We talk a lot about self care on the blog and in our community. We’ve had Friday Night Specials dedicated to convention self-care, we’ve learned how to do bullet journals to help keep our lives organized, and we’ve even had Adulting 101 skillshare classes. Maybe you’ve walked away from those classes with notes or a mental list of ideas to carry you forward, but how often do we put those ideas into practice? When a bad day hits, it can be hard to recall past conversations about coping strategies or to figure out what we need to feel better. Enter the Self-Care Toolkit. I’m talking literally here: a bag, basket, or box filled with things to help you feel better when you need it. Maybe it’s something smallish that you can carry with you everywhere, maybe it’s something you keep at home, or maybe both!
I first learned about this idea from YQmunity member and yoga teacher trainee Rose Nelson. “I started keeping items in a small bag, that I knew would help me in the event of a panic attack: aromatherapy, medication, fidgets, headphones,” she explains. “But over time I realized I needed different things at home. I got excited about the self-care box idea, and brainstormed with my friend Mandikat about what we would each want in our own box.”
Identifying what helps and having all of those things in one place has given Rose an actionable step to take when things feel impossible. For Mandikat, the self-care toolkit has proven to be an invaluable tool for her support system, too. “I tend to have unprovoked panic attacks, and now my husband knows that when he can sense one coming on, he can run upstairs to our room, grab near-anything from that kit, and give it to me, knowing that it'll help, if even a little. It gives us both a little more sense of control over what used to be a stressful and unpredictable condition.”
Convinced you need a self-care kit of your own? Great--here’s how to get started!
1. Brainstorm. Start by reflecting on previous experiences. When you’re struggling with anxiety, what helps you feel more centered? What aspects of your self-care routine get neglected in times of high stress? Make a list!! A few suggestions:
Backup meds: Rx, ibuprofen, etc
Chocolate or other snack
2. Find your container. Once you’ve got your list, it’s time to find a suitable container. If you’re going to carry your kit with you, make sure you find something durable that can withstand being knocked around in your purse or messenger bag daily. If you’re assembling a home toolkit, make sure that it’s aesthetically pleasing--you’ll want to keep it out in plain sight and within arms reach.
3. Assemble your toolkit--and keep it stocked. All that’s left is to fill your containers with the things you’ve brainstormed. Ta-da! You now have your very own Self-Care Toolkit! Remember to replace items as you use them--refill those tissues and restock those chocolate snacks so you’re prepared for next time!
So, what’s going in your Self-Care Toolkit? Let us know in the comments, or join the conversation on our Facebook page!