, or a haiku. As long as it gets your feelings on the page, it’s valuable me-time.
#2: Your favorite fixings for a long bath
Soaking in a hot bath provides gentle sensory stimulation to pull you out of your head and back into your body. Control that stimulation by choosing bath products that are comforting and relaxing.
Not sure what makes a great bath? Start with:
- Bath bombs for an explosion of color, fizz, and scent
- Bubbles—need we say more?
- Epsom salts to massage tired muscles from the outside in
- Essential oils for aromatherapy, diluted and ready to use
- Massage tools that you can use solo, like a brush massager or massage mat
#3: Noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs
Whether you prefer stone-cold quiet or jamming out on breaks, your self-care kit should make sure your ears are happy!
If you need quiet to relax, add some comfortable foam earplugs or silicone ear caps to get blissful silence on the cheap. If you prefer to drown out the world around you completely, then grab a great pair of noise-canceling headphones for your kit!
#4: An eye mask to squash overstimulation
Ever want to lay around in the dark and just exist? An eye mask in a self-care kit ensures that you can do that, even if it’s high noon in the middle of summer!
For ultimate comfort, pick something that’s satin with an elastic strap—and choose a black mask to block the most light.
#5: Sensory toys to channel nervous energy
You'd laugh if you heard that self-care could be squishing a handful of unicorn putty, right? Hopefully, you're in the mood for some serious chuckles. Sensory toys are a great addition to any self-care kit, and they're not just for kids!
Some favorite fidget toys include:
- Silly Putty
- The Original Tangle, which is a handful of twisty movable loops!
- Liquid timers, which look like plastic hourglasses that contain colorful liquid instead of sand
#6: A weighted blanket
Want to get hugs on demand? Weighted blankets can “provide similar benefits to deep pressure therapy” at home in the comfort of your own bed!
A weighted blanket is packed with fiberglass beads (or another type of heavy filling) that make you feel like a fussy baby being swaddled into tranquility.
What to include in a self-care kit #7: Bubbles for mindfulness practice (yes, really!)
Close your eyes and imagine that you’re holding a bubble wand already glistening with soapy liquid.
You inhale, then slowly exhale and watch the soap expand into an iridescent bubble that floats away aimlessly. Before the bubble is out of sight, you dip the wand and start again. You keep blowing them until you’re satisfied, focusing on the repetitive process the entire time.
Open your eyes. Does it feel like you just meditated? That’s because you did! Blowing bubbles requires breath control, a key part of meditation practices. Focusing on the cycle of inhaling, blowing the bubble, and dipping the wand is active mindfulness practice and playful self-care at the same time!
#8: A favorite indulgent dark chocolate for a quick boost
A fantastic bar of dark chocolate with your favorite add-ins belongs in a self-care kit, but not just because it’s a delicious indulgence. (Even though it is!)
- A 2013 review reported “improvements in mood state” from the consumption of chocolate.
- A 2018 study found that dark chocolate “has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory, and immunity” as long as it’s at least 70% cacao
- A 2017 study found that eating chocolate "reduced negative mood," but the effect is contingent on the chocolate being palatable!
#9: Calming herbal teas (or your favorite warm beverage)
Tea might deserve a special place in a self-care kit for two reasons:
- The process of brewing tea can be self-care if you do it mindfully
- Some herbal brews can help keep moods on the up-and-up
A few favorite feel-good herbal teas that promote feelings of calm (or squash feelings of stress) include:
- Valerian root
Need more ideas on what to include in a self-care kit?
If you’ve tweaked your self-care kit to personalized perfection and devoured every article about what to include… but you have a nagging feeling that something’s missing, ask yourself: What about CBD?
Champions of CBD love this chill cannabinoid for unwinding and focusing on enjoying time off, not just tackling everyday stress. And if you struggle to take the time for self-care (even with a kit), adding CBD to the mix may help turn your attention back to your own needs.
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