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?
Let’s stay in touch!