How To Create Your Own Self-Care Toolkit
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be hard to stop and think about how to make yourself feel better. These five steps will show you how to create your own self-care toolkit. It takes a little bit of work, but the payoff is huge! You will have a kit ready for use whenever you need it. Take care of yourself so that you can be ready to take on whatever comes your way.
Identify Your Needs and Wants
The first step is to identify what you need to care for yourself. Think about the activities that you find calming and that help you to reconnect with yourself. Choose things that you genuinely enjoy that help you to relieve stress. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What smells help to calm me down?
What sounds help me to fall asleep?
How do I relax?
What activities bring me joy?
Do I enjoy solitude or company?
Assign Your Self-Care Activities to Categories
Downtime after work, going on a hike with friends, and de-stressing by practicing yoga are all examples of self-care. While we may mistakenly believe that self-care is all facemasks and massages, the reality is that self-care is anything that creates peace, balance, and joy for you. If your goal is stress reduction, here are some ideas to get you started.
Smell is one of the strongest senses and has the power to reach parts of the brain that other sensations cannot. By using candles, you can evoke tranquility and energy or recall peaceful memories.
A Copy of Your Favorite Movie
When you need to unwind, sometimes nostalgia is key. Keep a copy of your favorite movie in whatever format you prefer. Turn off your notifications and pretend you are in the theater. Enjoy a VHS copy of The Breakfast Club or stream your all-time favorite whenever you need to disconnect.
The benefits of sound healing can be very powerful. A small sound bowl or sound machine can assist with meditation or deep relaxation. The science behind it is interesting, and the practice has been around for centuries to help reduce stress.
Working through things that are heavy on your mind is a great practice to relieve stress. A journal allows you to write, draw or scrapbook your way through a tough decision. Your thoughts are private but putting them down on paper helps.
You can have fun with this one. Create a list of uplifting songs as the soundtrack to your next walk (another excellent self-care tool), a list for bedtime, and anything else you can think of. You can base these lists on activities or the emotions you hope to feel.
Check In With Yourself and Make a Plan
Creating your self-care kit is a part of the plan, but implementing it can be an obstacle. Set aside time each day to check in with yourself. Take a second to recognize how you feel and what your body needs in a quiet moment. Then, be intentional about making that happen. You could physically write your plan into your schedule or make a mental note to set aside time.
It’s Okay To Take Breaks
You might notice that a specific type of self-care doesn’t work for you or that your needs change at some point during the month and will require some adjustments to your schedule. If this happens, don’t worry! The goal here is to have what you need available. You choose what works best and when you need it.