I have gone through some really hard times that have forced me to learn the importance of self-care (especially in mental health recovery). I learned how to create a self-care plan using the strategies I am going to tell about. I think it is also important to create a self-care toolkit that is your “go-to” for times of immediate need. Some times you may want to think of this as an “emergency” self-care toolkit because you don’t need all of the items in it on a regular basis.
Since true self-care is built as a 3 part model, (which you can read about in the first part of this Self Care Series- ✅What self- care really means and why it is important for your mental health) then it stands to reason your toolkit should be built address those aspects of
A true self-care toolkit needs a self-care plan, self-care strategies, and products that bring you comfort.
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✅ Self-Care Plan
If you haven’t already, you need to create a self-care plan that becomes a routine. This is the most vital part of your self-care toolkit. To get started creating a sold self-care plan, read How To Create A Self-Care Plan [In Just 7 Easy Steps].
✅ Self-Care Strategies
Having self-care strategies that you practice is another very important part to have in your self-care toolkit. These strategies should be part of your self-care plan so that they become part of your self-care routine. But also so that you have something to refer to when your self-care gets a little out of whack and you need to get back on track with taking care of yourself-physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Reading your affirmations (Check out ✅ List of Powerful Affirmations to Say Every Day)
- Identify and change negative self-talk (Check out ✅Free Printable Mental Health Worksheets)
- Reframe your perspective when encountering a a challenge or something negative
- Get enough sleep
- Stay in touch with friends
- Pamper yourself
- Ask for help when you need it
- Practice mindfulness
- Engage in activities that you enjoy
- Keep a journal (Bullet Journaling is perfect because it helps you keep track of things and set goals)
✅ Self-Care Activities
Self-care activities are simple things that you do to practice and carry out your self-care strategies.
- Go for a walk or bike ride
- Read a book
- Make your bed
- Give a friend a call
- Take a shower
- Start or work on a hobby
- Drink plenty of water
- Go see a movie
- Regularly see a psychologist or therapist
- Get regular checkups with your doctor and preventative care
- Organize your closet
- Purge and give away extra stuff
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
✅ Products That Bring You Physical, Emotional, or Mental Comfort
The following is a list of items that bring you comfort and/or allow you to practice the self-care strategies and activities mentioned above:
Weighted blankets provide deep pressure touch which reduces stress by promoting relaxation and deep breathing. It is thought that this may trigger release of certain “feel good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
2. Journal & Pens
Bullet journaling has been a buzzword for a while now. It’s supposed to help you externalize thoughts (which means get them out of your head and put them in a place that you can come back to later). This frees up your brain to think more clearly and concentrate better. Who doesn’t need some of that? It also is used as a planner of sorts to not just jot down your feelings, but keep track of important things in your life.
3. Essential Oils
Many people believe that essential oils have healing effects on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. I mainly use them with a diffuser for aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Fidget Toys
Fidget toys are probably super annoying to teachers because what started out as an occupational therapy tool for ADHD or autistic kids, turned into a fad. But fidget toys can help ease anxiety and give extra sensory input to people that have a need for it. I think every person can make use of one of these items even if it’s just for stress relief (or release.)
5. Good Book
Whether you are in to self-help books, or fiction, a good book is a must-have in your self-care toolkit. I recommend this book by Ruth Soukup. She is also the creator of Elite Blog Academy, and is the reason I started my blogging journey. Read How Blogging Made Me a Chronic Illness Warrior to find out more. But, find a good book, curl up in your favorite spot, and let your mind focus on good things.
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Different teas have different therapeutic qualities. I’m from the south, so when you say tea, I think “Sweet or Unsweet?” But I have found that peppermint tea is really helpful with bloating and doesn’t taste so “outdoorsy.” Go ahead, you can laugh . . .
7. Eye Masks
Eye masks can be used as sleep aids or for beauty needs. I remember my sister and I would put sliced cucumbers on our eyes when we were kids pretending to pamper ourselves.
8. Fuzzy Socks
A good pair of fuzzy socks comforts the soul as much as your feet. I love mine but my kids always steal them and run off to “skate” on our wood floors. I bought my 14-year-old son a pair for his birthday and I think he like them more than the cash we gave him! Nah, he like the cash better. . . But, it tickled me the other day because he wore them to school with his tennis shoes.
9. Coloring Book
Adult coloring books are all the rage, but I think they are truly helpful. It helps me calm down and focus on one thing-coloring and let the other thoughts clogging my mind be released. Read this to get 30 Amazing Free Adult Coloring Page Printables.
You can create your own affirmations based on the goals and challenges you have in your life. I have created some for my readers. Just subscribe to our email list and you will get access to our Library of Freebies and you can download them from there. Some are blank for you to write your own.
No self-care toolkit is truly complete without all four of these components: Self-care plan, self-care strategies, self-care activities, and comfort and therapeutic items.
So get started with taking care of yourself on a regular basis. Self-care is something every one of us needs to do and can benefit from a well thought out self-care routine individualized to meet our specific needs.
I don’t know about you, but I am going put on my comfy socks and get my coloring pages out–
P.S. If you found this post helpful, would you do me a favor and pin What You Need In Your Self Care Toolkit [Free Printable Worksheets] I really appreciate it!