Find Peace with a Pedicure: Creating a Self-Care Kit

This #RespectUrFeet shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


When I was nearing the end of my social work career, I was a hot mess.  I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating more poorly than usual and my body was breaking down on me.  The constant migraines, the excessive acne and the days spent crying uncontrollably were evidence of the breakdown.  Not to mention the depression, both seasonal and regular.  Honestly, I was a walking billboard for the importance of self-care.  Allowing myself to get to that point, being that far gone, was a HUGE no-no.  In the helping profession, we’re taught in school, the importance of taking care of ourselves.  So I devised a plan to do just that and create my own self-care kit with everything I needed to self-soothe.  That’s the books, the journal, the at home pedicure and plenty more.  Here’s how I did it.

Creating a self-care kit goes beyond just throwing “happy things” in a box.  In all honesty, it really comes down to knowing yourself and what works for you.  Pretty things are good, but what do they mean to you? Really think on this and figure out what moves you, what makes you feel good, what brings you back from the brink of anger, sadness, despair, etc.

After assessing your self-care  needs, the next thing to do is to figure out what you will “house” your kit essentials in.  Some people use bags, shoe boxes, even baskets.  It’s up to you and depends on what floats your boat, but this is an often neglected step.  To me, it matters what I store my essentials in.

I don’t want something that’s easily accessible because I have a nosy family.

I don’t want something that can easily tear or become damaged if it gets wet.

I do want something that is secure.

I do want something that I can decorate and really make mine.

With all of the above in mind, I chose an old, wooden lock box.


Choosing the contents

What you choose to put in your kit is a personal choice that should be a choice that you and only you should make.  Here is what I chose for my box + why it works for me.

1. Amopé Pedi Perfect and foot cream: These are new products that I got from the foot care aisle at Target.  The gadget, along with the foot cream, adds moisture for healthier feet, which is important to me, as I’ve noticed that the care of my feet, or lack thereof, are instant indicators of how I’m feeling about myself.  When my feet are baby soft, my toenails are clipped and painted pretty, I feel like a force to be reckoned with.  I’m confident and taking pride in my appearance.  When they’re not, well, it’s just the opposite.



2. A good book: While the book changes, depending on what I’m reading or how I’m feeling at the time, I make sure to keep some soul-stirring books in my box.  These are not how-to books or books on business or anything like that.  These books awaken your soul by challenging your thinking and helping you get back to a place of balance and contentment.


3. Something that smells good: Smell is so important when it comes to self-care.  Scents like lavender have a calming effect and help reduce stress.  Other scents such as Jasmine and Rosemary have uplifting capabilities that produce feelings of confidence and help to fight mental exhaustion.  I use my favorite hand lotions or body butters to create the scent that I’m looking for.  I’ve also used candles and even fabric softener sheets.

5. Music: For me, this may be the most important item in my self-care kit. There are certain songs that serve as the soundtrack to my life and in order to really get into my feelings and feel whatever it is that I’m feeling, I need to hear those songs.  I use music streaming websites for this, but you could also use CDs or something else.


4. A journal, markers and a pen: This is self-explanatory, but I’m a huge proponent of writing for self-care.  Free writing, in particular (just writing continuously and generating raw, unedited, grammatically incorrect material), is a favorite of mine for identifying flawed thinking and overcoming self-criticism.  In addition to writing, I like to draw and color because it allows me to create freely and gives my analytic and critical left brain a rest.


From here, it’s just a matter of putting everything together and having it ready for when you need it.


For women, mothers, people with depression, and so on and on, self-care has to become a priority and a topic of discussion.  Getting to know yourself and creating your own self-care kit is the starting point for self-preservation, which we all should be striving for.

If you were to create a self-care kit (and I hope you do), what would be in it?

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  1. November 26, 2014 / 8:03 pm

    I love this idea, and you’re so right that this self care kit would be different for everyone – but I think we could ALL use the Pedi Perfect. Even the buzzing is soothing, right? #client

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:36 pm

      It is, Michelle. I even used it on my husband because he stands on his feet a lot at work. He was a pretty happy guy. 🙂

  2. November 28, 2014 / 1:39 pm

    This is an awesome idea. One thing you mentioned that I need to get back to is journaling. Random writing will totally reveal something we may have been hiding from ourselves. This was a great post. I look forward to reading more from you. Oh yes, I would have to have some good chocolate close by (smile) Kay

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:39 pm

      First of all, yes to the chocolate. I would have included it, but I the tiny hands with sticky fingers made me reconsider. And I totally agree with you on journaling. I find it amazing that “just writing” opens us up to so much and can heal us in so many ways. Thanks for commenting!

  3. November 28, 2014 / 1:43 pm

    I love your self care it. I’ve never thought to make one but I’d love to have my very own pedicure kit. Thanks for sharing, I’ll check out your product choices.

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:40 pm

      Definitely do it, if you’re thinking about it. Having everything in a central location can alleviate so much distress when you’re already feeling stressed.

  4. November 28, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    I love your kit, I need to make myself one. I definitely do not do my own pedicures as often as I should.

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:44 pm

      Thank you for your compliment! I have to say that very randomly throughout the year, I’ll pop into a shop for a pedicure, but most of the time, I find it to be less stressful at home. When I’m at home, I have everything I need (food, beverages, time, TV, etc) and since I’m not worried about much, the real relaxing can take place. I might be the only person in the world who gets stressed when having their pedicures done by someone else. LOL.

  5. courtney
    November 28, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    Hahaha totally love your kit!!! I kinda need one myself 😉

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:46 pm

      Thank you! If you need one, make it! I have a friend who keeps hers in a Victoria Secret bag, simply because she likes the bag and it’s so accessible. Super easy to make too.

  6. November 28, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    This would be PERFECT for me! I have to stand a lot during the day and this would be wonders for me feet! Adding this to my Christmas list <3

    • Vaneese
      November 28, 2014 / 6:48 pm

      Yes!! That Amopé Pedi Perfect is the business! My feet are smooth and moisturized and let’s just say, my husband is a very happy man right now. 😉

  7. Ann Bacciaglia
    November 28, 2014 / 10:30 pm

    I would love to make a self care kit for myself. I would add everything for a mini pedicure. Maybe some face masks as well.

  8. November 29, 2014 / 3:47 am

    Great idea, it’s good to pamper yourself every now and then. If I could create a self care kit, it would definitely include some cookies and ice cream!

  9. November 29, 2014 / 4:28 am

    I love this idea of putting away some favorite things into a pamper box. 🙂 Books and good music definitely help me a lot.. and netflix is a great escape. haha

  10. November 29, 2014 / 7:39 am

    I’d put a body scrub in it. Those are my favorite, especially during this time of year!

  11. Manu Kalia
    November 29, 2014 / 1:44 pm

    I think I need a self care kit. I love the all of your photos.

  12. Julie
    November 29, 2014 / 6:24 pm

    Can my self-care kit just include naps whenever I want them? Hahaha. 🙂 This is such a great idea.

  13. November 29, 2014 / 7:57 pm

    This is great self-pedicure I just need the inspiration to do myself.

  14. Erin Kennedy
    November 30, 2014 / 12:17 am

    This is so cute! It is much needed and I have wanted to try that electric scrub.

  15. December 1, 2014 / 12:01 am

    Great idea. I can see it now, what do you need, I see you’re tired… Get me my box! A good facial mask would be a nice add also

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