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So, we’ve talked about how to create the ultimate self-care checklist and even brainstormed 70 self-care activities for you to fill it with! What we haven’t talked about yet though, is my favourite thing of all – creating a mental health self-care kit!
Managing multiple mental health illnesses is, frankly, a pain in the ass. My mood can crash pretty quickly, and my desire to stick to any serious self-care goals usually crashes along with it. However, having a self-care kit handy is really low-effort and perfect for those really bad days.
In short, my self-care kit is a box of my favourite feel-good things, strategically placed underneath my bed so that it’s easily accessible from my lair of woe. I recently revamped it and had so much fun that I thought I’d share my kit with you. Hopefully I can inspire you to create your own!
Here are some really cute and easy self-care kit ideas.
17 Mental Health Self-Care Kit Ideas
1 – Self-Care Worksheets
I am in love with Blessing Manifesting’s self-care printables! Her rainbow-coloured workbooks make beautiful additions to any mental health self-care kit and what’s even better is that there are so many to chose from. Her daily/yearly self-care planners are my favourites, but she also creates workbooks covering everything from anxiety and relationships, to self-love and gratitude.
You can check out all of her printables here.
2 – An Adult Colouring Book
Colouring books are a great way to effortlessly unleash your creativity whilst also practising some mindful meditation. They help take my mind off stuff and I love listening to music or watching TV as I colour.
I found this swear-word colouring book for adults and maybe I’m just an immature kid at heart but man do I love it! It’s fun, makes me laugh and the designs are actually better than I expected so it’s a definite recommend.
I also love mandala colouring books for some serious therapeutic relaxation.
3 – A Set of Earphones
Music is so therapeutic for me. I have a playlist for every mood and by putting a pair of earphones in the box, I’m reminded that if I stick on some tunes, crank up the volume and lose myself for a while, I’m guaranteed to feel just the tiniest bit better – and sometimes that’s all I need 😊
4 – Facial Masks
Do you remember these 7th Heaven facials? I discovered them again a few months ago and bought a bunch for the nostalgia. Whilst they don’t quite wash away the sucky-ness of the last twelve years, I did kinda feel like a thirteen-year-old again as I cried into my pink guava face mask.
5 – A Journal
If there’s one thing you definitely need to have in your self-care kit, it’s a journal.
Journaling for mental health has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. I love to vent my emotions out through journaling and I use these 117 thought-provoking journal prompts for inspiration. My journal also contains some really uplifting stuff like inspiratioal quotes, a list of things that help when I’m sad, a safety plan and more.
If you haven’t started your own journal but really want to, the first thing you need is a quality book. Moleskin is my favourite brand when it comes to notebooks because they’re sturdy, reliable and just so classically beautiful. They do plain, ruled and boxed notebooks in a variety of different colours. My favourite is the kinetic pink cahier journal but there are so many to chose from!
6 – Positive Notes From Yourself or Others
This is my absolute favourite mental health self-care kit idea because even just putting these notes together made me all warm and fuzzy! The positive notes can be printed screenshots from friends or nice things people have said about you that you’ve remembered and written down. They can even be written by yourself!
Having those little reminders handy can really lift your mood and remind you of the kindness in the world 💖
7 – A Hot Water Bottle
There is just something so damn comforting about a hot water bottle. If I could, I’d glue mine to my stomach and take it everywhere with me. Check out these cute fleeced hot water bottles in a variety of different designs!
8 – Your Favourite Snacks
I usually put a bag of harbios in my box. Sometimes I take the bag out and open it even on my good days – and then get sad on my bad days when I have no emergency haribos.
Learn something from my mistakes.
9 – A Feel-Good Book
I don’t usually read self-help books but right now, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ has earned an entitled space in my self-care toolkit! For someone prone to overthinking everything and wallowing in self-pity, a tough-love approach is exactly what I need sometimes. My favourite quote from the book is this:
“The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important”
I refer to this quote several times a day when I find myself giving too much of a fuck about things that I can’t change, and it’s a great eye-opener for when I’m in a rut.
Other than that, fiction books are my favs! My last book in the box was actually a children’s book called My Naughty Little Sister! (Btw, has anyone ever read this? I have the collection and I used to love them.)
10 – Tea Bags
Buy your favourite tea bags and put them in the box so that whenever you’re sad you can remember that ‘sticking the kettle on’ is a nationally-recognised mood-lifter.
11 – Essential Oils
Did you know that essential oils have a ton of possible health benefits, especially in relation to emotional health?
As an insomniac, I reap the benefits of lavender oil by putting a few drops on my pillow at night. It definitely helps with relaxation and after doing some research into aromatherapy I’m really looking forward to trying out more.
12 – Scented Candles / Incense / Wax Melts
It’s been proven that pleasant smells have a positive impact on emotions, so fill your box with tealights and light one when you need a bit of TLC. They also make your box smell nice, which is an added bonus.
As you can imagine, my box is filled with several sweet-smelling tealights plus this vanilla cupcake Yankee candle which at the moment is my absolute favourite – and smells as delicious as you’d expect!
13 – Fragranced Moisturiser
OK, you get the point. I like stuff that smells good.
14 – A Collection of Photographs
Our brains are pretty good at disregarding and forgetting happy moments. When things are bad it can often feel like you’ve been stuck in a long, dark tunnel for your whole life. It’s important to remind yourself that not only have you had some truly happy experiences, but you will also have lots more!
Collect some pictures that evoke happy memories for you. Maybe old photos of your childhood antics or pictures of your friends, family or pets. Put them into a scrapbook, photo-album or plastic wallet so that you can go through them in the dark times and hopefully see some light. Alternatively, make a folder on your phone/desktop and gather all of the photos there.
15 – A Pair of Fluffy Slippers or Socks
After all, how can you not feel even the tiniest bit better when you have these adorable fluffy animal socks cuddling your feet?
16 – An Eye-Mask
A simple item for when you just want to switch off from the world.
17 – A Ready Meal
Okay, so this one doesn’t go in the box but it’s a staple for my emergency down-days. If you’re taking this self-care thing seriously, make your own meal from scratch and pop it in the freezer so that you can be your best healthy self even on the bad days! Otherwise, join me on the dark side and buy an emergency frozen pizza 😉
So here it is, a collection of the things in my mental health self-care kit that will hopefully inspire you to make your own. I’m really trying to do what I can to look after myself following a really bad dip, so I’m really appreciative of any other self-care kit ideas that you might have!